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    Business, tourism leaders support ballot initiative to increase visitor tax
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    May 22, 2018 | 1080 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Tourists fill the sand in Ocean Beach on a sunny spring afternoon. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Tourists fill the sand in Ocean Beach on a sunny spring afternoon. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    A new citizen’s initiative seeks to ask voters in November to sanction an increase in the city’s transit occupancy tax to fund the convention center expansion, homelessness programs, create new jobs and continue road repaving and other infrastructure improvements. The “Yes! For a Better San Diego” campaign proposes a 42-year increase in the city's visitor tax that they claim would raise $6.4 billion over the life of the measure: $3.78 billion to expand and update the convention center, $2.02 billion for homeless services and $604 million for street repairs. The campaign has been endorsed by the San Diego Tourism Authority and the San Diego County Hotel-Motel Association, joined by local tourism businesses including those in Ocean Beach and Point Loma. Both the San Diego Tourism Authority and the Hotel-Motel Association cited the initiative’s creation of 7,000 new permanent jobs and its addition of $40 billion to the local economy, as solid reasons to support the measure. “As a small-business owner, I know how important convention center visitors are,” said Mina Desiderio, the creator of Wonderland Ocean Pub in Ocean Beach and owner of The Local restaurant in PB and Resident Brewing downtown. “Workers and small businesses benefit when visitors come to America’s Finest City. The initiative invests in tourism, and tourism means jobs.” Tourism is a huge component of the San Diego job market. One out of eight jobs in San Diego are tourist-related, employing nearly 200,000 people. That makes tourism the region’s second largest employment sector.  “The Yes! for a Better San Diego initiative will create thousands of good-paying jobs, from entry-level positions to upper-level management,” said Joe Terzi, president/ CEO of the San Diego Tourism Authority. “This measure invests in tourism and our local economy, without costing local taxpayers a dime.” The Convention Center is of critical importance to the city’s overall tourism industry. While convention center attendees make up just 6 percent of San Diego visitors, they spend much more than the average visitor, accounting for 27 percent of all visitor spending. “Spending from convention center visitors has a ripple effect on our local economy. It creates jobs at businesses large and small,” said Elvin Lai, CEO of the Ocean Park Inn and Hotel in Pacific Beach and president of the San Diego County Hotel-Motel Association. “Tourism workers are chefs and brewers, sport-fishing guides and surf instructors, marketing executives and CEOs. Our industry builds careers that move from the hotel lobby to the executive office.” During the first years of the tax increase, 59 percent of revenues are earmarked for the convention center and 41 percent to homelessness programs. Between 2025 and 2061, 59 percent would go toward the center, 31 percent to homelessness programs and 10 percent to city street repairs. “Repairing an additional 150 miles of streets each year means ‘every’ neighborhood wins,” said La Jolla resident Joe LaCava, former chair of the Community Planners Community, which oversees the city’s more than 40 citizen advisory groups. “With $600 million dedicated to repair streets across San Diego, paid for by visitors and not local residents, it is a huge win for our communities.”  Deacon Jim Vargas of Father Joe’s Villages highlighted the initiative's job creating potential to alleviate homelessness. “Generating more good-paying, entry-level jobs in San Diego is key to the success of our job training programs,” Vargas said. “The immediate funding this measure provides would support programs that help people transitioning out of homelessness.” Proponents must gather 71,000 signatures for the issue to appear on the November ballot. If approved by voters, the measure would increase the visitor tax on hotel bills by 1.25 percent to 3.25 percent. The proposed November ballot measure is supported by a coalition of downtown tourism and lodging organizations, civic and community activists, organized labor and homeless advocates. For more information about it, visit Yes4SD.com.
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    Shelter Island Boat Launch opening delayed until late 2018
    May 15, 2018 | 6545 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Work continues on the Shelter Island Boat Launch Facility Improvement Project. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Work continues on the Shelter Island Boat Launch Facility Improvement Project. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Work is progressing on the Shelter Island Boat Launch Facility Improvement Project; however, due to longer-than-expected delays, the ramp will remain closed through the start of this year’s boating season, which begins Memorial Day weekend.  The Port of San Diego recognizes that this extended closure impacts boaters during the summer season, but due to safety concerns, the ramp cannot be opened at this time. The Port of San Diego apologizes for the inconvenience and appreciates boaters’ patience as they continue this project. Visit portofsandiego.org/sibl for a list of alternate boat launches. This project was designed with extensive public outreach over several years, and is funded by the California Department of Boating and Waterways, Wildlife Conservation Board, and the Port of San Diego. The timeline for this $9.5 million public improvement project has recently been adjusted to account for these unanticipated delays. Construction began in late May 2017 with an anticipated completion by the summer season. However, during excavation operations, the contractor encountered an extensive amount of large buried concrete debris, and the removal of this debris required a change to the project schedule. At this time, completion is anticipated in late 2018.  Given the recent findings, the Port is working with the contractor, and staff from the California Coastal Commission and the Department of Boating and Waterways, to allow for the temporary use of one boat ramp lane by the public beginning later in the summer season. Updates will be provided at portofsandiego.org/sibl.  Often described as the busiest boat launch in California, with an estimated 50,000 launches annually, the Shelter Island Boat Launch was damaged by the wearing and corrosive effects of seawater and has been in need of improvements for some time. The heavy daily use, and the increase in larger recreational boats, resulted in congestion and delays in launching.    Once completed, the improvements will make the boat launch safer and more navigable.  Upgrades include enlarging the maneuvering area in the basin, replacing the worn-out launch ramp, increasing the lengths of the boarding floats, installing public walking platforms with viewing areas, installing signage and lighting and updating the docks, public walkways, adjacent parking and restroom to current Americans with Disabilities Act Standards.  To date, progress has included demolition of the previous launch ramp facility, installation of a temporary cofferdam, and fabrication and partial installation of the breakwater wall panels. Pile driving operations are ongoing and will continue through June. Project updates are posted at portofsandiego.org/sibl.
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    Community news and briefs for Ocean Beach and Point Loma
    May 11, 2018 | 4756 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Flowers are blooming at Sunset Cliffs this spring. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Flowers are blooming at Sunset Cliffs this spring. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Ocean Beach winery wins gold medal Gianni Buonomo Vintners in Ocean Beach was awarded a gold medal for its 2013 Blaufränkisch at the Hilton Head Island International Wine Competition, which played host to the event that brought in the heavy hitters from the international wine world. Wines were judged by master sommeliers, advanced sommeliers and certified wine educators. “Winning a gold medal right next to Tuscan wine god Marchese Piero Antinori is really unbelievable, but it happened,” said Keith Rolle, winemaker of Gianni Buonomo Vintners, located at 4836 Newport Ave. “They’ve been making wine for more than 600 years. I’ve been making wine for just a bit less than that.” Gianni Buonomo will be hosting a celebration event and the release of their 2014 vintage Blaufränkisch from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 2. Traditional Austrian bites will also be served. The ticketed event is open to the public. Barons Market launches community-intensive website Barons Market, an independent, family-owned grocery that numbers a Point Loma location among its seven Southern California stores, has announced the launch of its new website, featuring interactive elements designed to reflect the communities it serves. The site features community events calendars; recipe sections; announcements on weekly price deals; and photos, videos and a social media feed that showcases daily activity at the stores.The Point Loma Barons, noted for its specialty, organic and natural foods, is located at 4001 W. Point Loma Blvd. The group also has a North Park franchise and five other outlets from Alpine to Murietta. The site address is baronsmarket.com. Mariachi at OB Library Tavo Alcoser and Mariachi 3.0 to celebrate the diversity of popular border music through an eclectic mix of genres including Mexican folk, Latin rock and reggae-cumbia at 2 p.m on May 19 at the Ocean Beach Library. Now touring nationally as lead vocalist for the band Jarabe Mexicano, San Diego-native Alcoser exhilarates with soaring vocals and a soulful delivery that have gained him the attention and admiration of audiences across the country. Alcoser now brings the show home, joined by fellow touring bandmate Chris Behrens on guitarron alongside local mariachis Jessica Barragan on violin and Rene Velazco on vihuela. Peninsula Singers concert Peninsula Singers will present “Over the Rainbow,” on Friday June 1 at 7 p.m. at All Souls Episcopal Church, 1475 Catalina Blvd. This “Ireland Tour Sendoff Concert” features selections that will be performed during the Peninsula Singers’ June concert tour of Ireland. Songs from Broadway like “Over the Rainbow,” “Edelweiss” and “You’ll Never Walk Alone/Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” will join many songs with American roots and others with international origins. Peninsula Singers will also perform a Pentatonix song and a rendition of “Africa” by Toto. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for students, seniors and military. Children age 10 and under may attend for free. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit peninsulasingerssandiego.org. OB Kite Festival The annual OB Kite Festival to be held Saturday, May 12 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Robb Field, 2525 Bacon St., is observing a major milestone this year. “This is the 70th annual Ocean Beach Kite Festival, and it is the oldest kite festival for children in the country,” said Melanie Nickel, spokesperson for the Kiwanis Club of Ocean Beach, which co-sponsors the event along with Ocean Beach Recreation Center. Nickel noted the fun event is multi-faceted. “Children are taught how to make and fly a simple kite, and there are prizes for the best decorated kite,” she said, adding, “It's all free.” The event is new and improved for another reason. “It is moving to a new location this year - Robb Field instead of Dusty Rhodes Park,” Nickel said. “This should give us more room for the professional kite fliers to do their spectacular displays, more room for the kids to fly their kites, and much more parking.” Kite festival attendees can expect: - To make and decorate kites; - To get materials, instructions and help with kite making; - Receive prizes; - Fly and show off their kites; - See exotic kites and watch professionals do tricks; - Participate in a carnival to include artisans, booths and food trucks; - Groove to the live music of Beer Feat from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, visit oceanbeachkiwanis.org. Portuguese Festa do Divino Espirito Santo Perhaps San Diego’s oldest ethnic celebration, the 108th Portuguese Festa do Divino Espirito Santo (Feast of the Holy Spirit) will be held Friday, May 18 through Sunday, May 20 on the grounds of UPSES Portuguese Hall, 2818 Avenida de Portugal, and St. Agnes Catholic Church, 1140 Evergreen St. The Festa Parade, the highlight of the event, begins at 10 a.m. May 20 and follows a route from the UPSES hall to St. Agnes. The celebration of High Mass and the coronations of the festival king and queen take place at St. Agnes at 11 a.m., with singing by the church choir. The Portuguese people have been celebrating the feast for the last 700 years amid the lore of Queen St. Isabel, who was said to have rescued her countrymen from starvation.  The festival has been mounted in San Diego since the city's first Portuguese families settled here in 1884. It was formally organized in 1910. “The event pays homage to and is our Portuguese dedication to the Holy Spirit, and her belief in God and serving the people,” said Diana Balelo, president of UPSES Hall. “On May 18-19, there will be booths at Portuguese Hall where people can buy ethnic foods, like authentic Portuguese bread with meat and potatoes, and be entertained.” The 2018 festival president is Ermelinda Jorge and family. Today, as it has been since 1922, the Chapel next door to the UPSES Hall is used to house the Crown of the Holy Spirit during the Festa. On Pentecost Sunday devotees of the Holy Spirit visit the Chapel to pray and offer a donation of monies or Portuguese sweet breads (sold to raise funds) to continue the religious celebration. Early voting begins for Primary Election Voters interested in casting their ballots early for the June 5 Primary Election can now do so at the County Registrar of Voters office at 5600 Overland Ave. Early voting began May 7 and will continue from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and until the polls close at 8 p.m. on Election Day. The office will also be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 2 and Sunday, June 3 for voting. Also, more than 1 million mail ballots were sent out through the U.S. Postal Service, and voters could find them in their mailboxes as early as that same day. Mail ballots are convenient for voters who’d rather not make a special trip to the Registrar of Voter’s office to cast their ballots or wait for the polls to open on Election Day. Registered voters can request a mail ballot until May 29. Poll workers needed Poll workers, especially those who are bilingual in any one of six specific languages, are needed for the June 5 Gubernatorial Primary Election. The Registrar’s office is required by federal law to provide bilingual speakers and voting materials to voters who speak Spanish, Filipino, Vietnamese and Chinese. In addition, a survey conducted by the University of California, Berkeley showed a need for speakers of Arabic and Korean at just under 90 precincts across the county, so the Registrar’s office is also recruiting poll workers who are bilingual in those languages. To become a poll worker, applicants must be a U.S citizen and registered to vote in California, or lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States. Poll workers must have transportation to their assigned polling location, access to the internet to take an online training and attend a two-hour class in person. Poll workers receive a stipend ranging from $100 to $175 depending on the assignment, and those who are bilingual receive an additional $15 if they are assigned to provide language assistance. Apply online at sdvote.com. For more information, call 858-565-5800. ‘Clean SD’ removes rubbish from San Diego River Continuing with the “Clean SD” initiative to remove trash and debris from public areas, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer recently announced that crews have cleared all of the City-owned property along the San Diego River at least once and the City will work proactively with other adjacent property owners to clean up the remaining portions of the riverbed. The City owns about one-third of the property along the San Diego River and has removed nearly 99 tons of waste from 32 locations since September. PLNU's has 'America's Most Scenic Ballpark' The nickname of Carroll B. Land Stadium, "America's Most Scenic Ballpark," was not one that was handed out lightly. The phrase was coined in an article by Baseball America's writer Kevin Kernan when he visited the PLNU campus back in 1993, and it has stuck ever since. However, it should not be taken for granted that because Point Loma had “America's Most Scenic Ballpark” nearly 25 years ago, it would still be the best in 2017. An independent poll was conducted in by HERO Sports earlier this season, and it was confirmed by nearly 3,000 voters that even today the Sea Lions are playing on the most panoramic park in the NCAA. The Sea Lions received 55 percent of the 2,862 votes to edge second place Angelo State by 815 votes, as PLNU totaled more votes than the other three teams combined. Point Loma Pirates win The Point Loma Pirates (6-0) beat the Red Devils 16-0 in San Diego Adult Baseball League action last week. Notable players: Jake Magness was 3-for-3 with 1 HR, AJ Rodrigues went 3-for-4, and Matt Correia was 3-for-4 as the Pirates exploded early on, ending the game by the 4th inning with 16 runs on the board. Jacob Coleman pitched a shut out. Next game: 1:30 p.m. May 20 at Castle Park High School against the Diablos Rojos MX (3-4).
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    Bate's folly – and the development of Shelter Island
    by KAREN SCANLON
    May 09, 2018 | 6717 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Aerial view of current Shelter Island. The island, created with dredging spoils in 1934, remained vacant until 1953 when the landfill settled and the road was built.    PHOTO COURTESY OF SHELTER ISLAND HOTEL GROUP
    Aerial view of current Shelter Island. The island, created with dredging spoils in 1934, remained vacant until 1953 when the landfill settled and the road was built. PHOTO COURTESY OF SHELTER ISLAND HOTEL GROUP
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    Byron Street mole (above, left) awaits connection to the rising Shelter Island, which happened after WWII.    PHOTO COURTESY OF JACK DAVIS COLLECTION
    Byron Street mole (above, left) awaits connection to the rising Shelter Island, which happened after WWII. PHOTO COURTESY OF JACK DAVIS COLLECTION
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    Sylvia Bate remembering her former husband, port director John Bate.    PHOTO COURTESY OF KAREN SCANLON
    Sylvia Bate remembering her former husband, port director John Bate. PHOTO COURTESY OF KAREN SCANLON
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    John Bate was San Diego’s second port director who had public vision clearer than most City officials in the 1940s through 1960s. Amidst ridicule and doubt, Bate’s concern and creative reverie for San Diego Bay gave us two island playgrounds, a hefty-sized marine terminal, and an organization to direct activities along some 27 miles of waterfront. La Playa Trail Association will delve into the life and genius of John Bate with presenter Sylvia Bate, John’s former wife, at its next public history lecture on Tuesday, May 15 at Point Loma Assembly, 3035 Talbot St. Light appetizers will be served 5:30 to 6 p.m., and the lecture runs 6 to 7 p.m. A $10 donation at the door is welcome. Before Bate, Joe Brennan was San Diego’s first harbormaster in 1918. He had a history on the water at San Diego. His father, George, was second principal keeper at the lower Point Loma Light Station in the mid-1890s. Joe was also the quick-thinking tug operator who pushed the Navy gunboat USS Bennington into the shallows of the bay to keep her from sinking after the 1905 boiler explosion. It was Joe Brennan’s clever notion to dump dredging spoils on the unlovely natural shoal that choked the channel along La Playa and Roseville. In 1934, the federal government started dredging a 200-foot wide channel, 20 feet deep near Roseville. That same year, San Diego Yacht Club ferried its Coronado clubhouse to La Playa. Dredging was good news to these yachtsmen, since spoils would be used to raise the nameless mudflat and fill in tidelands surrounding the yacht basin. Members of the club threw names into a “hat” and voted the moniker “Shelter Island.” Brennan said, “I guess that’s as good a name as any!” The United States Board of Geographic Names then officially recognized the title. News of another deep channel dredging appeared in San Diego Union on June 20, 1940 – with pending war attached. Once again, Shelter Island would be dumped upon with harbor dredging. It was a quick national defense measure. “There was enough island there during World War II that the Navy used it to store ammunition. “Huts had been set up for this purpose,” recalled yacht builder Paul Kettenburg. He remembers the filling-in of the tidelands that met his family’s property at Kettenburg Boat Works, adding more area for boatyard ways. Sylvia Bate remembers the barrage balloon tethered on the island. “It was a strange sight out there, with steel streamers sticking out of it. The idea was that if a low-flying enemy airplane came in to strafe, it would get caught up in the streamers.” Two separate concepts were considered as to the formation of the island corridor. Brennan pushed the idea of connecting Shelter Island to the mainland at the Navy fence, approximately at the foot of Kellogg Street, then having Harbor Drive run along the bay front. Point Loma residents went to court and stopped the idea. Brennan retired with his newer title, port director, in 1948. Enter John Bate: It was his conviction of building a recreational island and moving the old High Seas Tuna cannery, its fleet and piers, out of the yacht basin. Bate would build a mole out from Byron Street to divide the yacht basin from the commercial basin. Again, residents protested. They peered into the future of Shelter Island and envisioned high-rise buildings blocking their views of the channel and its operations, and noise. Harbor Commission assistant Carl Reupsch said, “John Bate was so sold on his idea in his own mind that he and I called on every person in Point Loma.” The two canvassed neighborhoods and assured residents that their concerns would be addressed. After the war, the Harbor Commission provided a larger, 400-foot channel entrance to the yacht basin, an area of about 200 acres. Dredge spoils were used to extend the Byron Street mole to connect with Shelter Island. Additional materials were used to raise it to 14 feet above low water, which leaves the island seven feet above high tide, and was completed in 1950. Shelter Island remained vacant until 1953 when the landfill had settled and the roadway was begun. Next came a fishing pier, parking for 300 cars, an outboard motorboat launching ramp, and grassed park areas – all for public use. No fishing license required. Funds were further expended for the island’s completion – lighting, sewer, water, electrical power, road signs, and the transplanting of palm trees. Short sandy beaches spilled to the water line around the perimeter, until rock revetment was installed to keep the landfill in place from changing tides and wash from passing ships. Brennan died in 1974 at the age of 91, having lived the span of years it took to accomplish the island scheme he had imagined. “We didn’t put in the improvements,” he said, “we didn’t have the money in those days.” Later, the Port invested $2.5 million in Shelter Island. “The best investment we ever made,” Bate said. Revenues far above that amount from island rentals are returned every five years. So, we can applaud Brennan’s successor, “Commodore of the Mudflats” Bate – who took a great deal of ribbing from citizens who had called his plan “Bate’s Folly” – for his broader dream in developing Shelter Island. White elephants! Bate’s ideas for other harbor improvements met with more razzing. “Name-calling never bothered John,” Sylvia says. “He had a gentle nature, no temper, and was very concerned about other people.” So concerned was Bate, that he wanted to increase industry and, thus, jobs and dollars, through San Diego’s natural resource. In 1955, voters authorized a bond issue of $9.6 million for construction of the 10th Avenue Marine Terminal. The new pier was soon crowded with cargo loading and off-loading that included, for example, sheep, alfalfa pellets, tobacco, logs for Japan, cotton, and for kelp storage. In 1961, the port director took advantage of building up a second island playground when the Navy cut nine million cubic yards from the bottom of San Diego Bay to create a 42-foot carrier turning basin. “Bate’s White Elephant: Harbor Island!” commissioners declared. But the real feather in his proverbial cap came with the creation of the Port of San Diego. Sylvia remembers that John nearly single-handedly worked on developing a port district that included the five communities of San Diego, Coronado, Imperial Beach, Chula Vista, and National City. “We traveled to other ports at Bremerton and San Francisco to see what they were doing.” Bate was originally hired as a civil engineer with the city to oversee construction of runways on Lindbergh Field, but his influence and drive are evident on a much grander scale. He retired from the Port of San Diego in September 1966, and lived another 17 years, likely basking on the beveled waters of “his” beloved bay.
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    Community briefs for Ocean Beach and Point Loma
    Apr 27, 2018 | 13400 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    A foggy morning in Ocean Beach. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    A foggy morning in Ocean Beach. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    OB Library program on native plants Ocean Beach Branch Library is holding an event at 6 p.m. on May 1 about California native plants. Come and see San Diego’s native plant life through the eyes and lenses of naturalist and photographer, Phil Roullard. The photo exhibit will be followed with a presentation by landscape architect Kay Stewart. The presentation will highlight the many activities that the California Native Plant Society hosts. Books about indigenous plants will be available for your perusal. Rally for sustainable energy in Ocean Beach At 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 28 there will be a rally and march in Ocean Beach with music and speakers at the foot of Newport Avenue in support of renewable energy. Rear Admiral Len Hering USN (ret.), the past director of the San Diego Center for Sustainable Energy, will speak. Volunteers needed for OB Street Fair & Chili Cook-Off The Ocean Beach MainStreet Association is seeking applicants as volunteers at the 39th annual Ocean Beach Street Fair & Chili Cook-Off Festival, set for Saturday, June 23 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Volunteers must be at least 14 years of age, and those 14 to 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Positions are filled on a first-come, first-served basis and tend to fill quickly. Call the Ocean Beach MainStreet Association office at 619-224-4906 for information. OB Green Center’s anniversary From 2 to 7 p.m. on April 28, Ocean Beach Green Center, at 4843 Voltaire St., will celebrate its 29th anniversary of environmental, peace, and social justice activism. Live music, speakers, refreshments, raffle prizes from local businesses will be available. For more information, visit oceanbeachgreencenter.org. Point Loma Little League donates bats to Tijuana teams Point Loma Little League recently had its Opening Day and like all other Little Leagues this year, the league was required to purchase new bats that meet the new USA Bats standards. This left perfectly good bats that they could no longer use for games or practices.  Through Facebook, PLLL connected with Humberto Tovalin Yanez, a former president of Liga de Beisbol Infantil y Juvenil Municipal de Tijuana (Tijuana’s Little League system), who resides in Chula Vista and is involved in their league. PLLL collected 107 bats on Opening Day to donate them to kids in Tijuana, who can still legally use the bats. Peninsula Little League also participated. Between the two leagues, nearly 200 baseball bats were donated to kids in Tijuana.  Point Loma Pirates win Point Loma Pirates beat the Beavers, 5-1, last week in San Diego Adult Baseball League action. The Pirates (4-0) will next play San Diego Brunch at 1:30 p.m. April 29 at Ramona High School. At Damato Field for the Pirates win, A.J. Rodrigues was 2-for-4 and Jake Magness added a home run. Pitcher Micah Karnes started the game and Matt Gallardo finished up the game with 5 IP and 7 strikeouts. Rescue House slates annual cats benefit More than 25,000 lost or neglected animals receive second chances every year in San Diego County – and a regional cat-rescue venue has scheduled its annual fundraiser to retain its stake in the effort. A Cause for Paws, the Rescue House’s 10th annual gala, will take place Saturday, June 9 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa and Marina, 1441 Quivira Road. The evening includes a dinner buffet and silent and live auctions. Contact amy@rescuehouse.org with questions or donations. Ticket prices are $75 to $95, and all proceeds go directly to the care of homeless cats.   The Rescue House is an Encinitas-based nonprofit no-kill volunteer organization dedicated to assisting unwanted, abandoned, homeless and abused socialized cats regardless of age and, often, handicap. Since its inception in 1999, the organization has rescued more than 13,000 cats and has found homes for more than 3,600 through its seven adoption centers in San Diego County. More information is available at rescuehouse.org or 760-591-1221. Poll workers needed for June 5 election Poll workers, especially those who are bilingual in any one of six specific languages, are needed for the June 5 Gubernatorial Primary Election. The Registrar’s office is required by federal law to provide bilingual speakers and voting materials to voters who speak Spanish, Filipino, Vietnamese and Chinese. In addition, a survey conducted by the University of California, Berkeley showed a need for speakers of Arabic and Korean at just under 90 precincts across the county so the Registrar’s office is also recruiting poll workers who are bilingual in those languages. To become a poll worker, applicants must be a U.S citizen and registered to vote in California, or lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States. Poll workers must have transportation to their assigned polling location, access to the internet to take an online training and attend a two-hour class in person. Poll workers receive a stipend ranging from $100 to $175 depending on the assignment, and those who are bilingual receive an additional $15 if they are assigned to provide language assistance to voters. Apply online at sdvote.com. For more information, call 858-565-5800 or email pollworker@sdcounty.ca.gov. Walk for Animals This area is noted for the enlightenment of its pet communities – and on Saturday, May 5, an annual San Diego County Humane Society fundraising dog-walk is expected to draw more than 3,000 participants and volunteers whose support helps fuel that reputation. The Walk for Animals consists of a two-mile stroll around NTC Park at Point Loma’s Liberty Station, 2455 Cushing Road (a half-mile course has been set aside for dogs and owners who prefer a shorter trail). It begins at 9 a.m., with registration, breakfast and opening ceremonies starting at 7 a.m. Families and children are welcome. Proceeds will help fund the humane society’s lifesaving programs and services, including shelter, adoptions, veterinary care, humane law enforcement, emergency rescue and behavior and training on behalf of the 30,000 animals expected to come into the humane society’s care this year. Registration fees range from $10 to $40. Further information is available at support.sdhumane.org or at 619-243-3469.  Serving San Diego County since 1880, the humane society operates campuses in San Diego, Escondido and Oceanside. It is a private nonprofit, not affiliated with any other humane society or the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. It receives no government funding and is supported solely by contributions, grants, bequests, investments, proceeds from its retail store and small service fees. Bay City Brewing Co. among fastest growing craft breweries in nation Bay City Brewing Co. recently announced it was named among the fastest-growing craft breweries in the U.S. It is one of two breweries listed from San Diego County.  The nonprofit Brewers Association released its inaugural list of the 50 fastest-growing small and independent craft brewing companies in 2017. The list represents 25 states and a diverse cross-section of the brewing community. The state of California claims the speediest growth with seven breweries listed.  “Being in the craft brewery capital of the world can present a lot of challenges to company growth,” said Greg Anderson, co-owner of Bay City. “At Bay City, though, our priority has always been to grow community first – the families, friends and loved ones that want to make memories with good beer. It’s what we owe our fast growth to, despite the ultra-competitive industry.”     While the Brewers Association won’t release specific volume details until May, the association noted median growth from 2016 to 2017 for the top 50 breweries was 216 percent. During that time frame, the median size of these breweries grew by 679 barrels.  For more information on Bay City Brewing Co., visit www.baycitybrewing.com. Literacy council fundraiser to serve food for thought at ninth Eat.Drink.Read. More than 20 chefs representing local restaurants including Point Loma’s Solare Lounge will create a culinary journey inspired by the chefs’ favorite books and literary characters at the San Diego Council on Literacy’s ninth annual “Eat.Drink.Read. A Culinary Event for Literacy,” set for Thursday, May 17 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Balboa Park’s San Diego Air & Space Museum. San Diego brewers, distillers and winemakers will also bring their products to the event, which will feature live music and a battle between the chefs, with awards for best dish, best dessert, best display and people’s choice. Past works of inspiration have yielded creations from Dr. Seuss’ “Green Eggs and Ham” and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby.” The event raises funds to support the nonprofit council’s 27 literacy programs, campaigns and referrals that serve 180,000 residents a year at no cost. More than 520,000 adults in San Diego have difficulty reading – and most of them are native English speakers. Many of these are parents, and their children are said to be adversely affected by low-level literacy skills in the household. Tickets go on sale March 26, with the early bird price of $60 available through April 12. Tickets increase to $75 beginning April 13. The museum is located at 2001 Pan American Plaza. For more, see literacysandiego.org or call (619) 574-1641 ext. 103.
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