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    Del Mar Opening Day draws huge crowds; hats contest winners named
    Jul 20, 2017 | 8432 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    La Jolla native Soha Dokainish checks out the horses in the paddock on Opening Day. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    La Jolla native Soha Dokainish checks out the horses in the paddock on Opening Day. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Cheekaboomboom, ridden by Flavien Prat, comes from behind to win the third race on Opening Day. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Cheekaboomboom, ridden by Flavien Prat, comes from behind to win the third race on Opening Day. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Katherine Perez of Otay Ranch participates in the hats contest. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Katherine Perez of Otay Ranch participates in the hats contest. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Nikki Bella, professional wrestler and reality TV personality, speaks with jockey Rafael Bejarano, who rode Bronzino in the second race, in the paddock on Opening Day. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Nikki Bella, professional wrestler and reality TV personality, speaks with jockey Rafael Bejarano, who rode Bronzino in the second race, in the paddock on Opening Day. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Brie Bella, professional wrestler and reality TV personality, with friend Shawna Allan (left), check out horses in the paddock on Opening Day. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Brie Bella, professional wrestler and reality TV personality, with friend Shawna Allan (left), check out horses in the paddock on Opening Day. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Lindsay Cazarez, of Newport Beach, participates in the hats contest. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Lindsay Cazarez, of Newport Beach, participates in the hats contest. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Mariah Meerschaert, of Solana Beach, and Brooke Hasselmann, of Carmel Valley, have fun at Opening Day. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Mariah Meerschaert, of Solana Beach, and Brooke Hasselmann, of Carmel Valley, have fun at Opening Day. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Soha Dokainish watches the horses being loaded into the starting gate for the fifth race of Opening Day. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Soha Dokainish watches the horses being loaded into the starting gate for the fifth race of Opening Day. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Belinda Berry, of Walnut Creek, participates in the hats contest. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Belinda Berry, of Walnut Creek, participates in the hats contest. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Fans in the grandstand watch the second race of Opening Day. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Fans in the grandstand watch the second race of Opening Day. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Alia Ahmed (left), of Orange County, has fun at Opening Day. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Alia Ahmed (left), of Orange County, has fun at Opening Day. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    People stream into Del Mar Racecourse for Opening Day. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    People stream into Del Mar Racecourse for Opening Day. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    A participant in the hats contest has fun posing. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    A participant in the hats contest has fun posing. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Competitors in the third race come around the first turn on the turf course. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Competitors in the third race come around the first turn on the turf course. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    La Jolla native Soha Dokainish at the rail during Opening Day. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    La Jolla native Soha Dokainish at the rail during Opening Day. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    From left: Aubrey Fohl, Christine Best, Lauren Donahue, Andria Elam, Lauren Jenkins, Virginia Foster, Carlene McKnight, Mollie Cameron, Belinda Berry, and Christina Stutz.
    From left: Aubrey Fohl, Christine Best, Lauren Donahue, Andria Elam, Lauren Jenkins, Virginia Foster, Carlene McKnight, Mollie Cameron, Belinda Berry, and Christina Stutz.
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    The 23rd annual Opening Day Hats Contest at Del Mar, presented by Valenti International, drew more than 300 contestants. Categories included Most Glamorous, Best Fascinator, Best Flowers, Best Race Track Theme and Most Outrageous. Contestants competed for more than $5,000 in cash and prizes. The Grand Prize winner was Christina Stutz of San Diego who competed in the Most Outrageous category. Stutz won a Fairmont Grand Del Mar one-night stay and dinner for two at Addison Restaurant, featuring chef William Bradley's multi-course tasting menu with wine pairings valued at $1,000. She also received $300 cash and a Studio Savvy gift basket valued at $250. Stutz delighted Del Mar race fans with a grand scale presentation topped with an elegant life-sized horse enthusiast in a lovely hat of her own. The race fan topper carried an authentic 1948 vintage Del Mar racing program with betting slips. Stutz, whose hat took two months on-and-off to design, told the story about her father attending Opening Day in 1948 and was the inspiration for her clever take on the Del Mar scene. Christine Best of Carlsbad won the category of Best Flowers made of gorgeous live white orchids in an understated elegant form. Mollie Cameron of San Diego who won the Best Fascinator category wore an incredibly architected fascinator design that was stunningly simplistic and sculpted out of a single sheet of paper. The winner in the Most Glamorous category, Lauren Donahue from San Diego was dressed in a beautiful vintage lace dress and hand-made hatinator in beautiful fruit with flowers and ostrich feathers. And rounding out the field of winners in the category of Best Racing Theme, Lauren Jenkins donned a full size surfer wave, with horse race and aquarium atop a surf board themed "Where the Turf Meets The Surf."
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    It’s always ‘72 and Hoppy’ in San Diego
    Jul 17, 2017 | 6910 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    72 and Hoppy was created with the intention to introduce new beer drinkers to the hoppy flavor profile for which San Diego is known.
    72 and Hoppy was created with the intention to introduce new beer drinkers to the hoppy flavor profile for which San Diego is known.
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    The San Diego Tourism Authority has teamed with Midway-based Bay City Brewing Co. to create a specialty beer, "72 and Hoppy," making America's finest city the first U.S. travel destination with an official brew. Tourism officials described the new craft brew, a session India Pale Ale, as "relaxed and refreshing,” as well as “vibrant and full of flavor.” “72 and Hoppy was created with the intention to introduce new beer drinkers to the hoppy flavor profile for which San Diego is known,” said Bay City spokesperson Hana Pruzansky. Pruzansky said Bay City Brewing Co., which is located at 3760 Hancock St., “is honored to represent the community of independent beer makers of San Diego, and hope this collaboration beer with the San Diego Tourism Authority will encourage visitors to dip into one of the most well-known beer mecca's of the U.S., helping the industry as a whole. “As independent beer makers, and in our case a family-run brewery, we are grateful for the opportunity to act as ambassadors for this industry and excited to encourage visitors to support our local businesses, a community that not only makes San Diego unique, but one we are proud to be a part of,” she said. IPA is a hoppy beer style within the broader category of pale ale. It originally denoted an ale that had been brewed from pale malt. Demand for the export style of pale ale, which had become known as India pale ale, developed in England around 1840. It later became a popular product there. IPAs have a long history in Canada and the U.S., countries whose breweries produce a version of the style. 72 and Hoppy will soon be available at local bars, restaurants, hotels and other attractions. Form more information on Bay City Brewing Co., visit baycitybrewingco.com.
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    Crystal Pier celebrates 90 years as Pacific Beach icon
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Jul 10, 2017 | 31344 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Crystal Pier at sunset. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Crystal Pier at sunset. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    The Crystal Pier Hotel cottages were built in 1930. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    The Crystal Pier Hotel cottages were built in 1930. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Crystal Pier is a no-permit-necessary fishing zone. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Crystal Pier is a no-permit-necessary fishing zone. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    This Bill Reid aerial (courtesy of John Fry) was posted on Greg May’s Vintage San Diego Facebook page. We are not sure what year it was taken. On Garnet, Maynard’s is hidden by Crystal Pier, but Miller’s West, Aljones Restaurant, Security Pacific Bank and Frazee’s Paints can be seen. Bradshaw Market and Waibel’s Restaurant are visible on Hornblend. Gulf Oil is on the corner of Grand and Mission where Taco Bell is today, and the bright red roof of Pizza Hut can be seen just beyond Parker House Bakery.
    This Bill Reid aerial (courtesy of John Fry) was posted on Greg May’s Vintage San Diego Facebook page. We are not sure what year it was taken. On Garnet, Maynard’s is hidden by Crystal Pier, but Miller’s West, Aljones Restaurant, Security Pacific Bank and Frazee’s Paints can be seen. Bradshaw Market and Waibel’s Restaurant are visible on Hornblend. Gulf Oil is on the corner of Grand and Mission where Taco Bell is today, and the bright red roof of Pizza Hut can be seen just beyond Parker House Bakery.
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    Sunset at Crystal Pier. / Photo courtesy of Willis Allen
    Sunset at Crystal Pier. / Photo courtesy of Willis Allen
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    Crystal Pier under stormy clouds. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Crystal Pier under stormy clouds. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    This month, Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach marks its 90th anniversary. Since it was dedicated in 1927, the iconic landmark at 4500 Ocean Blvd. has had numerous owners, two names, a ballroom, a carnival, and 270 more feet. Today, it is home to a public fishing pier, as well as the private Crystal Pier Hotel, which is a collection of 32 cottages situated on the pier's front half. Current ownership has been split between Allen family members and the city of San Diego since 1961. Crystal Pier is a no-permit-necessary fishing zone, a sought-after vacation destination and one of the best places to watch San Diego sunsets. Pier hotel owner Willis Allen said his family originally acquired the pier in 1961 when his father “traded a ranch in Murrieta (Riverside County) for the pier. And it's been in our family ever since.” What Crystal Pier does for Pacific Beach and the city is easy to explain. “Hundreds of thousands of people walk on it every year,” noted Allen about the pier and its bait shop and other retail spaces. Pointing out Crystal Pier is actually “the mainstay of PB and really the center of town where things are happening,” Allen said the structure “has always been just kind of the gateway to PB.” Allen and his family are aware they are the custodians of a piece of history. “What we're most proud of is keeping the cottages up,” said Allen, who gave kudos to his hotel's longtime general manager, Jim Bostian, who's led the business' operation for nearly 50 years. “My staff is just a big family, and you wouldn't believe the postcards and letters we've gotten over the years from guests thanking [the staff] for the great time they had, and letting us know they were coming back with their families,” he said. Allen said the city benefits from transit occupancy taxes from the pier, as do nearby restaurants and businesses from the patronage of lodgers staying on the pier. “The pier is like a magnet bringing people together,” said Allen. Visitors who've stayed at Crystal Pier Hotel have raved about its vintage looks and the way the pier moves with the waves “rocking them to sleep like a baby at night.” The pier’s history began in 1924 with a local Realtor named Earl Taylor and a man named Ernest Pickering. Taylor needed an attraction to make Pacific Beach more desirable to homebuyers. Pickering owned a pier in Santa Monica. Together they managed to open Pickering’s Pleasure Pier, as it was called at the time, in July of 1927. The Cape Cod-style cottages were added in 1930. However, during the next 10 years, pier ownership was thrown around as disputes with the city continued to arise. Attempts at opening a midway, ballroom, and carnival on the pier each lasted a mere three months before closing. The reopening of Pickering’s Pleasure Pier as Crystal Pier in 1936 lessened the prior difficulties. In 1987, a total of 270 feet of the pier was destroyed during a storm. Despite the Crystal Pier’s long struggle, though, it remains known as a “beach lover’s haven.” In honor of its 90th anniversary, Randals Sandals at 955 Turquoise St. in North PB dedicated a mural on the outside of the store to the Crystal Pier and its timeless beauty. Crystal Pier Opened: July 1927 as Pickering’s Pleasure Pier. Size: 872 feet long. Worst damage: In 1987, 240 feet of pier was ripped off during a storm. Fishing: A fishing license is not required to fish at Crystal Pier (since 2009). Hotel: Guests can sleep over the ocean in the hotel’s cottages on the pier. Hours: 8 a.m. to sunset, unless staying at the hotel. Info: www.crystalpier.com.
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    San Diego lifeguards make 550 rescues during Fourth of July weekend
    Jul 05, 2017 | 36215 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Pacific Beach was crowded over the weekend. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Pacific Beach was crowded over the weekend. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    More than half a million people visited San Diego city beaches over the weekend and on the Fourth of July, while city lifeguards were involved in nearly 550 rescues and medical aid operations during those three days, officials announced on July 5. On Saturday, Sunday and the July Fourth holiday Tuesday, officials estimate 572,100 people crowded San Diego's beaches, said Monica Munoz, spokeswoman for the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department. During those three days, lifeguards made 283 rescues and were involved in 266 medical aid operations, Munoz said. “The majority of the rescue activity occurred in Pacific and Windansea beaches,” Munoz said. SDFRD personnel also responded to a collision in Mission Bay involving two personal watercraft and provided towing assistance to a rented personal watercraft in the Sunset Cliffs area and another in the Ocean Beach area, Munoz said. Rescuers also responded late Tuesday to a call of three people trapped by high tide in the La Jolla area. Lifeguards also reported more than 8,800 preventative acts during the three days, including giving advice to beachgoers about hazardous swimming conditions, educating visitors about laws on the beach and issuing citations. “Overall it was a fantastic holiday weekend thanks to firefighters, lifeguards, (the police department) and special event traffic controllers,” Munoz said.
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    Local woman creates new versatile and comfortable yoga pants
    by LUCIA VITI
    Jul 02, 2017 | 5625 views | 1 1 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    PI Yoga Pants in action on the beach next to the Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach.
    PI Yoga Pants in action on the beach next to the Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach.
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    Necessity is often noted as the mother of all invention – and rightfully so. But what happens when you tag on dedication, resolve and the determination to succeed? Larissa Miller, the driving force behind PI Yoga Pants, that’s what happens! PI Yoga Pants, the newest sensation in namaste apparel, was crafted from Miller’s need for comfort. Lightweight, versatile, breathable, and most importantly, comfortable, the Balinese-inspired garment was conceived from the lightbulb moment of “I can design a yoga pant more comfortable than the uncomfortable one I’m wearing.” While traveling in Thailand, on the first leg of a tour through South East Asia, former Pacific Beach resident Miller wore conventional, tight, black yoga pants that “clung and chafed my skin, blocked and irritated my pores and drove me absolutely insane.” She quickly purchased a soft, flowy pair that were “cute, but didn’t fit right.” Frustrated she knew she could do better. “I was so excited to be in Bangkok, I walked 13 miles my first day in tight black yoga pants,” she said. “I was so overheated, I was miserable. I bought a lighter, flowy pair that were cute but I had to twist them to fit. I knew I could design a better pant that would fit everyone. So I did!” But the “I did” part included diligence. Miller first committed herself “100 percent” to growing a brand-new small business, an easy transition during this respite from corporate San Diego. She then researched a myriad of materials to ensure comfort and breathability in temperatures reaching 100 degrees with 100 percent humidity. Research included many “wear tests.” According to Miller, selecting the proper material was important because skin becomes sensitive in heat and humidity. Cotton sticks to the skin when hot, silk insulates heat, polyester’s thick and uncomfortable, and Lycra and spandex were automatic no’s. Rayon, a premium, non-synthetic material, was the softest and most comfortable to wear in tropical weather. The highly-breathable material is also flame retardant. “It doesn’t spark static electricity and doesn’t pill like cotton,” she continued. “And it even protects the body from mosquitoes.” Versatility for yoga, other workouts and traveling followed suit on the material checklist. “I wanted to design more than just a pair of yoga pants,” she said. “I envisioned chic boutique pants that would be great for traveling without making you look like a traveler and cute pants for socializing at night. Rayon’s lightweight, easy to wash, dried faster than cotton and wrinkles easily disappeared when hung to dry.” Miller then searched for a seamstress. While traveling through Bali, she shared her new venture with a taxi driver who graciously offered to introduce her to a friend – a seamstress – and bingo! Collective ideas led to a variety of prototypes. She found a designer and dug roots in Bali because it was “fashionable, colorful, filled with flowers, good energy and rich with artistic and creative essence.” Patterned samples were posted on Instagram to build an audience. With “overwhelming” positive acknowledgements, she returned to San Diego and “plunged her life savings” into PI Yoga Pants, named after one of her favorite spiritual hubs, Pai, Thailand. The sister-hood of the traveling yoga pants was born! Over 50 styles – with new collections introduced every season – include Blueberry Lemonade, Midnight Kisses, Touch of Paradise, Stardust, Tribal Warrior Princess, Sunday Brunch, Fifty Shades of Surfboards, Summer Kissed, Enchanted Goddess, Teal Crush, Evergreen Flower of Life, Ground Goddess, and Yacht Week. Sizes range from 0-16, including large and maternity, with elastic tie bottoms that can be cinched to fit petites at 4’10” or lengthened to fit anyone as tall as 6 feet. “PI Yoga Pants capture the energy of Bali,” she continued. “I want everyone to feel swept away by a tide of tropical relaxation. I also wish to empower women to be inspired by health and wellness. Yoga is a wonderful window into fitness. Everyone deserves to feel comfortable and confident in what they’re wearing. I intend to lead by example for the greater good of fitness.” The philanthropist at heart doesn’t stop there. Miller devotes energy and profits into conservation efforts for sea turtles, coral restoration and beach cleanup. While diving in Bali, she fell in love with sea turtles and soon discovered that only one out of every 100 turtle reaches maturity. Traveling up to 12,000 miles a year on a course from Bali, to Hawaii and ultimately San Diego, their longevity is sliced by their biggest predator – human garbage. “Plastic bags to be exact,” she continued. “They bite them – thinking they’re jellyfish and choke. Plastic bags don’t disintegrate – even in the ocean.” The Gilo Eco Trust – coral reef restoration – is another recipient of PI Yoga Pants donations. Miller also collaborates with the Surf Rider Foundation for monthly beach cleanups. Surprised and encouraged by her company’s growth, the entrepreneur is now working to expand international and Amazon sales. Miller has also introduced a men’s and kid’s line. “I’ve given PI Yoga Pants my all and it’s rewarding to watch it grow and succeed,” she concluded. “It’s exciting and excitement builds momentum. There’s really never been question other than ‘Why can’t I do this?’” To no one’s surprise, the avid yogi loves everything yoga, “the physical strength, courage, mental clarity and the friendship of a like-minded community that embodies love, acceptance, and personal freedom to be the best version of you.” Future plans also include sharing her love for travel, her “gateway to personal growth,” and incorporating fitness, photography and conservation in all endeavors. PI Yoga Pants What: Lightweight, versatile, and breathable yoga pants. Info: www.piyogapants.com.
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    LiMay
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    July 04, 2017
    Congratulations Larissa on the growth of your business! I hope you enjoy your time volunteering at www.giliecotrust.com
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