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    Are tiny homes the solution to homelessness?
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Feb 09, 2016 | 5948 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Rev. Dr. Simon Mainwaring, rector of St. Andrews by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Pacific Beach, and Christopher Scott, who's designed and built his own version of a “tiny” home, have teamed to popularize the concept. / Photo by Dave Schwab
    Rev. Dr. Simon Mainwaring, rector of St. Andrews by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Pacific Beach, and Christopher Scott, who's designed and built his own version of a “tiny” home, have teamed to popularize the concept. / Photo by Dave Schwab
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    A Pacific Beach inventor and a church rector are promoting one conceivable solution to the intractable problem of homelessness: IKEA-like tiny, build-it-yourself homes. Rev. Dr. Simon Mainwaring, rector of St. Andrews by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Pacific Beach, and Christopher Scott, who's designed and built his own version of a “tiny” home, have teamed to popularize the concept. They're calling it “the start of a real solution to San Diego's homelessness problem.” “A kit for these 400-plus square-foot homes can be purchased for $500 or $600 and can be assembled in two or three hours with screwdrivers and without power tools,” said Scott, a forestry specialist who said he helped start IKEA, a Scandinavian chain selling ready-to-assemble furniture, in North America. “The concept I hope may work in PB is that a jobless person can start off with one of these little houses, make improvements to it, make it look pretty, and resell it and build some equity for their next step up.” Mainwaring, among five local PB church leaders who've banded together since November of 2015 to form the Pacific Beach Homeless Coalition, said Scott's creative solution to finding the homeless homes is way of stimulating “thinking about homelessness and potential solutions. “We are looking at this as a way of sparking the imagination,” said Mainwaring, who discussed the tiny homes concept. “That's the key, providing someone with a roof over their head in a location that provides stability and security, in their own little home where they can even close and lock the door, keeping them safely inside.” Once housed, an individual can then reboot his or her life, beginning the process of finding a job and re-establishing himself as a contributing member of society, Mainwaring said. One of Scott's tiny home models is presently on view in St. Andrews sanctuary at 1050 Thomas Ave., across the street from Pacific Beach library. The tiny homes, which resemble children's playhouses in design and appearance, are large enough for a medium-size person to stretch out or even stand in. “The whole country is seeded with people who are trying to approach it (homeless housing),” Scott said. Seattle has opened 14 tiny homes. A Nashville church has built six. The tiny homes are said to offer these advantages: • They provide better shelters than tarps or tents. • The homeless can build them themselves. • Wasted building materials can be collected to make the tiny homes, which adds an element of sustainability to them. • Often, tiny homes can be grown to make them a more permanent form of housing. • They're extremely cost effective. Tiny homes will be on the agenda of the next Pacific Beach Homeless Coalition meeting, to which the public is invited on Wednesday, Feb. 17 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Community Room of Pacific Beach Taylor Library, 4275 Cass St. “It's a group meeting between neighbors, the homeless and other interested parties,” said Mainwaring, noting the format is mostly informal. “It's a chance for people to build relationships, offer feedback,” he said. Mainwaring said the next step in the process of paving the way for the homes to become a reality is to “get neighborhood buy-in on the concept before working up a comprehensive proposal to bring to the city, then have an informed discussion.” Obviously places would have to be found, and in some cases zoning changed, to make tiny homes legal. “It's a challenging solution to what is a profoundly challenging life to lead on the street,” noted Scott, who added that dialogue about homeless housing “is a great conversation to have.” Scott pointed out that tiny homes are trending. “It's a solution being considered across the country and, frankly, the world,” he said, adding, “If we can put a man on the moon, we can find a solution for this.”
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    PBMS installs rain barrels; students learning to conserve, recycle water
    by HANNA LAUKKANEN
    Feb 09, 2016 | 864 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Arty Rodriguez and Daasha Ferguson paint rain barrels at Pacific Beach Middle School. /  Photo by Hanna Laukkanen
    Arty Rodriguez and Daasha Ferguson paint rain barrels at Pacific Beach Middle School. / Photo by Hanna Laukkanen
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    2. Ellah Campagna, Kylee Hollingswoth, Eliel hernandez, Daniela Zoni, Arty Rodriguez and Daasha Ferguson are studying how to save water. / Photo by Hanna Laukkanen
    2. Ellah Campagna, Kylee Hollingswoth, Eliel hernandez, Daniela Zoni, Arty Rodriguez and Daasha Ferguson are studying how to save water. / Photo by Hanna Laukkanen
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    The U.S. – Israel Center (USIC) at UC San Diego’s Rady School of Management recently unveiled a new rain barrel program at three San Diego schools and Pacific Beach Middle is one of the schools participating in the international project. Earlier this month, four rain barrels, which will collect the water from the school’s roof and save it, were installed at the middle school. Students will use the captured rain water to care for campus gardens, and students at the Farm Lab also will use it to flush toilets. "The water conservation efforts the students in San Diego and Encinitas will spearhead is wonderful, but what really will be inspirational will be watching how the rain barrel program changes how these kids think about and use water,” said Susan Lapidus, executive director of USIC. “It’s very exciting to be able to bring this technology developed in Israel to San Diego. It is my fervent hope that this is just the beginning of technology transfers between San Diego and Israel,” Lapidus said. PBMS eighth grader Arty Rodriguez painted beautiful waves on the side of the one barrel. He has designed patterns for all four barrels. The work is part of his community project. Rodriguez was inspired by a Japanese artist Hakusai. On another barrel he designed a Hawaiian-Californian design with tribal arts. “It took me a week to design the paintings. My theme for this project is recycling water, so I have to add something that resembles recycling,” he said. Rodriguez also added a Hebrew message to the barrels, which reads “Water is life.” The rain harvesting system was developed in Israel by former teacher Amir Yechieli, who installed Israel’s first water catchment systems at elementary schools 16 years ago. Today, Yechieli’s business, Rain Harvest, serves more than 140 schools in Israel, including 40 in Jerusalem. Until now, no school in California used Israeli‐designed rain barrels to conserve water. “I am thrilled to see three of your schools embrace the rain barrel program and what San Diego’s future may hold based on this forward-thinking decision,” Yechieli said. “The rain barrel program helps young people understand that and it inspires them to become conservation leaders, which has the potential to help change how water is viewed and used in San Diego,” Yechieli said. USIC’s Lapidus met Yechieli at a water conference in Israel last year. Israel faced a drought similar to the one California is experiencing but today the country is 100 percent water resilient. Israel recycles 85 percent of its water, more than any other nation in the world. California recycles roughly 3 percent of its water. Lapidus would like students to learn that they are charge of their own environment and they have the power to change their behavior. “The rain barrel project is wonderful because it’s reaching school children to show them, how water is so important,” Lapidus said. “It’s clean enough to even drink, but our policy is not there yet.” Gov. Jerry Brown and Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently signed a new memorandum of understanding (MOU) between California and Israel. The MOU sets goals for mutual collaboration on water policy and water technology.
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    City to upgrade safety measures at Ingraham-La Cima intersection
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Feb 05, 2016 | 5020 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    The city will be installing a Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacon (RRFB) system at Ingraham Street and La Cima Drive within the next six months.
    The city will be installing a Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacon (RRFB) system at Ingraham Street and La Cima Drive within the next six months.
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    Traffic improvements are on the way in the Crown Point neighborhood of Pacific Beach. “The city will be installing a Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacon (RRFB) system at Ingraham Street and La Cima Drive within the next six months,” said Anthony Santacroce, a city Public Information Officer. A RRFB is a pedestrian-activated flashing beacon that flashes in an alternating pattern when a pedestrian presses the button to cross the street.  The flashers are accompanied with highly reflective yellow/green pedestrian warning signs that are installed close to, and directly above, the flashers.  “The flashers and signs are installed back-to-back so that as motorists approach, they see flashers activated on both sides of the street,” said Santacroce, who noted similar RRFB systems exist at a number of locations citywide, including elsewhere in PB at Mission Boulevard and Diamond Street, and Mission Boulevard and Hornblend Street.   “The cost of the project is approximately $10,000,” Santacroce said. Summer Abu Zahrah, who owns and operates Crown Point Coffee at 3510 Ingraham St., and City Beach Boutique located kitty corner at 3460 Ingraham St., both near the problematic Ingraham Street/La Cima intersection, said safety improvements there are long overdue. “I am always on site and have witnessed a countless number of accidents over the past 13 years,” Abu Zahrah said. “For the last seven years, I, residents, customers and the Pacific Beach Town Council have gathered petition signatures, provided accident reports and photographed car accident damages to help persuade the San Diego Traffic Engineering Department to install a stop sign or pedestrian signal that stops traffic when people are trying to cross at the intersection.” Abu Zahrah noted that, last summer, she began planning a charitable event to help raise money for the installation of the pedestrian cross walk, since it wasn't in the city's budget. “I spoke in depth with the San Diego Traffic Engineering Department, and, at that time, they assured me an event was not necessary, because the city had the six-month projection plan in place to budget for a pedestrian crosswalk. I am so happy that we never gave up on our efforts and our persistence is paying off.” The alternating flashing signal to be installed at Ingraham/La Cima is activated to stop traffic, only when pedestrians cross the street. “This allows residents to safely enjoy the active beach lifestyle we all love and will not disturb the flow of traffic in and out of PB,” said Åbu Zahrah, adding, “This calls for a community celebration. More details on that to follow.” Mission Bay Crown Point is located on the peninsula in the middle of Mission Bay within biking and walking distance of Mission Beach and Pacific Beach. It is a coastal neighborhood for active adults and children with access to parks, beaches and boardwalks. 
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    Mothers and daughters in harmony for charity at MADCAPS show
    by SCOTT HOPKINS
    Feb 03, 2016 | 31492 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Members of MADCAPS rehearse musical numbers for the group's 56th annual music and dance show Thursday through Saturday, March 10 to 12, at Point Loma Nazarene University. Tickets for the popular performances go on sale Feb. 9.
    Members of MADCAPS rehearse musical numbers for the group's 56th annual music and dance show Thursday through Saturday, March 10 to 12, at Point Loma Nazarene University. Tickets for the popular performances go on sale Feb. 9.
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    One of the community's oldest organizations is preparing to stage its annual music and dance review involving a cast of hundreds of local teens. This is the 56th year that MADCAPS (Mothers and Daughters Club Assisting Philanthropies) has entertained audiences while raising funds for charities selected by the young ladies themselves. Months of rehearsals will culminate in "MADCAPS, in Harmony with San Diego," the theme of this year's show, to be staged Thursday through Saturday, March 10 to 12, at Brown Chapel on the campus of Point Loma Nazarene University. Dozens of local young men are also featured in the production. Tickets for the popular show, which features singing, several types of dance and a farewell to graduating members, will go on sale Tuesday, Feb. 9, and range from $5 to $25 each. They can be purchased at sdmadcaps.org. "We are particularly excited about this year's theme," said Kate McKenzie, 2016 benefit communications chair of the group. "It focuses on our local community, where our boots are on the ground making a difference. An exciting new feature of the show is stage appearances by representatives of the philanthropies we support. This year, we are very pleased to welcome San Diego Habitat for Humanity, St. Vincent de Paul and San Diego Therapeutic Recreational Services to say a few words to our patrons." MADCAPS is also supporting an outreach to homeless kids led by PLNU and San Diego First Church by collecting items for kits to be distributed to those in need. Patrons are asked to bring items such as tube socks and small shampoo bottles. Community sponsors this year include Meguiar's Inc., Erin and Jim Schabarum, the Brick Youth Group of Point Loma Community Presbyterian Church and the MADCAPS Class of 2016. MADCAPS is a group of about 180 mothers and their daughters in grades 7 through 12 who live in the Point Loma, Ocean Beach, Mission Hills and Hillcrest areas. They provide direct services and donations to many area charitable organizations. Each year's new class selects charities to assist as they grow, contributing thousands of volunteer hours each year. Since its inception in 1960, the group has raised more than $828,000 in addition to the invaluable volunteer services of its members. All MADCAPS members also volunteer annually at the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk and Autism Speaks. More information is available at the group website above or by contacting McKenzie at (619) 399-9839 or kate.mckenzie@cox.net.
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    El Niño takes a crack at Sunset Cliffs
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Feb 03, 2016 | 1763 views | 1 1 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Large cracks have opened up at Sunset Cliffs near PNLU. Signs at Sunset Cliffs urge visitors to keep off unstable areas of the park. Photo by Jim Grant
    Large cracks have opened up at Sunset Cliffs near PNLU. Signs at Sunset Cliffs urge visitors to keep off unstable areas of the park. Photo by Jim Grant
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    Sunset Cliffs is on (a) crack. So much so that part of the Ocean Beach landform, which developed a sizable split beneath Point Loma Nazarene University during the last storm event, could come tumbling down. Perhaps soon, according to Prof. Pat Abbott. “The crack literally is wide enough to stick your arm in — if you dare,” said Abbott, a San Diego State University geology professor emeritus and author of a bestselling textbook, “Natural Disasters,” published by McGraw-Hill. “It looks to me like the crack is widening.” Noting cliff erosion is a natural process and that one of the forces at work, gravity, is “pulling every minute, every day,” Abbott said it's not a question of whether the cracked cliff section will one day fall but when. “It could happen any day of any year,” he said, asking, “At what instance does gravity win? A lot of times, it is not predictable. If we get a real good rainstorm that gets into that crack and causes it to open up a little bit more, it could put it past the point of no return.” Abbott noted ocean waves constantly pounding the cliffs, and especially high tides during the winter season and storm surges, factor into ongoing erosion of oceanside cliffs. Will there be any advance warning when the university cliff face gives way? “More than likely it will just fall without warning,” Abbott said. “When gravity is tired of pulling, it will be game over.” Sunset Cliffs, which straddles the Ocean Beach and Point Loma areas, is composed of two different landforms, according to Abbott. The geologist described the lower-level rock as “hard sandstone about 76 million years old,” adding, “It's compacted and cemented together.” “That older rock formed about 3,000 feet deep in the ocean is part of the uplift of the Peninsula caused by the Rose Canyon fault system,” Abbott said, adding that the upper, newer level of rock is much more loosely compacted and therefore much more susceptible to erosion. Concerning the potential threat of the cliff below the university falling, Abbott said that is a very real possibility, though he added, “The beach below PLNU is not heavily used, only used by surfers,” whom he said “might be walking under that cliff when it goes,” in which case, he added, “It would be a fatality. There is a fatality every few years.” The geology professor noted that it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to predict when an eroding landform, like the cliff at the university, will finally give way, though he noted the current El Niño may have something to do with that. “We expect some really big storms with big waves the next couple of months,” he said. “So there's a chance we'll have some cliff failures. It's the same every day. The odds may be higher, though, of this occurring during this couple-month period.”
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    JamaZon
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    February 04, 2016
    I'd really like to see where this fault runs on a map! Is it only the cliffs, or is it the whole peninsula that is crumbling?
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