Sdnews rss feed
    Adventures with Helene: Travel tips for backpacking on a budget
    by HELENE GERASIMCHUK
    Aug 18, 2016 | 40225 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Helene backpacking on Makalawena Beach, Big Island Hawai'i.
    Helene backpacking on Makalawena Beach, Big Island Hawai'i.
    slideshow
    Helene finding a backpack at REI in San Diego.
    Helene finding a backpack at REI in San Diego.
    slideshow
    Hitchhiking in Pahoa, Big Island Hawai'i.
    Hitchhiking in Pahoa, Big Island Hawai'i.
    slideshow
    Backpacking is an amazing option for the budget-conscious traveler. After backpacking through Hawaii, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand, I picked up on some travel tips that may help you prepare for your next adventure. There is a level of awe and wonder that comes with traveling to an unknown place. The more calculated and comfortable you feel in your day to day life, the more I encourage you to get out of your usual routine and take a trip somewhere random. 1) Make general plans but stay open to other possibilities. The best way to strike down opportunities for miraculous connections is by over-planning your trip. Tourist attractions are popular for a reason and some sites are admittedly must-sees, but there’s nothing like striking up conversation with a traveler or local who leads you to a secret epic spot. 2) Get familiar with plane ticket patterns. In general, ticket prices depend on the season demand. Try out skyscanner.com to get full coverage when comparing flights. Keep an open mind about travel routes, consider less popular airports, and use different modes of transportation. Also, rome2rio.com is a great resource to get you from A to B using buses, trains, and planes. The more open you and your timeline are, the more you open yourself up to the uncertainty of what you’ll do next. This is undoubtedly one of the biggest joys in traveling, which we often times lose in everyday life. Keep in mind that once you are on another continent, local flights become much cheaper. Flights within Southeast Asia start from $20 USD! In my experience, booking flights one week in advance gave me the perfect balance of keeping my travel route unpredictable while getting real-time suggestions from fellow travelers and following wherever life led me. 3) Pack efficiently. When your backpack becomes your temporary home, investing in a solid pack is essential. Understanding climate helps tremendously with planning. Online lists are the perfect resource to inform you on the must-haves depending on the nature of your trip. You will quickly become very conscious of what to bring when you consider that every item is extra weight you will carry. Opt for the headlamp over another outfit! 4) Consider cheap accommodation. Depending on the style of your trip, camping may be the perfect option. Many places offer permit-camping for a low rate. Make sure to prepare accordingly from padding to tents, hammocks, tarps, and all the gear in between. Couchsurfing.com is a common social experience in many countries, where hosts offer up short-term stays in their homes to fellow travelers. Hostels are also great options for short or long-term stays, with shared rooms and breakfast often included. Download the Hostelworld app to compare nearby options. Look into local options, as many countries in Southeast Asia offer homestays at an inexpensive rate. 5) Walk and talk! We are used to getting places quickly, but backpacking gives us a chance to slow down and experience. See where the streets take you, and chat with locals or fellow travelers. You never know where a seemingly wrong turn could lead you! 6) Link up with a travel buddy. While traveling alone is a huge opportunity for independence and growth, you can save a lot of money when you travel with another person. Split costs for housing, food, and activities. 7) Eat like the locals. Fresh markets and local vendors are a prime chance for you to experience local culture, and they are typically cheaper options than eating out at restaurants. If you have any additional questions on Backpacking on a Budget, feel free to email me at healthcoachhelene@gmail.com. Happy adventuring! Helene Gerasimchuk backpacked through seven countries in 10 months on a tight budget following her intuition over an itinerary. She is embracing life in Pacific Beach while she anticipates her next adventure. Contact her at healthcoachhelene@gmail.com for questions or inquiries.
    Comments
    (0)
    Comments-icon Post a Comment
    No Comments Yet
    Locally-owned bike rental shops affected by DecoBike
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Aug 17, 2016 | 2329 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    A DecoBike station on the boardwalk in Pacific Beach near Crystal Pier. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    A DecoBike station on the boardwalk in Pacific Beach near Crystal Pier. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    slideshow
    Bike rental shops in Pacific and Mission beaches say their business has unquestionably been hurt by competition from Florida-based DecoBike, which operates bike share stations citywide, including two controversial ones on Pacific Beach's boardwalk. Matt Gardner, longtime owner of four rental outlets, Cheap Rentals and Mission Beach Rentals at Belmont in Mission Beach, claims he's lost $60,000 in sales over the past year due to DecoBike competition. “That's a big hit to take,” Gardner said. “We never had a loss in (rental) numbers ever from the previous year until DecoBike came in.” Jake Russell, whose family has owned Surf Monkey, at 853 Grand Ave., for generations, pointed out “it's difficult to break out” the actual numbers on just how much his business is down from bike share competition. But he added, “Obviously, we've been impacted.” Russell noted a nearby bike share station, located across Grand a few hundred yards up the street from Surf Monkey, “gets very little play” from customers, mostly tourists who Russell claims, “couldn't find my store.” DecoBike signed a 10-year contract with the city of San Diego and spent $8 million setting up bike share infrastructure citywide. After more than a year of delays, DecoBike opened its first rental stations in January 2015. And the attitude of many beach residents toward the bike share company has not been positive. “I am adamantly opposed to the DecoBike corporation putting their monstrous kiosks on the boardwalk,” said Jennifer Tandy, a community activist and former honorary PB mayor. “All Pacific Beach and Mission Beach groups vehemently oppose the kiosks on the boardwalk, as it is in direct unfair competition with the established local bike-rental businesses, obstructs disabled and general-public access, blocks the stunning views and does not benefit the community of PB at all.” Melinda Pederson, administrative manger for DecoBike San Diego, has defended the company's bike share locations, including the two existing ones on the PB boardwalk. “Ridership revenue and advertising/sponsorship revenue are the only sources of income for the bike share,” Pederson said. “For this reason, it's very important that we have visible stations in desirable locations that generate high ridership. “We do have quite a bit of local ridership,” Pederson continued. “Most riders, both visitors and locals, use the bike share for short trips purchased at the station.” Both beach bike-rental owners Russell and Gardner concur in the view that bike share, though it may be intended to be the final leg of a mass-transit commute back and forth to work, remains primarily a recreational indulgence for tourists. “The county grand jury's report says 77 percent of DecoBike's ride sharing is for recreational use,” said Gardner. “The city of San Diego has no business renting bikes on a recreational basis that compete with local bike shops.” Gardner added that bike-rental mom and pops, like many other beach-oriented businesses, are geared toward tourists and the prime summer season. “We make about 40 percent of our income from June through August,” he said. Russell takes the argument even further claiming DecoBike's business model “is an utter failure.” Beyond that, Russell said, “What really grinds me is their top-down, not bottom-up business model,” wherein the city comes in and “tells you (business) this is what you have to do — whether it works or not.” “They're trying to put me out of business,” claimed Russell, adding, “So what we (rental owners) need to do is organize and get the word out” about DecoBike's ongoing expansion plans citywide. “I think DecoBike's business model is flawed and going to fail on its own,” concluded Russell, noting bike rentals “are an industry in PB.” “We (Surf Monkey) have more than 50 employees operating on leased, taxable property,” Russell said. “We probably do more business here in PB than DecoBike does throughout the entire city.” Gardner pointed out something's got to give soon on the DecoBike vs. local bike rental issue. “It was a bait-and-switch tactic that the city fell for believing that bike share was good for our green economy,” said Gardner. “Meanwhile, I'm losing money and my businesses are hurting.” Gardner warned that, “If the city continues to turn a blind eye to this, then we (rental owners) may be forced to do a class-action lawsuit. We all have grounds for it against the city.”
    Comments
    (0)
    Comments-icon Post a Comment
    No Comments Yet
    What’s with the wall on Pacific Beach Drive?
    Aug 15, 2016 | 3794 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    The proximity of the Multiple Habitat Planning Area requires the City (by law) to install a temporary 12-foot-high sound wall prior to performing any construction near habitat for noise-sensitive, legally-protected birds during their breeding seasons. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    The proximity of the Multiple Habitat Planning Area requires the City (by law) to install a temporary 12-foot-high sound wall prior to performing any construction near habitat for noise-sensitive, legally-protected birds during their breeding seasons. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    slideshow
    A Capital Improvements Program, called Pacific Beach Drive Sidewalk Improvements Project, which is taking take place on Pacific Beach Drive between Crown Point Drive and Olney Street, will widen the south side of Pacific Beach Drive and will include the installation of asphalt paving, curb and gutter, sidewalk, accessible curb ramps and the striping of a bike lane adjacent to the curb side parking. There is currently no bike lane striped on this section of Pacific Beach Drive. The proximity of the Multiple Habitat Planning Area requires the City (by law) to install a temporary 12-foot-high sound wall prior to performing any construction near habitat for noise-sensitive, legally-protected birds during their breeding seasons. In addition, the City is required to hire a biological and noise monitor to ensure noise levels stay within the allowable thresholds and do not cause birds to alter their nesting behaviors. The wall will be removed once the project is finished, or at the end of the breeding season, in this case Sept. 30, whichever comes first. This contract includes 75 working days (including sound wall installation). The City notified the PB Planning Group as well as the residents within 300 feet of the project before they started construction.
    Comments
    (0)
    Comments-icon Post a Comment
    No Comments Yet
    Homeless expert: ‘Understanding, resources and leadership is needed’
    by LAINIE FRASER
    Aug 11, 2016 | 10410 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    A passed-out homeless man sleeps in the dirt of a restaurant’s landscaping at the intersection of Garnet Avenue and Mission Boulevard in Pacific Beach. / PHOTO BY THOMAS MELVILLE
    A passed-out homeless man sleeps in the dirt of a restaurant’s landscaping at the intersection of Garnet Avenue and Mission Boulevard in Pacific Beach. / PHOTO BY THOMAS MELVILLE
    slideshow
    Michael McConnell, a San Diego business owner and long-time philanthropist, is determined to solve homelessness in San Diego. The founder of the Facebook page Homelessness News San Diego says, the city is full of different kinds of homelessness and the solution lies in leadership and the community. McConnell has been a businessman for more than 35 years and was the vice president of the board of directors for the Regional Task Force on Homelessness for nearly two years. The Regional Task Force on Homelessness is a nonprofit that provides data and analysis to communities that will allow them to identify and alleviate issues within their homeless communities. In 2014, McConnell became a San Diego affiliate member for Funders Together to End Homelessness, which is the only national network of philanthropists working to strategically develop solutions for homelessness. The Beach & Bay Press spoke with McConnell about homelessness in the beach communities. BBP: Where does your passion to end homelessness in San Diego come from? MM: I am a long-time San Diego business owner. I did that for more than 35 years and I decided I wanted to do something different so I chose to help the homeless. I had a brother who was mentally ill and while he was never really homeless he struggled, and I see my brother in the people who are sick and on the streets. This helps me understand them and understand that they don’t want to be there. So my brother was a big factor for me but the big big factor is the beautiful ripple effect that solving homelessness has on a community. The effect on businesses, on tourism and on housing. As “America’s Finest City,” we need to be treating all of our citizens, both those on and off the streets, like they deserve, especially in “America’s Finest City.” BBP: Do the kinds of people who are homeless vary depending on where they settle? MM: The beaches are home to a lot more young people. Definitely more young people, both unaccompanied minors and those in the transitioning age and a few older. I definitely don’t see a lot of families along the beach that’s for sure. There are definitely fewer services, which creates a different dynamic than other places in the city. People say there are so many homeless downtown because the services and agencies are down there and they are, but that just isn’t the case for the beaches. There are a lot less agencies, housing options and shelters in the beach communities. Because of this lack of services, a lot of these people became homeless in the beach communities, or they just want to remain close to the coast for one reason or another. This is totally different from say homeless in downtown. BBP: Do you know of any initiatives, programs or agencies that work to specifically help the beach communities and/or the homeless youth? MM: A great agency helping the situation in a beach community is the Pacific Beach Homeless Coalition. They have a Facebook page you should definitely look at and they have meetings. I went to one and there they offer services like meal sharing and laundry programs. Ocean Beach has always been a hotspot for the homeless, and I’m not sure about the agencies at work there, but I know the churches out there do their part. There is also San Diego Youth Services. They do great street outreach. BBP: How is homelessness in communities across San Diego being addressed? MM: There is something called the Regional Continuum of Care or the RCC as I’ll refer to it. It is designed to promote community-wide commitment to end homelessness. It is part of a regional response to homelessness. Communities get funds to assist this regional response. This money is then put into initiatives. BBP: Have you seen other cities deal with homelessness successfully or use models that you think we should follow here in San Diego? MM: Yes, definitely in central Orlando, Fla. They have made dramatic progress. Houston as well. Philadelphia is another place with dramatic progress. They created additions to their resources rather than just displacing the homeless there. They added more outreach people and put out more beds. It was about increasing the available resources for them not about displacing these people. But Orlando did great work, so did Houston. BBP: What are the different initiatives, projects and programs you know about in San Diego, and in your opinion, how successful are they? MM: For veterans, who in large part settle in areas like downtown, the Opening Doors Committee is a federal initiative trying to end veteran homelessness. The Opening Doors Committee has big goals but have put in great effort recently. Housing for Heroes is another that deals with the landlords and others involved in placing homeless veterans directly into housing. These provide assistance to the regional effort of ending homelessness throughout the county. Project One for All is a great initiative working for people who have serious mental illnesses across San Diego County. The goal is to provide 24-hour access to necessary services. They have already placed more than 1,250 people with a housing agency and instilling a systematic placement process. There is an assessment done to determine what kind of housing someone needs and where they should be placed. The issue is that people tend to get into multiple programs and on multiple waitlists in an attempt to get help, but this creates a duplication of services. One for All helps coordinate the assessments and is overseen by the Continuance of Care to match the homeless with the right services and care. This streamlines the duplication of work and services. This helps more people more effectively while using the same amount of money. There is a shift happening from an older ineffective and inefficient method. The shift puts housing first and services second, and this is a major transformation and a big funding shift. BBP: Where do you think the city is going wrong, why are these initiatives not making the progress they want to be? MM: I am an advocate for these programs but the city is working against the good things that are being done. Their actions are driven by downtown businesses and residents and is even seen in Hillcrest where they hired security. The city and the communities are anti-homeless. This is seen in the rocks downtown, which were not installed for safety or design, the constant sweeps and the increase in encroachment tickets. This is all making it harder for the initiatives to take effect and work. This creates instability and tension for people who are very vulnerable and unstable and I am not blaming the police for this, but they are the face of it. They are criminalizing the homeless. These encroachment tickets are out of control and create criminal records and it’s so much harder to house a criminal and all of this is very costly for the city. BBP: Do you feel the way homelessness was addressed surrounding the All-Star Game and Comic-Con was displacement rather than developing resources? MM: The thing is, especially during these events, the homeless do not want to be in your way. They don’t want to be a bother. They are on the street because there is no where else for them to be and they are on the streets downtown because it is close to many of their services. We should have invested in resources is what we should have done. We do not need to hide these people but help them. BBP: What do you think are San Diego’s next steps? MM: It is all about the leadership. We have a mayor who won’t step up, he is holding us back here. He has put this on the police, and yes, the law enforcement need to be involved. There are criminals everywhere but they are not sleeping on the street. We have criminalized homelessness and it is a waste of money when there are real crimes occurring elsewhere. If these are homeless in downtown, Hillcrest, or the beach, the solutions are the same. The solutions for the beach communities remain the same as elsewhere in the city. We need to get a better understanding of the youth in the community and that can help us understand homelessness along the coast. Across the country there needs to be a push to solving youth homelessness. BBP: What are your thoughts on the recent violence and action taken against the homeless community? MM: Criminals are preying on the homeless. Some are other homeless and some are just criminals preying on the homeless. The mayor is all about climate change, he’s going to solve the climate crisis. If the mayor would tackle this like he wants to tackle climate change, we would make changes. Really, I mean, I have news for him, homelessness is easier to solve than climate change. Other cities have learned this and he should learn from them. BBP: What would you like to see the mayor do? MM: We need to rally the faith community and the businesses and the people. We have to get in the sandbox together, but we also have to go in the right direction.
    Comments
    (0)
    Comments-icon Post a Comment
    No Comments Yet
    La Jolla wins annual Ron Trenton Memorial Lifeguard Relays
    Aug 04, 2016 | 57464 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    The Northern District, made up of lifeguards from the La Jolla beaches, celebrates winning the 63rd Annual Ron Trenton Memorial Lifeguard Relays in Ocean Beach on Wednesday, Aug. 4. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    The Northern District, made up of lifeguards from the La Jolla beaches, celebrates winning the 63rd Annual Ron Trenton Memorial Lifeguard Relays in Ocean Beach on Wednesday, Aug. 4. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    slideshow
    A member of the Boating Safety Unit, which includes Mission Bay lifeguards, races through the surf during the 63rd Annual Ron Trenton Memorial Lifeguard Relays in Ocean Beach on Wednesday, Aug. 4. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    A member of the Boating Safety Unit, which includes Mission Bay lifeguards, races through the surf during the 63rd Annual Ron Trenton Memorial Lifeguard Relays in Ocean Beach on Wednesday, Aug. 4. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    slideshow
    Members of the Southern District, which includes Ocean Beach lifeguards, cheer on their teammates during the 63rd Annual Ron Trenton Memorial Lifeguard Relays in Ocean Beach on Wednesday, Aug. 4. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Members of the Southern District, which includes Ocean Beach lifeguards, cheer on their teammates during the 63rd Annual Ron Trenton Memorial Lifeguard Relays in Ocean Beach on Wednesday, Aug. 4. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    slideshow
    San Diego Lifeguards exhibited their rescue skills at a spirited competition in Ocean Beach on Wednesday, Aug. 4 and the Northern District came out on top – and more importantly – won bragging rights for the next 12 months. The Lifeguard Service is divided into four geographic districts: the Southern District is Ocean Beach; the Central District is comprised of Mission and Pacific Beaches; the Northern District is made up of the La Jolla beaches; and the Boating Safety Unit, including Mission Bay, is considered the fourth District. The Lifeguard Relays are a competition between the four districts within the San Diego Lifeguard Service and include a variety of events which demonstrate the different rescue techniques used in ocean rescue such as running, swimming, paddle boarding and landline rescue. The lifeguard relays serve three general purposes: - Motivation for lifeguards to fine tune their rescue skills and athleticism; - Camaraderie among lifeguards; and - An opportunity to showcase rescue techniques to the public. The relays are named in honor of lifeguard and longtime Northern District team captain, Ronald B. Trenton. Ron was lost at sea while piloting his private plane from Catalina Island to San Diego in 1997.
    Comments
    (0)
    Comments-icon Post a Comment
    No Comments Yet
    News
    Beloved pet killed by hit-and-run driver highlights speeding problem in Pacific Beach
    It's a tragic story that's served to bring Pacific Beach neighbors – and hopefully – their neighborhood, together. Letty Oudone on Aug. 4 had let her dog out for a potty break in her driveway befor...
    Aug 24, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
    full story
    Sports
    Mission Bay High football ready for home opener
    If you are Mission Bay High head football coach Willie Matson, you have to like where the football program is headed. In his 11th season with the Bucs, Matson and his team are coming off a 10-3 cam...
    Aug 23, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend
    full story
    Opinion
    Letter: Pacific Beach homelessness ‘expert’ missed some services
    The article in the latest Beach & Bay Press on homeless (Homeless expert: ‘Understanding, resources and leadership is needed’) lacks depth in many ways. While we appreciate the Beach & Bay Press br...
    Aug 15, 2016 | 1 1 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend
    full story
    Arts & Entertainment
    Stone Horse to rock Winston’s with CD release show
    La Jolla High School has contributed much to the music world, with members of such acclaimed bands as Ratt, The Beat Farmers and Rilo Kiley, as well soloists such as Alison Brown, amongst its alumn...
    Aug 17, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend
    full story
    Business
    Pacific Beach couple’s innovative flytrap out on store shelves soon
    Thanks to an enterprising Pacific Beach couple, a better household flytrap may be on a store shelf near you soon. Dennis and Joylyn Darnell have spent two years developing and marketing a new produ...
    Aug 24, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend
    full story
    Obituaries
    Longtime La Jolla REBA executive director Anna Galloway dies at 89
    Anna Galloway, the executive director and manager of the La Jolla Real Estate Brokers’ Association for decades beginning in 1968, and who retired in 2011 at the age of 89, died Sunday, July 10, at ...
    Jul 29, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend
    full story
    Current Issues(Archives)
    The Peninsula Beacon, August 18th, 2016
    download The Peninsula Beacon, August 18th, 2016
    The Peninsula Beacon, August 18th, 2016
    La Jolla Village News, August 12th, 2016
    download La Jolla Village News, August 12th, 2016
    La Jolla Village News, August 12th, 2016
    Beach & Bay Press, August 11th, 2016
    download Beach & Bay Press, August 11th, 2016
    Beach & Bay Press, August 11th, 2016
    Readers Choice Award Point Loma 2016
    download Readers Choice Award Point Loma 2016
    Readers Choice Award Point Loma 2016
    Featured Events (see all events)