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    Have the Cove's sea lions learned to clean up their mess?
    by MARTIN JONES WESTLIN
    Aug 28, 2015 | 1016 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    La Jolla Cove's sea lions usually win the odor war, but last Friday, we at least won the battle.
    La Jolla Cove's sea lions usually win the odor war, but last Friday, we at least won the battle.
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    Last Friday, I had a lovely lunch (is there any other kind along Prospect Street?), one that saw me arrive uncharacteristically early. Spare time at the Cove is a precious commodity, so I thought I'd car it along the area before girding myself for impalement in the parking hell that is the Village. Neither the beauty of the drive nor the hunt for a space disappointed amid the intensity of each; sadly, the latter is here to stay as surely as the smell of fresh sea lion caca and the flaps from the business owners forced to endure it. But lo. This Friday would hold something different, something we haven't had a chance to talk about for at least 12 years, when I moved to San Diego from Ventura. It's a cinch it was an altogether rare event, but its uncommonness made me (and presumably a lot of others) long for every minute of it, just as we typically pine for the area's legendary weather. The air! It was actually – well – sweet, as in free of the Cove's fabled poop fumes from you-know-what! Totally free! I choked on my own amazement as I drove up and down Coast Boulevard, breathing in the splendor the way Joey Chestnut skarfs hot dogs. This was not La Jolla Cove – this was a breezy interplanetary paradise, bedecked with natives of all persuasions who'd never heard of sea lions, much less experienced the pleasure of their all-out olfactory press. Where was I? And could I stay? One guy at the eatery said the Cove's sea lion count is down this summer, at least to the naked eye. If he's right, that could account for a lot. Sea lions are loopy for anchovies, one of their major delicacies; the enzymes from both join forces in a stinkfest the size of which led to a 2013 lawsuit that cited the City as liable for the aftereffects of the smell. The City won, with Superior Court Judge Tim Taylor ruling earlier this year that it has no duty to control the ill-effects from sea lions and birds, notably cormorants. Fewer sea lions means fewer sources of poo; add last week's cooler weather, and things returned to a semblance of what's supposed to be normal beach life. But these moments are quite few and far between; otherwise, the need for court action and the area merchants' wholesale hues and cries wouldn't necessarily have materialized. Unless the sea lions have learned to clean up after themselves, there's every probability that the smell will return; I just happened to have hit the surface air stream and moderating temps at exactly the right moment (better yet, for at least 90 minutes, the length of my lunch). My companion, who just moved to Encinitas from the East Coast, was unaware of the dilemma out here – she jokingly suggested that we import a make-believe species of shark to dispatch the meddlesome mammals. In a perfect world, that might be a viable solution – but the world isn't perfect, and for all we know, the raging smell may well repel the few sharks that do reside in the Cove. Meanwhile, until my next trip to Effluvium Row, I'll thoroughly warm to the memory of this uncanny and welcome moment. La Jolla Cove without the odor? And the Houston Astros lead their division? Must be the ether.
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    Controlled substances: Natural High is the program of choice as school year is set to begin
    by SANDY LIPPE
    Aug 28, 2015 | 321 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Jon Sundt (center), with wife Kathliene (upper left), daughter Aeriel (right) and son Van (lower left), says administration of his Natural High program costs 12 cents a kid. PHOTO BY NIKI BARRIOS
    Jon Sundt (center), with wife Kathliene (upper left), daughter Aeriel (right) and son Van (lower left), says administration of his Natural High program costs 12 cents a kid. PHOTO BY NIKI BARRIOS
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    Students in La Jolla and University City, along with about 130,000 in the rest of San Diego Unified School District, will hit the bricks running on the first day of school, Tuesday, Sept. 8. La Jolla and UC kids will probably have new notebooks and iPads, new clothes and shoes and new opportunities and challenges in academics and social life. One current challenge for kids involves choosing natural highs instead of drugs, which create a false reality. What's a parent to do? Valerie Rock, a clinical psychologist and parent of two La Jolla Elementary School students, is impressed with a program called Natural High. "The more I learned,” she said, “the more I loved it. Natural High promotes the most relevant of factors in substance abuse prevention, igniting the passion of youth while fostering creativity and self-esteem. The program's tools are highly effective in sending a powerful social message and supporting overall psychological health. Every student could deeply benefit from this program" as the school year and its potential for discovery begins. We all want students to get highs in life that come from healthful choices – no one more than La Jolla resident Jon Sundt, the program's founder, who has been helping kids find their passion without the filters of drugs or alcohol. Sundt lost two brothers to drugs years ago. “In 1988,” he explained, “my little brother Steven died of a cocaine overdose. He left behind a beautiful 5-year-old daughter and loving family. Six years later, Eric, my other younger brother, committed suicide after a decade of severe depression. Doctors said depression and his subsequent death were linked to long-term drug use that began in middle school." In 1994, Natural High (formerly Sundt Memorial Foundation) kicked off its national program with a few assemblies and a slide projector. Kids were taught that finding their passion and doing what they love produces an authentic high; moreover, they learned, saying yes to healthful choices also makes it easier to say no to drugs. More than 8 million youth have gotten the Natural High message in 20,000 classrooms across the country in the last 20 years. Locally, Natural High representatives have visited The Bishop's, Muirlands Middle, Bird Rock Elementary and La Jolla Country Day schools. Department of Justice teen drug statistics show that 83.9 percent of students say it is easy to obtain marijuana. Twenty-five percent of students in high school have reported they were offered drugs on school property. Drug overdose is one of the leading causes of death among young people, and one in three families wrestles with drug-based problems. Meanwhile, in the last four years, peer-to-peer growth amid Natural High's programs has reportedly been warmly received by teens and tweens. "We give this program away for free and are funded by grants from organizations," said Sundt, the program's largest donor. The cost, he added, is 12 cents a kid. Other efforts, he said, just don't cut it. “Think weight loss," Sundt said. "Just say no to butter. It doesn't work. After speaking with education and addiction experts, we decided to start Natural High because we knew we could make a lasting change in lives of youth. “We use good science and tools of marketing. It's common sense. Show kids super kids who don't engage in drugs and alcohol. Stories by the right messengers do change lives. “Promote character development. Kids involved in meaningful activities are much more resilient and much less likely to use drugs. It could be sports, drama, church, art." John Lee Evans, a psychologist and a San Diego Unified Board of Education member, concurs. “As a psychologist and school board member,” Evans said, “I have seen the devastation of drugs on young people's lives. Heroin use is going up in our community, but parents and kids need to be informed about the effects of all drugs, including alcohol. It's not enough to to say 'Don't do drugs.' Evans is also impressed with a particular Natural High strategy – getting celebrities to talk about alternative means to feel good. Popular skateboarder and Carlsbad native Tony Hawk came on board the program in 2004 and made a video, “Natural High 2,” with several other young athletes. Bethany Hamilton, a surfing pro and the victim of a shark attack that took her arm but not her passion for surfing, shared her story in a Natural High video. "I've seen people start with weed,” she said, “and they become like a slave to it, and you see them lose their drive in life.” Video interviews, Sundt explained, are paired with worksheets and discussion guides for educators to spark meaningful conversations with students about goals, values, role models and support networks and natural highs – meanwhile, he said, age is no respecter of persons. During an address to a La Jolla sixth-grade class, he explained, one mother expressed her surprise at Sundt's efforts in a class so young. He told the class that he knew they were too smart to do drugs, but he asked them if they knew someone close who does drugs or uses alcohol. 80 percent of the kids' hands reportedly shot up. Sundt's response was 15 seconds of silent eye contact with the mom. "Our overarching message,” Sundt said, “is that life is great. While we are not a magic bullet, you can be cool and never do drugs. You can have something that makes you special.” On Saturday, Sept. 12, Hawk, Natural High's celebrity ambassador for 2015, will appear at a Natural High fundraiser program at the Omni La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad. A cocktail reception and dinner, an auction, dancing and dessert are planned. For ticket information and more on Natural High, go to naturalhigh.org and naturalhigh.org/gala.
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    Adventures with Helene: Nourish your spirit at Trilogy Sanctuary
    by HELENE GERASIMCHUK
    Aug 27, 2015 | 3487 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Aerial silk yoga at Trilogy Sanctuary.
    Aerial silk yoga at Trilogy Sanctuary.
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    Amber Stadler assumes a lofty perch on Helene Gerasimchuk's shoulders at Trilogy Sanctuary's first birthday party. / Photo by Joshua Armstrong
    Amber Stadler assumes a lofty perch on Helene Gerasimchuk's shoulders at Trilogy Sanctuary's first birthday party. / Photo by Joshua Armstrong
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    Leila Dora, co-owner of Trilogy Sanctuary café, breaks out in a fire performance as part of a yoga regimen that strikes fear in the hearts of mortal men. / Photo by Joshua Armstrong
    Leila Dora, co-owner of Trilogy Sanctuary café, breaks out in a fire performance as part of a yoga regimen that strikes fear in the hearts of mortal men. / Photo by Joshua Armstrong
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    Trilogy Sanctuary is a beautiful rooftop café that offers an organic, vegan, gluten-free menu, a variety of yoga classes and services to nourish the spirit. I first heard of Trilogy from a friend of mine who invited me to a monthly open mic night. People of all ages gather to share their talents ranging from song and guitar to poetry, art, interpretive dance, comedy and much more. The moment I got off the elevator and stepped into this warm space, I was welcomed by the feel of community and an open atmosphere. I skipped over to the café, which offers super smoothies, amazing acai bowls and incredible entrée options. After ordering the chocoholic acai bowl, I found a spot on the ground near the small stage where the performances had already begun. My night was filled with laughter, amazement and thought-provoking reflection. Open mic night is just one of many events that go on at Trilogy Sanctuary, all of which are posted on the website (trilogysanctuary.com). Trilogy also offers a range of unique indoor and outdoor yoga classes, including aerial yoga. This style of yoga uses hammocks to deepen stretches and releases tension in the body that traditional yoga can’t accomplish on its own. Aerial yoga is a playful variation to switch up your typical practice. Owners Leila Dora and Joe Caldera recently celebrated Trilogy Sanctuary’s one-year birthday. Their magical creation continues to be a cherished space for likeminded people in this loving community and the perfect place to enjoy a nourishing meal or open your mind through a different style of yoga. Trilogy Sanctuary Where: 7650 Girard Ave. suite 400, La Jolla. Cafe hours: Mondays to Fridays 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Info: trilogysanctuary.com
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    City releases initial new regulations for short-term vacation rentals
    by By LISA HALVERSTADT - Voice of San Diego
    Aug 26, 2015 | 5253 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Signs like this one are posted throughout Crown Point and Pacific Beach. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Signs like this one are posted throughout Crown Point and Pacific Beach. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Short-term vacation rentals may soon be legal – and regulated – in San Diego. City staffers released a memo on Aug. 12 that lays out a potential framework for traditional vacation rentals and for those that have proliferated through sites like Airbnb and VRBO, which connect hosts and visitors. A proposed ordinance drafted by the city's Development Services Department would allow up to two paying visitors to stay in a room within a home and full-home rental stays of fewer than 30 days. Hosts who book more than two visitors or multiple rooms at a time would be considered bed and breakfast operators, which would come with more requirements. Renting entire space The draft proposes these be generally allowed for less than a month in most residential areas. Hosts would be required to share and enforce a rental agreement with visitors and designate a local contact to respond within an hour of any complaints about bad behavior at the property. City leaders will have to hash out how many guests and visits are allowed per month. Home sharing The property owner is required to remain in the home while the visitor stays for fewer than 30 days. No more than two lodgers are allowed, and an arrangement is allowed for only one room or with one party. At least one parking space must be provided. City leaders will decide how often visits are allowed. Bed and breakfasts Homeowners who host more than two visitors or coordinate more than two stays at once would be classified as bed and breakfast operators. This label wouldn’t necessarily mean meals are provided but would require that the property owner to stick around during the visit. Depending on where the home is located, operators could need to get a neighborhood use permit or a conditional use permit, which can take more than a year to obtain. These hosts would also need to have a parking space for the operator and additional spaces for the guest rooms. There are additional regulations and parking requirements depending on the zone the home is in. Still, the rules probably don’t quell some bitter disagreements over the issues that have flared during months of public hearings, heated debates and even legal threats. Bob Vacchi, the city’s Development Services director, said the tension put pressure on the city. “It’s been extremely difficult for us to put (the draft rules) together because there’s really no consensus,” Vacchi added. Even with the draft ordinance, the city remains a house divided on short-term rentals. While the city’s collecting bed taxes from short-term rentals, a Burlingame woman last week was saddled with a nearly $25,000 fine for operating what city staffers referred to as a bed and breakfast out of her historic craftsman home. The 70-year-old says she simply hosted visitors through Airbnb and didn’t operate a commercial enterprise. The citation followed months of confusion about the rules – or lack thereof – for vacation rental hosts to follow and city demands that they pay bed taxes long imposed on hoteliers. Those disagreements also contributed to foot-dragging by the city. City Councilwoman Lorie Zapf, who represents beach communities, called an April City Council subcommittee hearing on short-term rental issues. The gathering was so packed the committee held a second meeting on May 29. That day, members of the smart growth and land use committee – which Zapf chairs – asked city staffers to work on an ordinance. The initial draft was finished by early July and shared with City Council members, according to emails obtained by Voice of San Diego. But the emails indicate the mayor’s office delayed the release when it discovered continued infighting over some of the specifics. Brian Pepin, Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s director of council affairs, wrote in a July 10 email that the mayor’s office had met with some City Council members to get their take on the measure and found continued disagreement over the number of rentals allowed per month or year. “Unfortunately, the councilmembers were unable to reach consensus on the appropriate frequency to move forward with,” Pepin wrote in an email to a Development Services staffer who worked on the draft ordinance. “The result of the meeting was to request that you return to the smart growth committee at its next possible meeting in order to get clear direction on frequency.” The next subcommittee meeting isn’t until Sept. 23. There were other issues, too. At the May 29 meeting and in other settings, City Council members have disagreed on the number of visitors that should be allowed in a full-home vacation rental. They also haven’t given clear consensus on whether hosts should be allowed to rent granny flats, or other spaces on residential lots, on a short-term basis. Officials say conflicts delayed at least one other discussion on the issue. Joe LaCava chairs the citywide Community Planners Committee, a group that had been set to review the draft short-term rental ordinance at its July meeting. He said he was told the draft rules would be released June 30 and cleared his group’s July agenda to allow for a heated debate. That didn’t happen. “I heard those regulations were being held back by the mayor’s office,” LaCava said. He was surprised when the proposed regulations weren’t released in the weeks afterward, either. “Everybody knows there’s draft language just sitting out there. Everybody’s just waiting for that draft language to drop and then start the conversation,” LaCava said Aug. 12, before the memo was released. “I think everybody’s just sort of in a waiting period right now.” Vacchi said the delays were a result of a lack of consensus among councilmembers, not any intention by the mayor’s office to delay the discussion. A mayor’s office spokesman couldn’t immediately comment. That debate appears likely to pick up again soon, shortly after an administrative law judge decided the Burlingame Airbnb host should be sanctioned. Amanda Lee, the Development Services manager who drafted the proposed rules, said Zapf’s office will decide next steps for the ordinance. Lisa Halverstadt is a reporter at Voice of San Diego. Know of something she should check out? You can contact her directly at lisa@vosd.org or (619) 325-0528.
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    Beholder makes history at Pacific Classic
    by THOMAS MELVILLE
    Aug 25, 2015 | 5085 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Beholder, with Gary Stevens on board, breezes down the stretch to win the TVG Pacific Classic by 8 1/4 lengths. Check out the video screen behind them to see just how far in front she finished ahead of the field. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Beholder, with Gary Stevens on board, breezes down the stretch to win the TVG Pacific Classic by 8 1/4 lengths. Check out the video screen behind them to see just how far in front she finished ahead of the field. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Beholder and Gary Stevens head to the winner's circle. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Beholder and Gary Stevens head to the winner's circle. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens receives congratulations after riding Beholder to victory in the TVG Pacific Classic. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens receives congratulations after riding Beholder to victory in the TVG Pacific Classic. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Beholder and Gary Stevens head through the tunnel from the paddock to the track. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Beholder and Gary Stevens head through the tunnel from the paddock to the track. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Gary Stevens on Beholder as they leave the paddock area. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Gary Stevens on Beholder as they leave the paddock area. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    When Gary Stevens trotted Beholder over to the winner's circle a few minutes after taking the TVG Pacific Classic, he was told to take another turn in front of the crowded grandstand as track officials needed a moment to set up. “No problem,” said the Hall of Fame jockey, who then smiled and added, “She's certainly not tired, that's for sure.” Minutes before, Beholder became the first female to win Del Mar Racetrack’s signature race of the summer season in a performance that brought a deafening roar from the overflow of spectators as she breezed down the stretch to win by a remarkable 8 1/4 lengths just as the sun peaked through the clouds on Saturday evening. Without being asked by Stevens, the 5-year-old mare smoothly moved to the front on the far turn, split the pacemakers Bayern and Midnight Storm in a matter of several strides and opened a commanding lead entering the stretch. Under no pressure from her rider, Beholder widened on her nine male rivals and left them in the distance. “She was just going so easy,” Stevens said. “We went by Bayern like he was tired. Then when we straightened away I pushed the button and she went on with it. I’ve never felt anything like that on a racetrack before.” It was the second largest winning margin in the 25-year history of the race, exceeded only by Game On Dude in 2013. Catch a Flight, stablemate of Beholder from the barn of Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella, put in a solid late run under Flavien Prat, but finished a far second. “The filly – she’s just too much,” said Prat. Third went to Red Vine who was ridden by Joel Rosario. Fourth was Hoppertunity, followed by Imperative, Hard Aces, Class Leader, Bailoutbobby, Bayern and Midnight Storm. Beholder, a two-time Eclipse Award champion and a daughter of Henny Hughes, was scoring her 14th win in 19 starts and ninth in her last ten races. Earlier this season, she won the Clement L. Hirsch Stakes. First place money of $600,000 on Saturday increased her career earnings to $4.25 million. Her time for the mile and one-quarter race was a fast 1:59.77. “She is the first horse that makes me feel lucky to be the owner,” said B. Wayne Hughes. “I’ve never had that feeling before.” Beholder was the fifth female Thoroughbred to run in the Pacific Classic, preceded by Paseana, fifth in 1992; Island Fashion, ninth in 2005; Amani, sixth in 2012, and Byrama, seventh in 2013. For Mandella, Beholder provided his fourth win in the Pacific Classic. He won memorably in l996 with Dare And Go who upset Cigar, in 1997 with Gentlemen when he also saddled the place horse, Siphon, and Pleasantly Perfect in 2004. The stakes win was the fourth of the meeting for rider Stevens and his third in the Pacific Classic. He now has 86 stakes wins at Del Mar, seventh most of all time. Already having earned a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Keeneland race course in Lexington, Ky., Oct. 31, Beholder also clinched a place in the Breeders’ Cup Classic should her connections choose so. The Pacific Classic was part of the Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge Series, which guarantees an expenses-paid berth in the mile and one-quarter contest.
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    News
    Cove lifeguard station work delayed a third time
    Lifeguards have to wait a little longer to move into a new $1.85 million station at La Jolla Cove, as the project has been delayed yet again. The City of San Diego Public Works Department said the ...
    Aug 28, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend
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    Sports
    La Jolla surfer wins leg of Revolt Summer Series
    Jacob Mario Szekely of La Jolla won the Men's Pro Am leg of the ninth annual Revolt Summer Surf Series at Ocean Beach on Aug. 15. More than 130 surfers from Peru, Venezuela, South Africa and the Un...
    Aug 19, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
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    Opinion
    Have the Cove's sea lions learned to clean up their mess?
    I had a lovely lunch (is there any other kind along Prospect Street?) last Friday, one that saw me arrive uncharacteristically early. Spare time at the Cove is a precious commodity, so I thought I'...
    Aug 22, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
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    Arts & Entertainment
    Music calendar: Too much fun
    Tuesday, August 25 Juan Morro, flamenco, 5 p.m., The Turquoise Mikan Zlatkovich Trio, piano jazz, 6 p.m., Eddie V’s Grupo Global, jazz and world music, 7 p.m., The Turquoise Wednesday, August 26 Ta...
    Aug 25, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend
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    Business
    Coastal Commission rejects Harbor Island hotel plan
    A push to create more inexpensive hotel rooms along the state’s coastline has led the California Coastal Commission today to reject a $30 million, 175-room hotel project planned for Harbor Island i...
    Aug 17, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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    Obituaries
    Charles (Chuck) D. Cromar – 12-time world champion of Over The Line
    Charles Douglas Cromar, (Chuck), was a life-long resident of Pacific Beach, San Diego, Calif. He was born in La Jolla on Sept. 11, 1955 to Charles and Hannah Cromar, Scottish immigrants, who came t...
    Aug 19, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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