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    A prince, princess and celebs walk the red carpet at annual La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival
    by DIANA CAVAGNARO
    Jul 31, 2015 | 6597 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Sarah Saleh, Gene Chang, Princess Leith Eaton De-Grimaldi and Tatiana Campos Slepova pose on the red carpet. 
                                                 								                              PHOTO BY DIANA CAVAGNARO
    Sarah Saleh, Gene Chang, Princess Leith Eaton De-Grimaldi and Tatiana Campos Slepova pose on the red carpet. PHOTO BY DIANA CAVAGNARO
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    The sixth annual La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival burst on the scene July 24-25 at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. Stylish people flew in from around the world for this fashion happening. Fred Sweet, the producer of La Jolla Fashion Film and CEO of San Diego Model Management, was on hand to greet all the guests along with director Linda Comer. Opening night began with an action-packed screening of the fashion films. On Saturday morning the first program began and attendees could come and pitch their ideas for a feature film to Louie Nguyenn, director of Global Development of HKFilm. Continuing in the afternoon was a Directors Panel with Robert E. Ball Jr., Antonio Contreras, and Indrani Pal-Chaudhuri. Next came the Producers Panel with Ashley Avis and Edward Winters who produced their own feature length film. Rounding out the afternoon was the Ethical Fashion Initiative Seminar with Simone Cipriani. Cipriani talked about how we can help artisan’s get work at decent wages. Next a complimentary screening began which was part of an outreach program for the community. My favorite film during this screening was “Color Riche” by Bruno Aveillan for L’Oreal. This film was eye candy to watch and definitely color rich! Next came the much-anticipated red carpet with directors, writers, film stars and celebrities from around the world. Clicking paparazzi surrounded the step and repeat. All these stylish people and their entourage made their way inside to their seats. MC’s for the two days were models and actors, Daryl Johnson and Elsa Martinez. Celebrities and filmmakers were chosen to announce the winners of the International Fashion Film Awards including the famous designer Sue Wong who creates glamorous creations for every woman. One of the highlights of the evening was Prince Mario Max Schaumburg-Lippe who is a TV-presenter, model and actor. To the delight of everyone he decided to make a selfie of the entire audience. LJFFF was fortunate to have royalty in attendance this year. Princess Leith Eaton De-Grimaldi, who recently married Prince Jean-Claude De-Grimaldi of Monaco, was a presenter. During the screening a special performance was given by Antonio Contreras and his team reflecting the golden era of Mexican cinema. It began with the song “Besame Mucho” and finished with an awesome dance performance. The 2015 International Fashion Film Awards for Global Excellence went to: Tony Herebia, Alejandra Catalina, Garcia & Iyalode Studio from “Ay Jose” for Best Makeup, Paul Donovan from “The Chase” for Best Hairstyling, Maison Antonio Urzi from “Queen Brushands” for Best Costume Design, Robert E Ball Jr. from “The One 2” for Best Editing, and Luis Barreto Carrillo & Amber Moelter from “Peyote Dreams” for Best Documentary. James Franco, who is an actor and Academy Award winner, was awarded the Innovators Award via Skype. He has worked for fashion films such as 7 for all Mankind and Gucci. Adrien Servadio from “Stardust” was awarded the Best Visual Effects. This fashion film revolved around the human body and fire. Additional awards went to Lykke Li from “Gucci SS14” for Best Music, Rie Yamagata in Ace Norton’s “The New Sovereignty” for Best Fashion, Josh Brandao from “Silver Girl” for Best Art Direction, Mika Ceron from “Circle of Fortune” for Best Creative Concept; Antonio Contreras in ”Ay Jose” for Best Actor and the New Icon Award went to Michelle Phan. I loved Louis Bergogne’s film, “Paris Est A Nous,” which won for Best Cinematography. It was about a romance in Paris and the main actress was on roller blades scurrying throughout the city. Two films were honored for Best Director: Josh Franer and Phillip Montgomery in “Homeward (Found)” and Victor Claramunt in “Breading Rules.” Continuing their winning streak Jessy Schram in “Homeward (Found)” won for Best Actress. Ari Schneiderman in“Homeward (Found)” also won for Best Picture. This fashion film collaborated with L.A.-based clothing company Buck Mason and is a heartwarming Love Story, which leaves the audience with the message, “Home is Where the Heart is.” The two nights concluded with a must-attend after party at Stella’s. All the fashionistas packed into Stella’s for dining and networking into the late night. For additional information on this incredible event, stay tuned at www.ljfff.com. UPCOMING EVENTS Saturday Aug. 15 – Haute With Heart Fashion Show for St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center at Hilton Bayfront. Fashion Show presented by Leonard Simpson. For tickets call (619) 442-5129 ext. 115. Saturday Aug. 22 – Style Soiree Fashion Show Fashion Week San Diego has partnered with Grossmont Center from 3 to 4 p.m. in front of movie theatre by fountains. Three fashion bloggers will also discuss different looks from the boutiques. — Diana Cavagnaro is an internationally renowned couture milliner based in the Gaslamp Quarter. Learn more about this hat designer, teacher and blogger at DianaCavagnaro.com.
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    City's response addresses La Jolla's Cove concerns
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Jul 30, 2015 | 9657 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Sea lions take an afternoon nap near La Jolla Cove. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Sea lions take an afternoon nap near La Jolla Cove. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    La Jolla Parks and Beaches (LJPB), which makes land-use recommendations on coastal parks, has received a reply from the city to a letter it sent in April listing concerns and recommendations as to what could be done to curb the burgeoning Cove sea lion population. The number of Cove sea lions has been swelling for at least the past couple of years, with the marine mammals becoming increasingly more aggressive, as well as more territorial, according to swimmers and other Cove users. More recently, the lions have been congregating more on the Cove beach, with some of them making their way up and fouling the ungated Cove stairs with their waste, which has become a public health hazard. In a letter replying to LJPB dated July 1, Herman D. Parker, the city’s Park and Recreation director, said, “The list of potential solutions is constrained by a host of regulatory, environmental and practical considerations. Public safety and the enjoyment of the beaches is a priority for the city, and we continue to address these issues to the best of our abilities, and with the constraints of our resources and the law.” Parker’s letter included responses to the following points raised by LJPB: • Installing a gate mechanism at the stairways to the Cove has resource, design and regulatory challenges. • Building a gate preventing sea lion intrusion would require the designing of a capital improvement that is beyond the city’s sole-permitting authority. • Cleanup of sea lion feces from the area continues to be performed by Park and Rec staff within the limitations of our existing resources. • The city does not have equipment or staffing required to perform beach cleaning at the Cove beyond that of the tidal flow. • The city has hired Hanan and Associates Inc. to monitor the Cove’s sea lion population. Additionally, funding was allocated in the city’s FY 2015-16 budget to begin work to develop a coastal marine life management plan for the area that will address the interaction of people, animal and marine life. The activity of sea lions will be part of that plan. • Any bluffside or off-shore construction would be subject to local, state and federal regulations that would require thorough review and permitting processes. There are concerns that construction of a (new) barrier along the bluffs may have the effect of moving more of the animals onto the beach at the Cove. • Application of microbial spray to bluff areas to mitigate odors will continue. • There is a strict prohibition against any form of discharge into the waters surrounding the Cove and bluffs. Spraying or washing activities that would drain to this ocean area are not permitted. LJPB will next meet 4 p.m. Monday, Aug. 24 at La Jolla Rec Center, 615 Prospect St. LJPB chair Dan Allen said that agenda will address the sea lion situation, and include further discussion of the contentious issue of Coast Walk parking.
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    Mount Soledad memorial sold, but will that end the lawsuit?
    Jul 29, 2015 | 4947 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    The Latin cross at the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    The Latin cross at the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    La Jolla military veterans, who recently bought the half-acre parcel containing the controversial, towering Mount Soledad cross for $1.4 million from the Department of Defense, say that ends the 25-year legal battle over whether a religious symbol belongs on public land. But James McElroy, an attorney who represented the late Vietnam War veteran Phillip Paulson, and now the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) who took his place, both of whom insisted the cross must come down, isn’t so sure. “I’m confident that the lawsuit that began in 1989, Paulson vs. city of San Diego, will, in the very near future, be over and the lawsuit dismissed,” said Bruce Bailey, president/CEO of the Mt. Soledad Memorial Association board of trustees. “This is because the (land) transfer that occurred this time is different than in the past. This time, the property was transferred to the association, for fair-market value, and if, for some reason, the property doesn’t remain as a memorial, it will revert back immediately to the U.S. government, and they will retain it as a memorial.” Noting this most recent Soledad property sale “might be a step in the right direction,” McElroy nonetheless added that it also might not be. “We have not yet had time to sit and go through the details of the (sale) agreement,” said McElroy, adding, “the devil’s in the details.” “We really need to look closely at the terms of the deal, to see whether (with the sale) there has been a level playing field where preference was not shown for one religion over another,” concluded McElroy. The legality of the Soledad cross has been in question since 1989, when U.S. Army Vietnam War combat veteran Philip Paulson, an atheist, became the lead plaintiff in a series of lawsuits seeking to remove the cross from the mountaintop, arguing its presence constitutes an illegal public endorsement of one religion over others. Paulson died of cancer in 2006, but the legal battle has continued with the ACLU taking his place. The controversial case remains active a quarter-century later. The U.S. Supreme Court has twice denied hearing arguments for and against the Mount Soledad Veterans Memorial cross being an endorsement of religion. The high court remanded the matter back to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Ninth Circuit previously ruled the cross violates the constitutional separation of church and state and must be removed. That case is still pending. In conjunction with the American Foreign Legion Post 275, the Mount Soledad Memorial Association (MSMA) established the memorial in 1954 with the building of a 27-foot Latin cross. The original memorial honored Korean War veterans. In 2000, the association expanded the memorial installing six curved walls, which have since been outfitted with black granite plaques paying tribute to individual veterans both alive and deceased. An additional five walls were added in 2013 to form a complete circle at the apex of Soledad Natural Park. There are presently more than 3,700 individual plaques adorning the memorial walls honoring veterans from the Revolutionary War to the present. Owning the Soledad Cross property once again is a “huge step forward to us becoming known as a national monument, not just a regional monument,” said Bailey, adding, “That’s our vision.” McElroy wasn’t concerned about the $1.4 million sale price of the Soledad cross property, which he said, “seems like a reasonable amount. “I’m more concerned about whether the government has retained some discretionary interest, whether they have transferred the cross cleanly,” McElroy said. “But if, on the other hand, this is a sham sale intended merely to save the cross, and the government has demonstrated, once again, it’s preference for one religion over all the other religions: then we may have a problem with that.”
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    Fireworks critics renew opposition about SeaWorld's nightly noisy show
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Jul 28, 2015 | 17066 views | 1 1 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    SeaWorld fireworks over Mission Bay. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    SeaWorld fireworks over Mission Bay. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Opponents of nightly summer fireworks at SeaWorld San Diego insisting the loud noise is harmful to animals and humans, have renewed a petition drive calling upon the marine mammal park to end their pyrotechnic displays and replace them with less less disruptive – and costly – laser shows. Petition organizers, who asked to remain anonymous citing previous harassment, said their objective is to see SeaWorld “have fireworks once a year on the 4th of July – if at all. At least everyone expects and can prepare properly for them, i.e. take animals and young children elsewhere, put protective sound tools in place,” on Independence Day. SeaWorld fireworks detractors say research shows “noise pollution from nightly fireworks causes harm to humans and other animals. … Effects of noise pollution to humans include (damage to the) physiological and psychological health of human beings: hypertension, annoyance, high stress levels, aggression, hearing loss, tinnitus, sleep disturbance, etc.” Fireworks opponents also claim fireworks, being composed of toxic combustible chemicals “will never be truly environmentally friendly,” adding “newer technology, such as laser light shows, illuminated night kite shows and holographic fireworks can make the use of fireworks obsolete.” Previously responding to the online petition drive, SeaWorld has said “Nightly fireworks during the summer have been a tradition for SeaWorld and San Diego for nearly 30 years, and we continue to receive significant positive feedback from visitors and area residents.” The marine park noted it only uses small fireworks shells in its displays on 66 nights during the summer, adding, “It has long been our policy not to use any shells for the sole purpose to make noise.  All of our fireworks displays are conducted in accordance with city of San Diego policy.” Regarding the impact of noise from fireworks on animals, SeaWorld responded, “Our firework displays do not impact the animals in our park. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service filed a report relating to our animals and fireworks that states that ‘all animals were apparently healthy and there were no aberrant behavioral manifestations noted ... as result of firework activities in the evening during summer.’” Regarding the impact of its fireworks, SeaWorld noted, “More than 10 years of analysis consistently demonstrate that our fireworks are not having a detrimental impact on Mission Bay,” while pointing out “Our fireworks displays last only five minutes.” In their petition, fireworks organizers cite a “20-mile radius” as the significant distance within which animals and humans can be negatively impacted by noise from pyrotechnics. But they added this is a “conservative number. The reality is people from much further away claim they are significantly disturbed.” Petition organizers note that “Disney, and the City of Monterey have switched to laser shows, the cost of producing is less by hundreds of thousands of dollars (that should matter to a corporation with declining profits) and they are spectacular too. So it’s not an original idea or concept, and other civilized folks all over the world have already made the switch.” Concerning how SeaWorld’s fireworks policy could be changed, anti-fireworks petition organizers said, “The easiest process is for SeaWorld to take the high road and simply switch over to a less harmful entertainment and make it a positive by creating the best laser show in the west.” But petition organizers also suggested City Council action might be necessary to provide leverage to create change suggesting the city attorney “ought to read their lease and see what in that lease allows SeaWorld to negatively impact the community with a bombing of fireworks every night, an event that no other group or business could go to the council today and get permission to do such an activity.” 
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    StopWhiningSD
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    19 Hours Ago
    Dave, stop giving a voice to all these nut jobs. There is no way that a majority of San Diego agrees with this. Aren't people tired of all the whining and crying getting some much coverage? Its really easy to be a better journalist; write about positive stories! And if it involves just one person bitching then it is not a good story.
    Top female surfers compete at Supergirl Pro competition
    Jul 27, 2015 | 3353 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Alessa Quizon won her heat against Lakey Peterson on Sunday. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Alessa Quizon won her heat against Lakey Peterson on Sunday. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Sage Erickson signs an autograph for a young fan after her heat on Sunday. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Sage Erickson signs an autograph for a young fan after her heat on Sunday. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Lakey Peterson competes in a heat on Sunday. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Lakey Peterson competes in a heat on Sunday. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Silvana Lima surfing in Heat 2 on Sunday in Oceanside. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Silvana Lima surfing in Heat 2 on Sunday in Oceanside. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Tatiana Weston-Webb won the Supergirl Pro competition on Sunday. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Tatiana Weston-Webb won the Supergirl Pro competition on Sunday. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Courtney Conlogue finished second at the Supergirl Pro competition. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Courtney Conlogue finished second at the Supergirl Pro competition. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Day three of The Paul Mitchell Supergirl Pro – the largest all-women’s surf contest in the world and the only WSL Women’s QS6000 event in the continental U.S. – wrapped on Sunday with record-breaking attendance and fierce competition as three former Supergirl Pro finalists advanced through the Round of 16 to the semifinals. Sunday’s action at the iconic Oceanside pier sealed the top three spots with Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) taking first and Courtney Conlogue (USA) runner up, with Sage Erickson (USA) and Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) tying for third. The finals came down to a battle of Supergirl podium vets when Conlogue, the 2009 champion, faced Weston-Webb, who took second place at last year’s Supergirl Pro. Weston-Webb wowed the judges to capture the coveted pink Supergirl cape and earn critical points toward her QS ranking, putting her 1,600 points ahead of Van Dijk. “Finally!” the 19-year-old Weston-Webb shouted as she was swarmed by fans after being named the winner. “Last year really made me want to win this year! Courtney is amazing, and for me to be here means the world to me. Now I have a lot of confidence going into the rest of this year.” Weston-Webb took a quick lead with a 4.33-scored wave then trailed Conlogue, who posted a 3.00 and 7.50. She answered back with a 7.87 to Conlogue’s 6.03 in an exchange. Needing a 5.66, Weston-Webb put up a 6.60 within the final five minutes to seal the win.  Erickson fell just short of defending her title despite a valiant effort against Conlogue. Holding onto the highest heat total of the event with a 17.43, Erickson can walk away from this event with plenty of positives. “Making it to the semifinals is a great result in the larger picture of getting back on tour next year,” Erickson said. “I’ve had two quarters and two semifinals on the QS so far. I wanted to be in that final so bad, especially since this is my favorite event and really like no other.” The Paul Mitchell Supergirl Pro is the only WSL QS6000 female competition in the continental U.S. The event will be broadcast on FOX Sports One this fall. “We couldn’t have asked for a better event,” said Rick Bratman, CEO of ASA Entertainment, the event’s producer. “In addition to the phenomenal world-class surfing, we tripled the event footprint and the crowds were huge. Everyone at the event seemed to have an amazing experience.” Beyond the surf competition, the event also featured four live concerts, meet-and-greets with top pros, giveaways, the Supergirl Skate Pro skateboarding competition presented by Active Rideshop, a Celebrity Surf Contest, the Kona Beer Garden, a Surf Film Festival, complimentary hair styling by Paul Mitchell, more than 50 booth spaces from partnering brands and more. For more information on the event, visit www.supergirlpro.com. ROUND OF 16 RESULTS Heat 1: Sage Erickson (USA) 10.34, Johanne Defay (FRA) 6.13 Heat 2: Chelsea Tuach (BRB) 10.23, Silvana Lima (BRA) 10.16 Heat 3: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 15.23, Justine Dupont (FRA) 13.47 Heat 4: Malia Manuel (HAW) 12.16, Laura Enever (AUS) 8.66 Heat 5: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 11.47, Isabella Nichols (AUS) 7.60 Heat 6: Alessa Quizon (HAW) 13.34, Lakey Peterson (USA) 11.93 Heat 7: Coco Ho (HAW) 13.00, Philippa Anderson (AUS) 10.67 Heat 8: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 13.54, Dimity Stoyle (AUS) 11.83  QUARTERFINALS RESULTS Heat 1: Sage Erickson (USA) 14.27, Chelsea Tuach (BRB) 10.90 Heat 2: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 10.07, Malia Manuel (HAW) 9.70 Heat 3: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 15.00, Alessa Quizon (HAW) 13.34 Heat 4: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 15.17, Coco Ho (HAW) 7.93 SEMIFINALS RESULTS Heat 1: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 11.60, Sage Erickson (USA) 10.50 Heat 2: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 12.84, Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 8.33 FINALS RESULTS Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 14.47, Courtney Conlogue (USA) 13.53
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