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    Farmers Insurance Open hails charitable, social approach for this year's event
    by BLAKE BUNCH
    Jan 13, 2017 | 20046 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    A golfer looks to line up his putt as workers continue to setup spectator areas. PHOTO BY BLAKE BUNCH.
    A golfer looks to line up his putt as workers continue to setup spectator areas. PHOTO BY BLAKE BUNCH.
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    San Diegans are fortunate enough to claim the Torrey Pines Golf Course as their own. The course, arguably one of the premier courses nationally and internationally, has recently been gearing up on all fronts for the Farmers Insurance Open 2017. While the course shall play the same, new partnerships and resulting amenities will definitely change the way PGA tournaments are conducted. With Tiger Woods and local San Diegan Phil Mickelson back on the board once again, this year’s open will surely be one for the ages. Things are a bit more relaxed at Torrey Pines than Augusta National (as one example). This being the case, it only seems natural for the tournament, located on such a pristine parcel of California coastline, to reflect the character of the area. Peter Ripa, The Century Club CEO, knows this all too well. “First of all, we’re extremely excited to have Tiger back,” said Ripa. “He is an athlete that truly transcends the sport. Last year, we had 22 million viewers. For one week, San Diego will be the epicenter of the golf universe. With Tiger involved, you can almost rest assured that those numbers will certainly double. Of course, it is a tremendous draw, but that is one of the countless reasons to make it out thigh year.” Although the larger crowd will lead to an increased number of marshals, this by no means aims to put a damper on spectators’ enjoyment. Quite the opposite, actually. This year the Farmers Insurance Open has begun to incorporate nearly every sporting event social amenities of the greatest quality for spectators, as well as some most could never imagine at a PGA tournament. One are is located near the idyllic 16th green is a spectator “flight deck,” which is raised about 6 to 8 feet off the ground. This deck, divided into the Grey Goose section and Williams Hill Wine Lounge, will offer participants a 360-degree view of the canyons, Pacific ocean, and, of course, the green. Another amenity area dubbed “The Fringe” will be located as am overlook on the 15th green and will hold around 1,000 people. To be allowed entrance to this area, however, ticket owners must possess a premium ticket. Ripa explains the need for such amenities: “We have tons of private clients coming in this year, and have actually set up cabanas with private bartenders and small plates to suit their needs. These cabanas are completely open-air, which allows participants to have a friendly conversation, grab a drink or two, and watch the action on the green all at the same time. San Diego is such a social, outdoorsy city, and we feel the need to represent that at this year's tournament.” One aspect Ripa continues to convey is the emphasis on food and beverage quality for attendees, as well as overall social interaction and enjoyment. Far from the typical bag lunch sandwich, chips, beer or hot dogs and hamburgers available at typical tournament dates, the Farmers Insurance Open has provided a wealth of options. “Perhaps one of our most featured items this year will be our breakfast burrito, which will contain a healthy portion of ‘Cardiff Crack’ tri-tip beef,” said Ripa. “Also, there will be tremendous Thai food, and since we will be airing on EST, we will be offering drink specials daily around 3 p.m.” Some folks may find this level of comfortability excessive, but the fact of the matter is that while the event is set up to propagate the course and garner revenue, it is truly philanthropic by nature. This year, The Century Club has partnered with several charitable organizations, all of varying scopes and sizes. One organization, in particular, is the Boys to Men mentoring program, which is an active participant in both the tournament and “One Wave Challenge” on Jan. 21 at the La Jolla Shores. The Century Club’s program, Champions for Youth, will aid in whatever resources necessary, and through the Classy peer to peer funding network. The Farmers Insurance Open and Century Club will charge no fees for said resources, providing these charitable organizations a level of exposure that would inevitably be out of their reach. “This year's approach is not traditional compared to other majors,” said Ripa. “But that is what we’re trying to convey. We aim to bring a level of approachability unseen at many other tournaments, and feel as though we’re set on the right path thus far.”
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    Girl Scout cookies on the menu for San Diego Restaurant Week
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Jan 10, 2017 | 15012 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Chef Guillas, Sophia Benito, Audrey Oani and chef Oani at The Marine Room.
    Chef Guillas, Sophia Benito, Audrey Oani and chef Oani at The Marine Room.
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    It's the centennial of Girl Scouts selling their iconic goodies, and to launch cookie season this year, the organization's “pairing” with San Diego Restaurant Week Jan. 15-22. Chefs at various coastal restaurants will incorporate Girl Scout cookies in some of their Restaurant Week menus. Chefs from participating eateries were at Girl Scout headquarters campus for a Restaurant Week launch event Jan. 10. They teamed with Girl Scouts to prepare their own Girl Scout cookie creations. Culinary Week guests at participating venues will be able to enjoy dishes featuring Girl Scout cookie standouts. This list includes Thin Mints, Do-si-dos, Trefoils, Samoas, Tagalongs, and Savannah Smiles. Participating chefs will be taking Girl Scout cookies to the next level with dishes like Samoas Crusted Fried Shrimp, Do-si-dos Peanut Thai Chicken and salads featuring toasted Trefoil croutons. “This is the first time since 2009 that we've been involved with restaurant week,” said Girl Scouts spokeswoman Mary Doyle. “We're doing it again to bring more attention to Girl Scout cookies.” The annual fundraising Girl Scout Cookie Program empowers girls to fulfill their dreams, change their communities and the world. Recent examples include Girl Scout Cookies delivered to United States military personnel around the globe, and care packages sent to victims of the devastating earthquake in Haiti in 2010, and victims of Superstorm Sandy in 2012. Giving back to local communities has been a hallmark of the Girl Scout Cookie Program since the first-known sale of cookies by Girl Scouts in 1917. The sale of Girl Scout Cookies has also made an indelible impact on the millions of Girl Scout alumnae who have sold them. In fact, 57 percent of Girl Scout alumnae in business say the program was key in the development of their skills today. Coastal Girl Scouts, like Troop 3292’s Isabella Catanzaro of Pacific Beach, a Cathedral High sophomore, age 15, is a 10-year veteran of cookie selling. So far, her troop has saved $1,800 for a six-day canoeing trip in Michigan. Leslie Catanzaro, who co-leads Troop 3292, said, “The most rewarding experience for me is to see the members of our PB community walk up to the girls when they have a booth at Vons and say, 'I remember when you were little Brownies.' ” … then (Scouts) explain about fundraising for their next adventure, and how buying cookies supports Girl Scout programs here in San Diego. They know that they are building a bridge between the community and Girl Scouting.” Doyle talked about one important benefit derived by girls selling cookies. “Goal setting is one of the major skills girls learn through the cookie program,” Doyle said, noting girls as young as age 6 participate. Doyle described the most recent Girl Scouts Cookie drive as a “nice convergence,” given that “this is the 100th year of Girl Scouts in San Diego.” There are a total of 35,000 Girl Scout members in San Diego and Imperial counties, which includes nearly 23,000 girls and more than 12,000 adults, Doyle said. Girl Scout cookie season goes from Sunday, Jan. 22 to Sunday, March 12. Organized by the California Restaurant Association's San Diego County Chapter, San Diego Restaurant Week is in its 12th year as San Diego County's largest and most successful dining event. Held twice annually, this culinary tradition features more than 180 of San Diego's best restaurants offering fixed price, three-course meals. For more information, visit www.SanDiegoRestaurantWeek.com. Area restaurants participating Bali Hai Restaurant BO-beau Kitchen + Bar Coasterra Island Prime The Marine Room Melting Pot, La Jolla/UTC OB Warehouse Puesto La Jolla Rockin' Baja Lobster The Shores Restaurant Solare Ristorante Tidal Tom Ham's Lighthouse Vincent's
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    Tiger Woods commits to 2017 Farmers Insurance Open
    Jan 04, 2017 | 16550 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Tiger Woods has fully committed to the 2017 Farmers Insurance Open and will be sure to draw a crowd.
    Tiger Woods has fully committed to the 2017 Farmers Insurance Open and will be sure to draw a crowd.
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    Tiger Woods, a seven-time winner of the Farmers Insurance Open, has committed to play in the 2017 tournament, the Century Club announced today. Woods will play for the first time in 2017 at the January 26-29 PGA TOUR event at Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla. He won the Farmers Insurance Open in 1999, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2013, and earned his last major championship victory in a 19-hole playoff at the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines in 2008. The return of the 79-time PGA TOUR winner and 14-time major championship winner will mark his first start in a full-field PGA TOUR event since August 2015. In early December, he returned from a from a 15-month injury layoff in the 18-player Hero World Challenge. In addition to his seven victories at the Farmers Insurance Open, Woods has finished in the top 10 six other times in 15 appearances. He is the tournament’s all-time leading money winner, with $6,856,015. “We’re thrilled our fans will have the opportunity to see Tiger in addition to what is already a very strong field for the Farmers Insurance Open,” said Century Club CEO Peter Ripa. “He has experienced tremendous success at Torrey Pines and in our tournament, and we couldn’t think of a better place for him to start the year. Tiger’s presence will add to a deep and talented field that includes many of the top stars in the game as well as some exciting up-and-coming players.” Tickets for the 2017 Farmers Insurance Open are now on sale and can be purchased online at www.FarmersInsuranceOpen.com. Adult grounds tickets are $50, with upgraded VIP tickets starting at $80. Discounted tickets are available for seniors, veterans, and youth 13-17. Tickets are complimentary for active duty military, reservists, retired military and dependents, and for children under 12. Woods joins a stellar list of early commitments that includes World No. 1 Jason Day, defending tournament champion Brandt Snedeker, reigning U.S. Open champion Dustin Johnson, reigning PGA Championship winner Jimmy Walker, Olympic gold medalist Justin Rose, World No. 6 and current FedExCup points leader Hideki Matsuyama, World No. 12 Rickie Fowler and three-time champion Phil Mickelson, among many more. The field is not final until the commitment deadline on Friday, Jan. 20 at 5 p.m. EST. Players with San Diego ties who have committed include Mickelson, Poway High School alum and four-time PGA TOUR winner Charley Hoffman, San Diego State University alums J.J. Spaun and Xander Schauffele, and Torrey Pines High School graduates Michael Kim and Pat Perez, who captured his second PGA TOUR win in November at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba. In addition to attracting some of the biggest names in the sport, the 2017 Farmers Insurance Open will also feature an array of new food offerings and venues to entertain the 100,000-plus spectators who attend the four-day tournament. Tournament fans can start their day with a breakfast burrito featuring “Cardiff Crack” tri-tip from local favorite Seaside Market, coupled with a Grey Goose Bloody Mary or Starbucks coffee. Other new menu items include shrimp ceviche, quinoa salad, truffle mac n’ cheese and Thai chicken curry. New areas open to the general public include the Grey Goose Flight Deck on the 16th tee, which will feature specialty cocktails and a panoramic view of the course; the William Hill Wine Lounge, which offers ocean views alongside the par-3 8th green; and the ULTRA Zone, where fans can enjoy happy hour specials starting at 3 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and a DJ as part of the Post Party presented by Harrah’s Resort SoCal. “As a premier event on the PGA TOUR, we have a great opportunity to expand the game to a broader audience,” Ripa said. “By creating a festive atmosphere complete with fresh food and beverage options and the backdrop of Torrey Pines, the Farmers Insurance Open is more than just a golf tournament – it’s an event anyone can enjoy.”
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    Huge roller coaster overlooking Mission Bay planned for SeaWorld
    Jan 03, 2017 | 18376 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    The Electric Eel roller coaster will feature multiple-launch elements, high-energy twists, and heart-pounding loops. The ride is expected to open in summer 2018.
    The Electric Eel roller coaster will feature multiple-launch elements, high-energy twists, and heart-pounding loops. The ride is expected to open in summer 2018.
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    SeaWorld San Diego unveiled plans on Jan. 3 for its new attraction – the Electric Eel roller coaster – featuring multiple-launch elements, high-energy twists, and heart-pounding loops. It will expand the park’s new Ocean Explorer realm set to open later this summer as part of the park’s largest new attraction premiere in its history. Following the opening of three new attractions in 2017 – Ocean Explorer, the new Orca Encounter and the all-new summer nighttime extravaganza Electric Ocean – Electric Eel will cap a 24-month period of growth for the 53-year-old park. Electric Eel will join Manta and Journey to Atlantis as the third coaster-type ride experience at SeaWorld San Diego. It will be constructed on an approximately two-acre site on the eastern side of the park between the currently under-construction Ocean Explorer attraction and Journey to Atlantis. The ride is expected to open in summer 2018. “Electric Eel will bring a whole new level of excitement to SeaWorld,” said SeaWorld San Diego’s park president Marilyn Hannes. “This new, first-of-its-kind coaster at SeaWorld will give riders the rare opportunity to feel what it’s like to move like an eel as they twist and flip along nearly 900 feet of undulating track.” Electric Eel will feature astounding loops, twists and airtime. Multiple-launch experiences will propel riders forward and backward as they speed through the ride’s station house accelerating to more than 60 miles per hour in seconds. Riders then rocket skyward nearly 150 feet where they will brave an inverted “heartline” roll and a twisting loop for an exciting feeling of airtime as riders crest the top before breathlessly returning to the station. This adrenaline-pumping coaster will offer riders the only upside-down view of Mission Bay. Complementing the Electric Eel roller coaster is the Ocean Explorer experience, which will include a hypnotic live eel habitat featuring one of the world’s most extensive collections of moray eels. Through large viewing windows, visitors may view the eels as they swim and dart through the caves and crevasses of their tank. With Electric Eel, SeaWorld’s Deep Blue creative design team will fuse the experience of a contemporary coaster with an interactive and educational eel exhibit. Guests may discover information about these animals, including their unique predation skills and diets, growth rates and sensory abilities. “The future is bright at SeaWorld and we remain committed to long-term investment in the park,” said Hannes.
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    La Jolla Village News' 2016 Year in Review: The shack comes back, Mt. Soledad resolved and pinniped problems
    by BLAKE BUNCH
    Jan 01, 2017 | 10040 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    The Windansea Shack was rebuilt in June after being destroyed by heavy surf in January. Surfer Izzy Poulin
walks by the Shack in early June before the palm fronds roof was installed. PHOTO BY THOMAS MELVILLE
    The Windansea Shack was rebuilt in June after being destroyed by heavy surf in January. Surfer Izzy Poulin walks by the Shack in early June before the palm fronds roof was installed. PHOTO BY THOMAS MELVILLE
    slideshow
    Try as one may, it should prove challenging to dismiss aspects of 2016. While many of the issues facing the La Jolla community can often times prove divisive, albeit repetitive, the underlying respect and pride in the community remains palpable. Approaching 2017, many of the issues you will find in the following “year-in-review” article will remain just so. From a notion of seceding from the City to the ever-present seal stench issue, La Jollans will indefinitely look for resolutions regarding any current and future issues that arise. Jan. 15, 2016 An idea that has been around throughout the prominence of La Jolla, this past January, some residents were once again pushing for secession from the City of San Diego. Longtime La Jolla resident Melinda Merryweather, a member of La Jolla Parks and Beaches, Inc., championed the idea of an “Independent La Jolla.” “We [Independent La Jolla] are going to do a fundraising drive for the funds that are needed to do a new feasibility study, which is $45,000,” said Merryweather. “Also, we will conduct a metes and bounds study, which will define the boundaries of La Jolla, which is our zip code 92037. That should [cost] around $35,000. So for $85,000, we can prove we can be our own city and do away with any doubt. It is possible, I believe.... with nothing to lose but the City of San Diego.” Jan. 29, 2016 The San Diego surf world lost one if its true pioneers, Larry Gordon, on New Year’s Day of 2016. Almost 400 surfers attended his Jan. 18 memorial paddle-out at Tourmaline Beach, representative of his contributions to the sport and humanity in general. In January of 2016, the La Jolla Shores Association received a progress report on an ongoing investigation into flooding caused during a series of storms that month. Though initial reports said that the water and sewer issues would be fixed in March (‘16), work on Avenida de Playa continued well into late-November. Feb. 26, 2016 Typically under a good deal of scrutiny, rescuers at SeaWorld on Feb. 21, 2016 successfully disentangled a 25-foot juvenile humpback whale, estimated to be 1 year old, observed about three miles off the coast of La Jolla. The marine park’s animal rescue team was alerted to the whale's presence by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife at 1 p.m. and was on scene two hours later. The first medical marijuana dispensary was opened in District 1 on Feb. 27. Torrey Holistics, located in Sorrento Valley, began operations under the guide of the Compassionate Use Act of 1996. The dispensary further noted that California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law comprehensive medical marijuana regulations empowering local municipalities to give patients and provides guidelines for legally dispensing medical cannabis. Perhaps the cutest intruder ever wandered into a booth at The Marine Room for shelter on Feb. 4, 2016. A 4-month-old sea lion pup named Marina was then cared of at SeaWorld’s Animal Rescue Center. Marina made a speedy recovery and was freed shortly thereafter. Mar. 3, 2016 Longtime community planner Joe LaCava was named by La Jolla Town Council as La Jolla's first honorary mayor in late Feb. of 2016. The town council bestows the title on a La Jollan who exemplifies “a personal commitment to the community ... who operates with integrity … and has demonstrated the ability to work with others of all backgrounds and points of view, not for their own personal benefit but for the benefit of the community as a whole.” Mar. 25, 2016 SeaWorld CEO Joel Manby announced March 17 that the company will halt killer whale breeding, end its theatrical Orca shows and double down on conservation and rescue efforts. And it’s partnering with a longtime adversary, the Humane Society, to do it. The Orca shows will end at the San Diego park in 2017, while the San Antonio and Orlando parks will end the shows by 2019. Apr. 8, 2016 At the April La Jolla Parks and Beaches Inc. meeting, member Bill Robbins, pinch-hitting for absent chair Dan Allen, addressed “camping” at the cove on holidays. “I'd like to talk about camping in parks at the beach in relation to what the (La Jolla) Shores is doing,” Robbins said, noting the Cove “turns into a tent city on Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day.” Apr. 22, 2016 San Diego Lifeguard Sgt. Ed Harris spoke on the extent of visitors interfering with seals and sea lions. “There's no way for us (lifeguards) to try to mitigate them touching or petting the marine mammals,” said Harris. “I have literally seen people pet the stomach of a sea lion as if it was a dog.” In March of 2015, a sea lion bit a 5-year-old boy on his face as he wandered too close for comfort. Due to the familiarity between the aquatic mammals and humans, these interactions are strongly cautioned against. May 6, 2016 Amid 1,500 Scripps people, a fleet of ships, field stations on the North and South poles, satellites, people in airplanes and robots exploring the ocean floor, the information from Scripps that comes to the aquarium will be vast and ever changing. This is good news to Birch Director Harry Helling, who sees the continued support of San Diego residents as a key factor in being able to bring it all back to the community. “We’re part of Scripps, and we’re part of UCSD,” says Helling, “and a lot of people don’t know that. An Orange County Superior Court judge ruled May 3 that the City of San Diego's attempt to close the Children's Pool beach in La Jolla is unlawful. Judge Frederick Horn ruled in the case of Friends of the Children’s Pool vs. the City of San Diego and the California Coastal Commission, that the city and the commission are prohibited from enforcing the Local Coastal Program amendment and the coastal development permit issued by the commission and the city ordinance for the seasonal closure of Children’s Pool. May 20, 2016 Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial Association's mission is to create and maintain a monument paying homage to veterans who've honorably served our country and to educate the public on the contributions of military personnel throughout our nation's history. After more than two decades of controversy, the area immediately surrounding the landmark 40-foot-tall cross was privately owned, a sale deemed questionable by some groups. June 3, 2016 Scripps Health opened the John R. Anderson V Medical Pavilion on June 1, a state-of-the-art $130 million outpatient clinic featuring 17 medical and surgical specialties including cardiology, neurology, diabetes and endocrinology, gastroenterology, dermatology, nephrology and family medicine. Medical services are being provided by Scripps Clinic Medical Group. The Scripps outpatient center and one operated by Cedar Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles are the only ones in California operating full-service outpatient catheterization laboratories outside a hospital through special state legislation approved in 2012. June 17, 2016 The Windansea Shack turned 70 this year and – except for the palm frond roof – has been fully restored by volunteers after being pummeled by a storm last Christmas. The Shack is a historic landmark on the Windansea Beach in La Jolla and it has officially been restored following the hard hit it took from a storm last year. Credit for the restoration goes to a nonprofit and the community. July 1, 2016 Planning on the new Children's Pool tower, one of three built in La Jolla over the past decade which cost $3.1 million to construct, goes back to at least 2007. The project was plagued with problems and delays since the get-go. La Jolla community planners early on questioned the size and scale of the old tower, built in the 1960s. That tower was condemned by the health department before being razed in fall 2013. Lifeguards had operated out of a pod-like temporary station atop scaffolding next door to the new tower structure under construction ever since. July 15, 2016 No one was injured, but La Jolla's Fourth of July fireworks display was interrupted – and shortened – by defective fireworks that prematurely exploded more than halfway through the show. “Nine feet of defective pyrotechnics which come in 'cakes,' discharged on the ground 14 minutes into the 25-minute show,” said Deborah Marengo, La Jolla fireworks organizer. “At that point, the fire marshal came in and inspected, noticing that another 9-foot cake had been damaged, the finale fireworks, and deemed that not usable.” “The show continued and, gratefully, no one was injured,” July 29, 2016 The LJPB Board sanctioned a letter drafted by chair Dan Allen to be sent to the city's Parks and Recreation Department opposing a proposal for DecoBike to extend its bike share stations into the Jewel. Ultimately, the DecoBike proposal was shut down. Aug. 12, 2016 A marine biologist who completed a study on sea lions and harbor seals in and around La Jolla Cove has concluded that deterring the marine mammals from coming ashore is going to be easier said than done. Dr. Doyle Hanan, of Hanan & Associates Inc., at the City of San Diego's request, recently submitted the results of his year-long research on local pinniped populations and their behavior. Hanan concluded that their recommendations include: Using only NOAA-approved deterrence methods, i.e. non-lethal "boarding" to bar their way or spraying with hoses, etc. Installing gates and latches at access points. Employing strong fencing as a deterrent. Considering using low-voltage livestock fencing. Scripps Health invested $117.5 million into community benefit programs and services in the La Jolla area through Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla and Scripps Green Hospital during FY2015. The nonprofit health system recently released the 2016 Community Benefit Report detailing its community benefit activities for FY2015 (October 2014 through September 2015). Sept. 23, 2016 After a 25-year-long battle, An agreement has been reached to allow the sale of the cross, along with its surrounding memorial granite plaque walls, from the U.S. Department of Defense to the Mount Soledad Memorial Association Inc. The La Jolla veterans group bought the half-acre parcel containing the controversial Mount Soledad cross from the Department of Defense the previous year. Oct. 21, 2016 A plea to Mayor Kevin Faulconer to “invoke his legal right to move and exclude sea lions from specific areas where they are causing a public health and safety problem,” topped the list of proposed action items La Jollans would like to see at the October meeting, and included: The mayor and City Council designating La Jolla Town Council (LJTC) as the contracting entity to develop a short-term action plan to move and exclude the sea lions from La Jolla beaches. The mayor and City Council giving authority for LJTC to execute a contract to implement a sea lion action plan. LJTC proposing/executing a city-funded contract to plan the seal lion project in detail and implement it, as well as develop cost estimates for the plan. Nov. 4, 2016 A motion by City Council President Sherri Lightner, which some felt would have largely banned short-term vacation rentals in single-family neighborhoods was defeated Nov. 1 by a 7-2 vote. Nov. 18, 2016 Termed-out San Diego City Council member and outgoing Council President Sherri Lightner representing La Jolla and District 1 said she won't be running for another political position right away — or be retiring. “I don't know what my choices will be in the future — I'm not precluding anything,” pledged Lightner. Council member-elect Barbara Bry was inaugurated as District 1’s representative on Dec. 12, 2016.
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