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    La Jolla man survives Nepal earthquake; thankful to be back home
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    May 05, 2015 | 3169 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Some of the destruction after the earthquake in Nepal.
    Some of the destruction after the earthquake in Nepal.
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    Mark Schindler with his dog Farmer at home in La Jolla. / Photo by Dave Schwab
    Mark Schindler with his dog Farmer at home in La Jolla. / Photo by Dave Schwab
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    La Jolla psychologist Mark Schindler was standing on one leg in a yoga pose just before noon when the big earthquake struck in Nepal. “I was in the middle of the tree pose along with 11 other women and another man, and the building started literally moving — and we all just tumbled to the floor and you could hear screams and cries,” Mark E. Schindler, Ph.D., said about the 7.8-magnitude Kathmandu quake, which killed more than 7,000 people and injured more than twice as many others on April 25. “I was scared, even though I’d dealt with this kind of death and dilemma before.” Worst of all, said Schindler, was how long the quake took. “It lasted two or three minutes with lots of aftershocks,” he said, adding it was a continuous “rumble and shaking, moving and swaying.” “I told everyone, ‘Run out(side). Forget your shoes, just run out.’” He had anticipated it being his last day in the Asian Himalayan country celebrating his 60th birthday. As it turned out, it was just the start of a long ordeal. Once outside, Schindler witnessed first-hand the appalling destruction from the quake. “Everything that was not made with rebar and concrete, like brick walls, fell,” he said. “The world heritage site at Dubar Square (Nepal’s old royal palaces) was just in utter ruins.” Schindler said there were no bodies visible in the streets. “But you knew there were people under the rubble,” he said, adding, “There were areas where whole buildings collapsed.” Schindler was also caught off guard by the reaction of the indigenous polytheistic population to the earthquake. “Most of the people there are Hindi or Buddhist and this wasn’t the shifting of tectonic plates to them,” he said. “This was displeasing the Gods. That was their view of why this happened. And anytime we had an aftershock, they thought, ‘The Gods are still angry at us.’” A world traveler by his own admission who’s been to 50 or 60 countries, Schindler always packs a first-aid kit. But the contents of that kit couldn’t help him much in the hard-scrabble, post-quake world he found himself a part of. As disturbing as the calamity was dealing with its after-effects, which deprived everyone of the basic modern necessities of life — power, water, food, shelter — was just as disconcerting. “Tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people were camped out on the streets under tarps or in tents,” Schindler said. “There was no electricity. With the toilets, the water flushed once and it was done.” The psychologist said he was forced to subsist on a daily diet of bottled water, chocolate and crackers. Near the end, there was some fruit being sold, oranges and bananas, in the disaster area, which Schindler used to supplement his meager diet. But then Schindler ran into the most vexing problem of all: How to exit the country in the aftermath of a catastrophe that completely disrupted communication. “Their airport, the only one in the whole country, was in pandemonium,” Schindler said. “You couldn’t even get another ticket because the Internet was down.” There were long lines at the airport with crowds of panicked, unwashed desperate travelers seeking any way out of the country. Schindler said he finally managed to find a satellite office of his airline in Kathmandu that had electrical power because of a generator. But he was able to find only the neighborhood it was in, no exact street address. Miraculously, he was able to find the airport satellite office with the aid of a cabbie. Then he was asked by an airline attendant the words he was longing to hear, “Would you like to leave tonight?” A week or so later, at home with his dog Farmer, Schindler spoke of what he’d learned from the experience and how much he appreciates being home. “My happiest times have been taking my dog to Ocean Beach dog beach,” he said adding, “I also appreciate having an inside bathroom next to my room with a toilet that flushes. That’s just a luxury to me.” Of his experience, Schindler concluded, “It humbles you.”
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    Find your Shore Buddies in Pacific Beach, Point Loma and La Jolla
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    May 05, 2015 | 2122 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Shore Buddies at the Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach.
    Shore Buddies at the Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach.
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    A local entrepreneur has come up with an environmentally friendly and furry souvenir brand, a portion of the proceeds from which go to protect the ocean and coastal wildlife. Known as Shore Buddies, the new business venture was started by Malte Niebelschuetz. “We founded Shore Buddies in summer 2014 right here in San Diego,” Niebelschuetz said. “We take recycled plastic bottles to create 12-inch plush animals which represent local coastal wildlife. We donate $1 with every purchase directly to the Surfrider Foundation, San Diego County chapter, to protect our oceans, waves and beaches.” Shore Buddies come with authentic sounds built in of the marine mammals they depict. Niebelschuetz came to San Diego about four years ago from his native Germany. He said Shore Buddies is a new concept he came up with after seeing “all the souvenir shops right on the boardwalk. I thought, ‘There has to be a way to give something back to the community.’ So I came up with Shore Buddies as an environmentally friendly way to make stuffed animals from recycled materials and donate a portion of the proceeds to local nonprofit agencies to protect the ocean and shoreline.” The Shore Buddies brand was started with three different animals: the California gull, the common dolphin and the harbor seal. The hang-tags of each stuffed animal include information about what everybody can do to protect the ocean and coastal wildlife. “Our products are beloved by tourists and locals alike,” said Niebelschuetz. “We can be found at many different places throughout Southern California.” Locations where Shore Buddies are available along the San Diego coast includes Crystal Pier in PB, La Jolla Cove/Children’s Pool in La Jolla, Cabrillo National Monument in Point Loma, San Diego International Airport, Gepetto’s toy stores and the Hotel Del Coronado. Shore Buddies retail for $19 to $22, which includes the $1 Surfrider donation. For more information, email malte@shore-buddies.com or visit shore-buddies.com. Surfrider Foundation is one of the world’s largest nonprofit grassroots organizations dedicated to the protection of the world’s oceans, waves and beaches. Begun in 1984, Surfrider currently has 84 chapters, including 30 high school and college clubs, and more than 250,000 supporters, volunteers and activists nationwide. Surfrider has about 100 different campaigns in four core areas: beach access, clean water, coastal preservation and ocean protection.
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    Meet the mother of all Mother's Day mothers
    by MARTIN JONES WESTLIN
    May 04, 2015 | 2696 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Anna Marie Jarvis, who was never a wife or mom herself, died in bitter regret as the spearhead for what we know as Mother's Day. What began as her successful campaign for the formal recognition of “the woman who has done more for you than anyone in the world” became in her eyes a parody of itself in time – the confection, floral and greeting card industries had a field day at the expense of her genuine public sentiment. Mother's Day was the country's second largest consumer holiday amid a $19 billion expenditure in 2014, with Anna fervently decrying its capitalist foundations until her dying day on Nov. 24, 1948 at age 84. Anna's story isn't unknown to those who see Mother's Day as the loving tribute it's supposed to be. She'd lobbied tirelessly for nine years to establish it, even quitting her good job with a finance company to eke out more time, until President Wilson proclaimed it a national holiday in 1914. This year, we're heading into our second century of Mother's Days, which is to say that the tribute has long ago taken on a life of its own. Such staying power doesn't evolve without a colossal central historical source – and as Anna led the crusade for a national statement on mothers and motherhood, it's maybe worth knowing a little more about the maternal object of her affections. Ann Marie Reeves Jarvis was born in Culpepper, Va. on Sept. 30, 1832 – and from then on, life became a terribly brutal prospect. Ann would give birth to 13 children in 17 years; only four of them survived to adulthood, with things like measles and diphtheria claiming the rest. With every loss came a new resolve, fueled by a bond that excels life itself – and soon, Ann became exponentially bigger than her tragedies, harnessing her energies into what she called Mothers' Day Work Clubs, set up to address sanitation, homelessness and child safety during the Civil War. Even as Virginia had become a bloody hotbed of Confederate support, the clubs recognized no division between Union and Confederate personnel as the undaunted Ann and her volunteers treated the ill and organized fellowship events attended by soldiers from both sides. Threats of violence accompanied her efforts, of course – but otherworldly oversight would rule as Ann, now a Grafton, Va. resident, continued her activism in the name of community togetherness. She taught Sunday school for a quarter-century; local churches welcomed her lectures on public health, gender equality and mother figures from the Bible and other literature. The great heart quietly stopped beating on May 9, 1905, with daughter Anna launching the first unofficial observance of Mother's Day three years later. But Anna couldn't foresee Wilson's innocent declaration as a marker for what she'd likely call the beginning of the end. She'd die in poverty after years of vehement opposition to the avarice that she said stoked every second Sunday in May, fueling the cancer that had declared itself on the American landscape. “What will you do,” she asked, “to route charlatans, bandits, pirates, racketeers, kidnappers and other termites that would undermine with their greed one of the finest, noblest and truest movements and celebrations?” While her descriptors are a little strong, they're also understandable in the face of Ann's glorious life. She, not Anna, is the archetype mom worldwide amid her diligence, kindness and boundless grit – and a little more reflection on her work tends to justify Anna's regret. For one daughter, our profiteering culture has wrung the sentiment from the day; the happy irony is that its true central figure had lived in oblivion of what was to come.
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    Mama's Kitchen presents the mother of all food festivals
    by FRANK SABATINI JR.
    May 04, 2015 | 848 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Sam (the Cooking Guy) Zien, who has a culinary cult following of his own, will lend his expertise to the Mama's Day extravaganza. PHOTO BY CHRIS BRAKE PHOTOGRAPHY
    Sam (the Cooking Guy) Zien, who has a culinary cult following of his own, will lend his expertise to the Mama's Day extravaganza. PHOTO BY CHRIS BRAKE PHOTOGRAPHY
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    What began 25 years ago as a humble fundraiser involving several chefs helping to spur donations for Mama’s Kitchen has today become the Cadillac of food events in San Diego. The annual Mama’s Day culinary extravaganza, to be held from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. May 8 at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla, brings together the crème de la crème of local chefs and restaurants doling out their latest and greatest culinary creations. More than 55 of them are taking part. “It’s a smorgasbord of tastes that is pretty much unequaled in San Diego,” says Mama’s Kitchen Executive Director Alberto Cortes, adding that last year’s event raised $150,000. The monies are used each year for providing nutritional support to men, women and children affected by AIDS/HIV or cancer. Since its inception in 1990, the event has raised nearly $3 million, which also afforded the nonprofit agency a chance to move its kitchen and pantry from a basement church in Bankers Hill into a gleaming industrial kitchen in City Heights four years ago. Food stations at the event dominate the hotel’s indoor pavilion. Grazing through the entire track requires a ravenous appetite, as guests are faced with gourmet preparations of meat, seafood, seasonal vegetables, pasta and eye-popping desserts. Among the restaurants taking part from La Jolla is The Hake Kitchen & Bar, a newcomer to the event that will serve ahi tuna on brioche crostini with wasabi crème fraiche and house-made teriyaki sauce. The dish will be added to the restaurant’s appetizer menu in a few weeks. The Hake’s managing partner, Ricardo Dondisch, says he was drawn to participating in the fundraiser because “the work that Mama’s Kitchen does in terms of food and nourishment is very important to San Diego County. And the event itself includes very respectable restaurants doing interesting things – and we wanted to be part of that.” Coming onboard for the 24th year in a row is Chef Bernard Guillas of The Marine Room. Known in past years for ladling out his famous lobster bisque, he’ll instead provide sugar fixes to the crowd with elderberry panna cotta draped in spring berry compote, fennel crystals and candied almonds. Whisknladle is also taking the dessert route with butterscotch budino (Italian custard) served with salted caramel and coconut cookies, while Piatti Ristorante & Bar slings caprese salad on skewers and grilled eggplant wrapped in goat cheese. As for other La Jolla restaurants arriving with their chefs in tow, such as Café Japengo and Bernini’s Bistro, their dishes remain a secret. Restaurants from the greater San Diego area taking part include Pacifica Del Mar, The Oceanaire Seafood Room, Great Maple, Café Champagne, The Red Door and many more. “The event makes for healthy competition among the chefs, where they get to check out each other’s dishes while connecting with each other in a festive atmosphere,” adds Cortes. Emceeing the evening is Susan DeVincent of KyXy 96.5. She’ll be joined by culinary host Sam (the Cooking Guy) Zien, who will demonstrate Asian-inspired fried rice griddlecakes and other dishes on innovative EVO grills in the VIP lounge. The event also features a silent auction on a variety of getaway packages, concerts and cooking classes. Bidders can start competing for them now on their home computers and smartphones by visiting mamaskitchen.org and clicking onto the “events” page. Cortes says over the past several years the event has attracted between 600 and 800 people. “Given the hotel’s spacious pavilion, we’ve never had to close the doors on anyone,” he adds General admission to Mama’s Day is $125 in advance (online) and $150 at the door. VIP tickets are $250, which includes early entrance into the event at 5:30 p.m., plus a hosted bar and cooking demos by Sam Zien. Hyatt Regency La Jolla is located at 3777 La Jolla Village Drive. For more information, call Mama’s Kitchen at (619) 233-6262.
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    Summer fun with Bianca - an electric bike tour around Mission Beach and Pacific Beach
    by BIANCA WEINSTEIN
    May 01, 2015 | 18581 views | 1 1 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Bianca rides a Pedego electric bike on the boardwalk in Mission Beach.
    Bianca rides a Pedego electric bike on the boardwalk in Mission Beach.
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    A Pedego electric bike on the boardwalk.
    A Pedego electric bike on the boardwalk.
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    Bianca with her Pedego electric bike.
    Bianca with her Pedego electric bike.
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    Pedego electric bikes on the Mission Bay path.
    Pedego electric bikes on the Mission Bay path.
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    Bianca riding a Pedego electric bike in Pacific Beach.
    Bianca riding a Pedego electric bike in Pacific Beach.
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    The other day I overheard a couple talking about their new Pedego electric bikes and how much they love them. I then heard about a shop in Pacific Beach, called Surf Monkey Bikes, which offers Pedego electric bike rentals at $32 for the entire day. Surf Monkey employee Kalin and Surf Monkey's owner Jake told me about the bike and showed me how it works. The bike is equipped with a powerful 48-volt battery that can last up to 40 miles with pedal assist. The throttle on the right handle allows you to control how much power is delivered to the bike, and the speedometer on the left handle helps you judge your speed. The speedometer tells you how far you’ve traveled and also has a USB port, which allows you to charge your phone or device while on the go. The bike has a seven-speed gearshift for easy pedaling and allows you to enjoy your ride without holding the throttle in place. The bike also comes with SRAM disc brakes for powerful and reliable braking. I took the bike out, and I was a little nervous at first, but after about five minutes of riding, I became very comfortable; I even got it up to top speed, 20 miles an hour! I rode around the bay, Paradise Point, SeaWorld, Sunset Point, Belmont Park and, of course, the boardwalk. The entire time, I could hear people talking to each other about the bike and asking “is that electric or motorized?” When we stopped along the bay, a couple tourists asked if they could get a picture with one of the Pedego bikes. By the time we headed back to Surf Monkey Bikes, I wanted to add a Pedego to my wish list. As these bikes retail for nearly $2,900, Kalin mentioned that if you do want to purchase one of the bikes, the amount you spend on each one of your rentals goes toward your bike purchase (what a great incentive!). If you enjoy being outside, you must check out these Pedego electric bikes. You won't be disappointed. Bianca Weinstein is the social media reporter for sdnews.com. This spring and summer, she will be exploring places on the coast and trying out fun things to do for locals and visitors. Contact her at bbp@sdnews.com. Electric bike tour Where: Surf Monkey Bikes, 853 Grand Ave. What: Electric bike rentals ($32 for the entire day) Contact: surfmonkeybikes.com or (858) 270-6600
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    PB88
    |
    May 02, 2015
    "I even got it up to top speed, 20 mph!"

    What the hell is wrong with you? You seem to be so proud of your act of reckless endangerment.
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    Memorial set in Pacific Beach for local Little League icon
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    Apr 30, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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    Opinion
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    May 04, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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    Some different-ish stuff to do on Mother's Day
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    May 04, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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    May 01, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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    Hats off to civic icon Esther Viti, 1932-2015
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