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    Decoration Day at the Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial
    May 29, 2015 | 2363 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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    Country Day seniors are Just in Time for local foster youth
    by TRICIA WARRENS
    May 29, 2015 | 2204 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    La Jolla Country Day School students Kendall, April and Susana flank a giant thank-you note amid the efforts at Just in Time, which supports foster children as they transition into the real world. PHOTO BY TRICIA WARRENS
    La Jolla Country Day School students Kendall, April and Susana flank a giant thank-you note amid the efforts at Just in Time, which supports foster children as they transition into the real world. PHOTO BY TRICIA WARRENS
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    For the seniors of La Jolla Country Day, Wednesday, May 20, was the last day of class. Instead of fleeing campus, heading off into the last summer before college, they stayed for a barbecue and put together Ikea furniture for Just in Time, My First Home recipients. “This is their last day of school, and I would be at the beach right now or doing something crazy, but they’re here helping us. It just blows my mind,” said April, one of the Just in Time recipients whose furniture was being built. Just in Time is a local organization that works with transitioning foster youth to help them lay solid foundations for their futures. It offers programs that help foster youth with financial support, college, employment opportunities and housing. The My First Home program helps in providing recipients with new furniture for their first homes, a big deal for foster kids. April echoed those remarks as she whizzed around on her new rolling office chair. “This is brand new everything; it’s so cool,” April said. “Being in foster care basically all my life, you get hand-me-downs, which is — not complaining; I’m very grateful for everything that’s come to me, but being able to get new stuff is just really cool.” Kendall, project manager and a senior this year at La Jolla Country Day, saw what previous classes did with Just in Time and thought it would be a great community service project. “I didn’t really know what I was getting into,” Kendall said, “but we [Kendall and Susan Nordenger, community service director at Country Day] went over to the Just in Time headquarters, and I just fell in love with what they were doing there.” Having, pitched her idea to the community service board, students decided they wanted to fund not just one recipient, like they did a couple years back, but two. The seniors raised about $3,400, more than enough to fund two foster kids (Just in Time recommends $1,500 per My First Home recipient). They conducted fundraisers throughout the year to reach their goal, the most successful being a “Kiss a Pig” event. “We went around the school with four buckets, and each bucket had a picture of a teacher on it, and students dropped money in the bucket of a teacher they wanted to see kiss a pig. We raised about $1,500 from that alone.” The seniors also held a student-versus-faculty dodgeball game, with a participation fee of $1, and won a canned food drive contest through the food bank. The prize money went toward the Just in Time fund. “It’s crazy to think that they did all these fundraisers for it and stuff like that; it was so awesome,” said Susana, second recipient of the school’s efforts. April and Susana purchased similar furniture pieces during their shopping sprees; tables and chairs, furniture Nordenger says can be taken for granted. Nordenger also says this is an important project for the seniors because they are soon to be experiencing the same process – going to college, buying and furnishing their first home — as their parents. “Our kids sort of take it for granted,” she says, “that they’ll have parents who help them and parents who get them what they need.” Such was not the case for Melissa Gutierrez, a former recipient of Just in Time programs, who at 18 was told by her foster parents she had to leave. She now works at Just in Time as a volunteer coordinator, and she stressed how important an organization like Just in Time is in the foster care community. “Transitioning youth,” she says, “tend to be that forgotten population. There are 300 foster youth aging out of the system each year in San Diego alone. Oftentimes, those youth don’t have the typical connections of family and networks that everyone else has been building for 18 years. What we [Just in Time] try and do is help show them that there is so much more out there and there are people who really care and want to help them get to where they want to go.” The efforts of Just in Time and the Country Day seniors have ensured that both April, entering her second year of college, and Susana, a recent high school graduate, have a place to call home, adults to turn to and solid foundations for their futures. Next year’s seniors at Country Day plan on continuing with the My First Home project and have big goals for next year. “They want to raise enough money to sponsor three kids,” Susan Nordenger. Considering the hard work exemplified by this year’s seniors and the motivation of next year's, the partnership between Country Day and Just in Time is showing no signs of going away anytime soon. The future is bright and furnished. *** Tricia Warrens is a student at Hi Tech High and a spring intern with San Diego Community Newspaper Group. ***
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    Amid the drought, artificial turf concept holds water
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    May 26, 2015 | 6450 views | 1 1 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Synthetic grass has its drawbacks, but sales are growing 10 to 15 percent a year nationwide.
    Synthetic grass has its drawbacks, but sales are growing 10 to 15 percent a year nationwide.
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    *** (This is the first in a series of articles on energy sustainability and what homeowners can do in response to the continuing drought.) *** With rainfall levels diminishing and water rates increasing, San Diegans are searching for ways to save water, energy and money in these continuing times of drought. Which is leading more than just a few to consider turning in their water-guzzling, high-maintenance grass lawns for synthetic turf. It’s a trade-off, with pluses and minuses to keeping natural lawns, as opposed to trading them in for an artificial surface with a large upfront cost that pays off on the back end with huge savings in time and maintenance. The fact is, turf grass is one of the most water-intensive plants a landscape can have. High-water demand and frequent maintenance make it a time-consuming and expensive yard option. At a minimum, grass lawns need to be mowed during the summer months. However, a lush lawn typically requires periodic fertilization as well as irrigation during dry weather. Insecticide may also be required if grubs, fleas or other insect pests are present. Artificial lawns are much easier to care for than real grass, requiring no mowing, fertilizing or irrigation. They also do not attract insect pests. Synthetic grass that gets dirty can simply be hosed off. Artificial grass may also make the inside of your home a bit easier to care for, with no dirt or mud tracked in. Coastal resident Victor Grigorian made the switch from natural grass to artificial turf and is glad he did. “I did my front yard in 2009, and then a year later I put it in my backyard,” he said, adding there were three main reasons for making the change. “I had retired and I wanted to make my life easier and not have to deal with the responsibility of maintaining a yard,” Grigorian said. “I was also conscious about water concerns, and they (turf installers) were offering a rebate.” Grigorian’s “very satisfied” with the end result, adding, “It looks good. What I lose in it not looking like real grass, I made up for in not having to mow it once a week and fertilize it a couple times a year.” Although artificial turf may be easier to care for than the real thing, artificial turf does not feel exactly the same as real grass. Many homeowners also struggle with the sound of artificial turf, which makes a soft rustling when walked on. Also, while the feel of artificial grass may not be quite the same as the real thing, the look of a high-end synthetic can easily fool your friends and neighbors. Grigorian said he can live with his synthetic grass not always looking like the real item. “I will challenge you to tell me it (synthetic turf) doesn’t look like real grass at certain times of the day,” he said, “especially if you’re driving by (from a distance).” On the negative side, artificial turf installation costs significantly more than traditional sod. Statistics show that synthetic grass for landscaping and recreation is growing 10 to 15 percent a year nationwide, which means more and more homeowners are using fakes for lawns, dog runs, play areas, pool surrounds, rooftops, putting greens and decorative borders between patio pavers. It’s several times more expensive to install synthetic grass than to put in natural grass sod. Studies show it takes about seven years for maintenance-free artificial grass to recoup its initial cost. The pluses of artificial grass is that it saves water, is easy to maintain and can be environmentally friendly. On the down side, artificial grass is not completely maintenance free, it can’t absorb and break down pet urine, it heats up in direct sun, it can’t be recycled and it has been banned by some homeowners associations and municipalities. As part of its drought-response efforts, the San Diego County Water Authority has launched a pilot program designed to help bring down the cost of replacing water-intensive grass with artificial turf. More information is available at SoCalWater$mart.com.
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    HybridTurfOceanside
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    May 26, 2015
    I agree with almost everything in the article except the 7 years of ROI? In my experience and research I have found that Artificial Turf take 2-4 years for ROI. We have 15 year warranty so you recoup your cost and still have a warranty to back it up
    Getting there:: Merchants vote for plan to fund Cove waste clean-up
    May 26, 2015 | 481 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    The stench at La Jolla Cove -- the gift that keeps on giving.
    The stench at La Jolla Cove -- the gift that keeps on giving.
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    In May, La Jolla Village Merchants Association voted unanimously to endorse an attempt to use $400,000 in already-collected coastal access and parking funds to pay for a bird and marine mammal waste clean-up at La Jolla Cove. The merchants group also advocated requiring groups hosting community special events to provide extra trash cans to help with clean-up efforts. Association president CA Marengo said the vexing problem of stench at the Cove caused by waste build-up continues. He noted the association has recently met with representatives from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as well as Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins' office in attempts to get the odious problem addressed. Marengo held up T-shirts that call attention to the problem showing humans — and sea lions — with clothespins holding their noses shut. “It really affects businesses,” Marengo said. “Hopefully, we’ll find a solution soon.” Marengo pointed out there is an existing fund, derived from developer impact fees collected over the years, that could conceivably be diverted for use in cleaning up the Cove stench. Those funds are earmarked for coastal-access improvements. “Those coastal funds are kind of dead,” Marengo said, “because they’re supposed to provide coastal access in the form of a shuttle, which would be exhausted very quickly if we did that. But those funds could be used to clean up the rocks (where sea lions haul out).” Marengo noted there’s at least one major hurdle to be overcome: convincing the California Coastal Commission that using the funds for coastal clean-up would qualify as a coastal-access improvement. In his president’s report, Marengo also asked the board to endorse his writing a letter on behalf of the group, which would make a change in requirements for clean-up after special events by hosting groups. “We’ve noticed lots of trash around after special events,” he said, “overflow that isn’t picked up until Mondays, two days after special events. We’d like to write a letter to the city’s special events department asking that permits require that extra trash cans be placed throughout the Village to handle the overflow. We just want to make sure it’s part of the permit process.” The group voted in favor of a motion to support requiring more trash cans for special events. In other action: • Sarah Fields introduced herself as state Sen. Marty Block’s new La Jolla representative. Her email is sarah.fields@sen.ca.gov. • Association board member Nancy Warwick announced that the next La Jolla Town Council special forum on art and culture in La Jolla will be held Thursday, June 4 from 6:45 to 8:30 p.m. at Warwick’s Bookstore, at 7812 Girard Ave. The program will include guest speakers representing La Jolla Music Society, La Jolla Symphony & Chorus, La Jolla Playhouse, The Stuart Collection, the La Jolla Historical Society, Athenaeum Music & Arts Library, UCSD's ArtPower! and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. • Marengo gave kudos to City Council President Sherri Lightner for removing foliage along Torrey Pines Road heading into town, saying this has significantly opened up ocean views and has had one other positive unexpected side effect. “I’ve noticed that cars have slowed down to look at the view, which is a reminder that they’re close to the Village,” he said.
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    Summer fun with Bianca – Playing at Dog Beach in Ocean Beach and then a bath for Shila
    by BIANCA WEINSTEIN
    May 23, 2015 | 28259 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Bianca and Shila at the Dog Beach in Ocean Beach.
    Bianca and Shila at the Dog Beach in Ocean Beach.
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    Bianca and Shila at Dog Beach Dog Wash in Ocean Beach.
    Bianca and Shila at Dog Beach Dog Wash in Ocean Beach.
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    Shila getting a bath from Bianca at Dog Beach Dog Wash in Ocean Beach.
    Shila getting a bath from Bianca at Dog Beach Dog Wash in Ocean Beach.
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    Bianca and Shila play at Ocean Beach's Dog Beach.
    Bianca and Shila play at Ocean Beach's Dog Beach.
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    Shila meets some friends at the Dog Beach.
    Shila meets some friends at the Dog Beach.
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    The other day, I was playing with my boxer Shila, and I thought it would be a great idea to take her to Ocean Beach's Dog Beach. I packed up the car and headed out to let her run around and play. Dog Beach is an off-leash beach located at the north end of Ocean Beach, and it is the only 24-hour dog beach in the San Diego area. Before we even got out of the car, Shila was already excited and wagging her little tail. Once her paws hit the sand, Shila was off running around, meeting the other dogs. She became instant friends with some golden retrievers and was having the time of her life running and chasing a ball into the water. After meeting all the friendly dogs, Shila was worn out and ready to take a nap. Before Shila could go home, I took her to Dog Beach Dog Wash to give her a bath. The dog wash is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., with the last dog wash 30 minutes prior to closing. The dog wash includes warm water, shampoo, a grooming mitt, washcloths, an apron, towels and a brush, all for just $14. For an additional $2.50, you can use a specialty shampoo, such as hypoallergenic, flea and tick (pyrethrin or neem), coat brightening (black, bronze or whitener), moisturizing shampoo and a few more choices depending on your dog's needs. If you want your dog's coat conditioned, you can use conditioners such as aloe vera, chamomile and oatmeal for an additional $2.50 and aloe remoisturizer for $3.50. After considering the shampoo choices and conditioners, I opted for the regular dog wash and began bathing Shila with the shampoo provided with the wash. Though she is a little baby when it comes to bath time, she was feeling much softer and looking very clean afterward. Dog Beach Dog Wash also offers other services for after the bath, such as a $3.50 blow dry or fluff-box dry, grooming table/Clipper-Vac ($5 per every 15 minutes) and nail trimming for $13. There are also toys and treats available for purchase in the store ranging from $1 up. Remember to always pick up after your pet and to keep Dog Beach clean. Dog Beach Dog Wash Where: 4933 Voltaire St. Contact: (619) 523-1700 or dogwash.com
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    News
    SeaWorld aiding 11 mammals affected by Santa Barbara oil spill
    SeaWorld San Diego reported May 27 that its specialists are taking care of 11 sea lions and six elephant seals affected by last week’s oil pipeline rupture near Santa Barbara after receiving two mo...
    May 29, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
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    Sports
    Playoff loss doesn't dampen spirits of Bishop's girls lacrosse
    Alex Flagg’s stove-popped popcorn with Tajin seasoning, which contains chile peppers, salt, and lime, must be the fuel that powers Bishop’s highly-ranked girls lacrosse team. Despite a recent playo...
    May 19, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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    Opinion
    THE RETIREMENT CONCIERGE: The courage to be wrong
    “‘I have done that,’ says my memory. ‘I cannot have done that,’ says my pride, and remains inexorable. Eventually – memory yields.” - Friedrich Nietzsche Dear SharonAnn, What do I do about my boyfr...
    May 27, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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    Arts & Entertainment
    OBIEs: Former local boy Darko Tresnjak makes good
    Former Old Globe Shakespeare Festival artistic director Darko Tresnjak and playwright Ayad Aktar, whose play “The Who & the What” was seen at La Jolla Playhouse last season, received OBIE Awards Ma...
    May 29, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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    Business
    Dempsey completes facelift at La Plaza boutique mall
    Dempsey Construction has completed an extensive renovation of La Plaza, a three-story, 38,860-square-foot luxury boutique shopping center at the corner of Girard Avenue and Wall Street in La Jolla’...
    May 27, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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    Obituaries
    Hats off to civic icon Esther Viti, 1932-2015
    Esther Viti, La Jolla’s “Hat Lady,” was impossible to miss. The chapeau-clad, wheelchair-bound Viti was omnipresent in the Jewel. She hosted community clean-ups and attended civic functions. She to...
    Apr 23, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend
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