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    Kayak rentals fuel noise and congestion, Shores group says
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Jul 10, 2014 | 15119 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Commercial kayaking has grown “exponentially” at La Jolla Shores, causing congestion problems and threatening the beach community’s small-village character. That was the gist of some residents’ concerns expressed at the La Jolla Shores Association (LJSA) July 9 meeting. During an open dialogue on the upcoming Request for Proposals (RFPs) for new three-year contracts between the city and five existing Shores kayak rental franchises, residents presented a laundry list of complaints. Everything from overcrowded sidewalks, to noise, traffic congestion and “unwanted” tour buses was discussed. “That’s what we’re looking for, input from the public,” said Lt. Rich Stropky, the San Diego Lifeguards spokesman on ongoing negotiations for the third RFP agreement, which will spell out conditions concessionaires must live by during the next three years of their operation. The current kayak RFP expires this fall. Describing kayaks as a “big-ticket item” in the Shores, LJSA chair Tim Lucas has noted that kayaking “is a popular water sport that has a tremendous impact on our beach, park, business district and residential areas.” “Kayaks are here to stay,” Lucas pointed out. Stropky said RFPs are “partnerships” between the city and kayak concessionaires, noting contract agreements are designed to achieve a “balance” between the needs and rights of residents and those of kayak operators. Asked what criteria are used by the city to judge a kayak RFP, Stropky replied judging is done by a panel. “Personal safety,” he added, “is the number one thing for me.” Stropky added kayak RFPs stipulate strict operating conditions, including limiting hours of kayak concession operations and fixing the total number of kayaks that can be operated by each company at any given time. Those restrictions are especially important during the summer peak period, which is at its maximum between July 4 and the end of August, when kayak operations are likely to be maxed out. RFP applicants, it was noted, must be storefront businesses. Kayak operators are also limited by the approximately 125-foot boat launch within which all watercraft have to be launched. LJSA board member Ray Higgins said kayak proliferation has become problematic, altering the character of the Shores' small commercial strip. “Shores businesses have changed from a neighborhood, retail-oriented environment to a heavy tourist emphasis,” Higgins said. “Everyone,” he added, “has a right to have a thriving and growing business, but there needs to be some regulation. I can’t even walk down the street anymore without being absolutely mobbed (by kayak clients).” A couple Shores residents stepped forward to complain about tour buses, which they said are increasingly showing up and disgorging scores of residents at a time. LJSA board member and kayak operator Sharon Luscomb noted tour buses aren’t just dropping off kayak customers but serving a variety of groups and their needs, everything from schools and churches to youth camps. Luscomb also noted that the number of sidewalk cafes has grown further, increasing sidewalk crowding. Dennis Rush, director of operations for LJ Beach & Tennis Club, pointed out the kayak RFP is “all about sharing the neighborhood” while adding that he feels the neighborhood’s “getting smaller” due to kayak proliferation. “Somebody’s pushing the envelope,” Rush said, noting that kayaks aren’t just adding to sidewalk congestion but in some instances are actually “blocking ocean views.” Shores resident Wayne Thomas asked why paperwork for kayak businesses can’t be done on the beach rather than having clients stacking up on sidewalks outside storefronts. “You’re not allowed to do commercial business on the beach,” Thomas was told, which is also the reason kayak operators are required to have storefronts – to store equipment and transact business. After the meeting, Lucas said the kayak RFP issue will likely be revisited this fall after kayak concessionaires submit their applications to the city. Lucas said he would also post the city’s bullet points summarizing problems and issues with kayak concessions, on the advisory group’s website at ljsa.org, as soon as they are available.
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    Things you didn't know: The numbers add up for one La Jolla art gallery owner
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Jul 10, 2014 | 1221 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Most know Vaughn Woods as a high-profile portfolio manager and controlled-growth advocate in La Jolla Shores, but few are aware that he’s also an art gallery owner as well as a lettered student of econometrics, the science of applying math and statistical methods to understanding economic relations. Running his portfolio business, Vaughn Woods Financial Group, in the back of his La Jolla Shores office at 2226 Avenida de la Playa, Suite A, Woods found zoning compelled him to incorporate some retail use. “We had to do something about that, and I thought, ‘I’m just not going to do hamburgers,’” Woods said, adding he decided to do something special to fit the small amount of space available – hence La Playa Art Gallery. “Both myself and my sister have been collectors of art, and, being painters (she’s the big painter), we decided to transition into the (art) gallery,” Woods said. “That largely includes what I would call a Fauvist approach to joy and exhilaration.” Fauvism was the first of the avant garde movements that flourished in France in the early 20th century featuring artists like Henri Matisse and Andre Derain. Fauve painters were the first to break with traditional styles. Their spontaneous, often subjective response to nature was expressed in bold, undisguised brushstrokes and high-keyed, vibrant colors. “What we’re trying to do here in the gallery is to offer the very finest and highest-quality selections available in San Diego, which is why we call ourselves La Playa Gallery,” Woods said. “Small Gallery — Big Art,” is how La Playa gallery bills itself. The gallery specializes in original paintings in various media, handcrafted jewelry and pottery featuring local and internationally successful artisans like Duke Windsor, a former Marine Corps combat illustrator who's mastered a variety of media, and Kay Kaplan, a local San Diego artist who’s mastered the Fauvist style. “Our focus is largely local artists, some of whom, who started out local, have moved on,” Woods said, noting La Playa is also currently showcasing some of the work of Cathy Carey, a contemporary impressionistic colorist. “What Cathy Carey does is take the naturalist world and fills it with joy, novelty, exhilaration,” said Woods. “You (observer) catch it right away. It’s exciting.” One of the things Woods is most proud of is having returned to school at Point Loma Nazarene University at age 50-plus to get a master’s degree. He studied econometrics under Senyo Adjibolosoo, Ph.D. Through Adjibolosoo and his research into econometrics, Woods said he’s learned that “you can assist in large social solutions to problems like poverty, illegal immigration or social decay through economic formulas.” Woods said studying under Adjibolosoo has helped give him invaluable insight into the “qualities of human character” that helped spark his interest in another scientific field: neuroeconomics, the study of choice. “I spent a year in the neurology library at UCSD studying the brain,” Woods noted. “In the end, I came away with a thesis statement that we’re all of us continually engaged in decision making based on our view of the world from a very unique set of capacities to metabolize stimuli.” Woods is applying what he’s learned in econometrics and neuroeconomics to his day job in portfolio management, helping clients maximize their investments by meticulously monitoring, charting and predicting trends in various industries. Woods talked about another of his role models: La Jolla Shores architect Dale Naegle, who died in 2011. “Dale Naegle was many things in his lifetime,” Woods noted. “At the end, in the latter stages of his life, he became a leader in the preservation of La Jolla Shores. He saw that as an important part of his legacy. I honor that, and I agree with everything he was trying to do.” Woods said La Jolla Shores residents who share Naegle’s vision of “preserving the community largely as a small attractive village” are carrying on the famed architect’s legacy through La Jolla Shores Tomorrow, a nonprofit group that, since January 2010, has focused on preserving the character and charm of La Jolla Shores through community consensus building.
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    Here comes the neighborhood: La Jolla man fuels a rally against crime on Caminito Ascua
    Jul 10, 2014 | 1308 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    By SANDY LIPPE Google La Jollan Gary Sutton's name and you come up with some impressive credentials: former CEO, inventor, author of at least a half-dozen books with titles like “The Six Month Fix: Adventures in Rescuing Failing Companies.” What isn't mentioned is his success as Neighborhood Watch-Out Guy. This is an age in which municipal code violators run rampant in neighborhoods and when meth makers occasionally move into upscale rental homes. It's an age when every homeowner and responsible renter needs a take-charge, good guy like Sutton. With the slightest raise of his eyebrow, Sutton describes the condition of his street before a certain family moved in to the area, on La Jolla's Caminito Ascua, near Soledad Road. “This is a neighborhood,” he said, “ where the only sound is the dull roar of one hundred pacemakers.” He sounds like Garrison Keillor at his funniest, but Gary hails from Iowa, not Minnesota. However, there was nothing funny about the last several months or so on the quiet street. In his organized, sequential way, Sutton gave the chronological account: A 98-year old homeowner on Sutton's cul de sac relocated to Florida and deeded her home to the Armenian Church of Chicago about a month before Christmas of 2013.  Generous of spirit, she allowed the church to rent out the home, and the trustee church was to watch over the property from afar. No background checks were done on the renters, apparently. A three-generation family moved into the cul de sac of 22 homes: grandmother, son and grandson in his 20s. It wasn't exactly the three bears, and Sutton wasn't exactly Goldilocks. Hints at the undoing of the neighborhood were becoming apparent. A large RV sat on the sidewalk of the property, with curtains covering all windows and duct tape holding up the mirror. This was in violation of the CC&Rs (conditions, covenanta and restrictions) governing the rental agreement. Sutton approached the twentysomething grandson about the violation, at which time the twentysomething grandson threatened to punch Sutton out. Sutton wasn't alone in his uneasy feelings. Another neighbor was aware of pot-smoking and dropped butts, and she stuffed all the butts in a bag and placed it into the new family's mailbox. At one time, there were seven cars at auction the dad parked on the street. However, a lot of flat tires occurred. The homeowners association gave permission to have them towed, and Sutton did the deed, not exactly endearing himself to the new family. (Before these incidents, crime on Caminito Ascua was almost unheard of – “Oh, yeah,” Sutton said, “somebody stole a bike 32 years ago”). Police officers are very busy public servants, and Sutton had to build a case for them. A police raid came after loud fighting inside the home, during which the grandson resisted arrest and was handcuffed. All hours of the day and night, Sutton added, the dad brought in some women with “very little unexposed flesh/” Meth odors permeated the air outside. Finally, after Gary contacted the Armenian Church of Chicago, a few trustees flew out to help build a case for eviction. By now, public nuisance was commonplace. Motorcycles arrived at 4 in the morning, with unsavory people driving by the garage, with the door rising and closing like a Chicago accordion. Drug dealing was alive and well. Many of the rooms were sublet. Police in Ocean Beach spotted purse snatchers whose address was this same La Jolla house. One of the renters had a pit bull that went after Sutton. That's when he started carrying a baseball bat, particularly after a defensive exchange of conversations (this guy with the pit bull had been in prison twice). The two representatives from the Armenian Church of Chicago tried to talk to the grandson, who ran. A warrant was out for his arrest, and his heroin addiction didn't help. Sutton wrote to now police Chief Shelley Zimmerman and mentioned the pit bull, the threats, the two police incidents and the dealing and possible cooking of meth. Sutton reminded her that nine children lived on this street, even though the majority of homeowners were seniors. In three days, 14 to 16 police officers, an ambulance and a fire truck had gathered at the residence. The ladies of the house were actually mules carrying the drugs. The grandson hid himself in the attic until a police dog found him. Gramma moved out after the first raid. Police closed the deal and got rid of the grandson, but the dad was never arrested. After the fourth raid, the locks on the house were mysteriously changed. “They busted that house,” Sutton said with pride. A celebration party in the cul de sac featured some champagne and a thank-you card to Zimmerman with 30 signatures on it. Meanwhile, once again Caminito Ascua is awash in the sound of those pacemakers, and maybe a squeal of joy from one of the nine children living safely and soundly – thanks to Gary Sutton, an unpaid sleuth enjoying street parties among happy neighbors. On August 5, the 31st annual America's Night Out Against Crime will be celebrated across the nation (check out the website at www.natw.org). The goal is to get your neighbors to gather together after turning on porch lights and letting the criminals see that we take care of each other. In the matter of Caminito Ascua, Gary Sutton went above and beyond the call of duty. Sandy Lippe frequently contributes her View from 52 column to La Jolla Village News.
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    Fashion Film Festival is a local watershed
    by MARTIN JONES WESTLIN
    Jul 10, 2014 | 440 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Acclaimed bassist Nik West and her band will rock the crowds at the La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival parties.    COURTESY PHOTO
    Acclaimed bassist Nik West and her band will rock the crowds at the La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival parties. COURTESY PHOTO
    slideshow
    New businesses, new faces, new trends that can fuel careers and, sometimes, alter lives: The Internet is clogged with stories about the events that spawn them, and those anecdotes rely on the visual component for their impact as never before. Simple motion is a typeface all its own these days – if a picture or a link doesn't yield at least a suggestion of video accompanying a click, you better check your connection. Homemade Internet video, after all, is how Fred Sweet, CEO at San Diego Model Management, founded the La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival. Fifteen years ago, advances in color magazine photography and page production had come into their own as part of the “branding” phenomenon, wherein models and clothiers jockeyed for readers' attentions with sensuality as the fuel behind their artistry; the wholesale development of video portals was only a matter of time. Meanwhile, as the festival gears up for its fifth year Wednesday, July 23, to Saturday, July 26, producer Sweet said that the event is a watershed for La Jolla and for filmmaking in general. Fashion film may be a niche industry, he explained, but that doesn't necessarily translate to limited appeal. “When you talk about [France's] Cannes [International] Film Festival,” Sweet said, “you don't refer to it with the whole name. You just say 'Cannes,' and everybody knows. The La Jolla festival has the same kind of name recognition. People around the world just say 'La Jolla,' and they know what you mean.” Tough talk for a guy with a staff of maybe five, whose off-season work is off the scale amid invitations to the haute couture and cinema elite. Italy's Paolo Santambrogio will represent his film “Eliza” at the festival, centering on Belgian model Eliza Sys; Ashley Avis' “Smoke” centers on a wife whose loutish husband is on the wrong end of her powers of seduction. Some 65 fashion media professionals, 26 producers and 81 directors from the U.S. to India will ply roughly 90 very short plot-based films (selected from a total of 11,000), dressed to compete with the finest examples of technological excellence, in a neighborhood whose name recognition precedes the event. San Diego Community Newspaper Group, publisher of La Jolla Village News, is the sole print-media sponsor of the event. Fashion is a nearly $300 billion commodity in the U.S., and that figure speaks to the lofty mentalities that drive many of today's niche industries. Ironically, Sweet's idea for the festival started with something considerably less costly – the same type Internet connection available to the general public. Add the exacting, delicate touches that characterize today's print, and the festival would soon materialize. “The quality and aesthetic of the films starts with the fashion magazines in what's called the editorial spread,” Sweet explained. “I'd make a video [inspired] by a designer ad, and I'd show them around to friends, without thinking about a festival or event.” What followed in many quarters was the demise of the editorial spread. In its place stands an inventory of films that ideally give life to clothing and its wearers. The concept has propelled the La Jolla festival to its place as the world's largest event of its kind. Sweet said that fashion film has quickly become a core means for designers to enter the public dialogue – still, ritzy La Jolla, and the household fashion names that soon will descend on it, might set a tone of exclusivity with a public otherwise inclined to attend. Sweet said the concern is legitimate – but he's quick to acknowledge the side of the enterprise that doesn't revolve around around seven-figure budgets. “Income disparity is always with us,” he explained. “But the films start with an idea, like the festival did. The [take-away] inspiration from a festival like this, in its infancy, is that with all the technology available, you can do it, you can succeed in the industry,” in which the science and art of fashion comes first. For particulars, please see www.ljfff.com or call (619) 889-3238.
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    Scripps Institute, USC abandon talks on merger amid opposition
    Jul 10, 2014 | 720 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    The Scripps Research Institute and the University of Southern California have called off discussions about a possible merger that would have allowed the La Jolla-based nonprofit to receive less of its annual funding from the National Institutes of Health and would have added to the Los Angeles university's prestigious life-science institutes. In a statement released Wednesday, July 9, Scripps officials said they are in the process of coming together to analyze and discuss the institute's future. Earlier, faculty at the biological research giant reportedly called for the resignation of Michael Marletta, the organization’s president and CEO, over the June 16 announcement that Scripps is considering a merger with or acquisition by USC. In a June 20 email to Marletta and Scripps trustees board chair Richard Gephardt, all ten faculty department chairs and the dean of graduate and postdoctoral studies reportedly expressed “deepening concern for the future of our beloved institution.” In the email, faculty members reportedly said Scripps can and should remain independent. “We believe that the proposed path with USC would destroy much of what has been built and what we and others in the community value so much,” the group reportedly wrote. Marletta, a chemist by trade, took over Scripps' leadership from longtime president and CEO Richard Lerner in January of 2012. Before moving to Scripps, he served as chair of the chemistry department at the University of California, Berkeley. Scripps, a private research organization with campuses in La Jolla and Jupiter, Fla., had a 2012 operating budget of $400 million. It relies mostly on grants and, to a lesser extent, philanthropic donations for its funding. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded 86 percent of the institute's revenue in 2013. Meanwhile, competition for NIH funding has increased as the federal agency’s budget has hit a downturn, and Scripps hasn't established a track record of private fund solicitation. The nonprofit Scripps is projecting a $21 million deficit for the current fiscal year ending Sept. 30. Meanwhile, USC began a $6 billion general fundraising campaign a few years ago. Half that amount has reportedly been raised. Those calling for Marletta’s resignation say Marletta’s vision of the future of Scripps and those of the faculty “no longer align.” Marletta said in a published report that further discussions to address the conflict are imminent. “As we move forward, representatives from the faculty, administration, and board are coming together to thoughtfully review a range of options for the institute’s future,” he said.
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    News
    Corporate Directors Forum to host breakfast on cybercrime
    Corporate Directors Forum, a San Diego advocate of professional standards in corporate governance, will host a breakfast and discussion on cybercrime and cybercriminals, and advice on the best prac...
    Jul 21, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend
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    Sports
    Corporate Directors Forum to host breakfast on cybercrime
    Corporate Directors Forum, a San Diego advocate of professional standards in corporate governance, will host a breakfast and discussion on cybercrime and cybercriminals, and advice on the best prac...
    Jul 21, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend
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    Opinion
    Corporate Directors Forum to host breakfast on cybercrime
    Corporate Directors Forum, a San Diego advocate of professional standards in corporate governance, will host a breakfast and discussion on cybercrime and cybercriminals, and advice on the best prac...
    Jul 21, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend
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    Arts & Entertainment
    Corporate Directors Forum to host breakfast on cybercrime
    Corporate Directors Forum, a San Diego advocate of professional standards in corporate governance, will host a breakfast and discussion on cybercrime and cybercriminals, and advice on the best prac...
    Jul 21, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend
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    Business
    Corporate Directors Forum to host breakfast on cybercrime
    Corporate Directors Forum, a San Diego advocate of professional standards in corporate governance, will host a breakfast and discussion on cybercrime and cybercriminals, and advice on the best prac...
    Jul 21, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend
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    Obituaries
    Virginia Fournier, 99, longtime OB resident and volunteer
    Virginia (Ginger) Fournier, a longtime Ocean Beach resident, passed peacefully on June 14 in Washington State after living with her daughter Suzie (Fournier) Long and husband Jay for three years. V...
    Jul 17, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
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