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    Lifelong foodie is in her element at Northside Shack
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Jan 23, 2015 | 3621 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Pamela Olvera invites you to eat hearty and healthfully at Northside Shack.
    Pamela Olvera invites you to eat hearty and healthfully at Northside Shack.
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    Pamela Olvera’s been a mom, a paralegal, a chef, a gardener and now the owner of her own juice café in Point Loma. What will the owner of Northside Shack, at 1255 N. Rosecrans St., do for an encore? “There’s a couple of tricks up my sleeve,” said Olvera when asked if franchising is in her future. The 42-year-old entrepreneur and lifelong foodie said she’s been contemplating opening her own business for 20 years. She finally did it in May of last year after working for a couple of years on her business plan. “I’m totally different from most of the juice bars,” said Olvera. “I’m the only farm-to-table juice bar in town.” Northside Shack features a lot of chef’s specials and custom drinks. “I have a build-your-own bar,” said Olvera. “You choose up to five items to create your very own blends.” Olvera said her vegetable and fruit blends are unique. “We don’t use any emulsifiers or additional sugars,” she said. “We don’t load up with ice. I put together something, and almost everybody walking out the door is a happy camper.” Her competitively priced concoctions are as distinctive as her business model. “Some of the combinations you won’t find anywhere else, like roasted sweet potato in a breakfast blend,” Olvera said. “I use coconut and almond milk. No soy. No dairy. Just total goodness.” One other novelty at Northside is that the café has Kombucha, a fermented tea drink purported to have health benefits, on tap. “It’s got a lot of very good organisms and bacteria that help promote a healthy gut, stimulates energy and just kind of cleans your system,” said Olvera. Northside does soups on Wednesdays. The juice bar also is known for its chicken salads, which Olvera warns, “run out quickly.” Olvera is a huge proponent of “healthy eating.” “It’s always been a mission of mine to try and bring healthy eating to underprivileged neighborhoods, food deserts,” she said, adding she grew up in “hardcore" neighborhoods in South Bay that didn’t have access to “good foods.” Olvera was a paralegal for 10 years. After her three children were mostly grown, she chucked her legal job to go to culinary school to retrain and become a chef. It’s a work experience that’s served her well as a food retailer. Northside is located in a corner strip mall next to a dry cleaner that Olvera noted is convenient and close to her clientele. “It’s a community juice bar,” she said. “I get people in here from every walk of life, vacationers because of the (nearby) hotels, and the military. I believe you tap into your community, your people, and you create a hub. That’s the best way to market your business.” The business is also completely family run and maintained with Olvera, her mom, her best friend and her children helping out when needed. “I’ve been here nonstop the last eight months,” noted Olvera. Northside Shack is open Mondays through Fridays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, call (619) 715-1869 or visit northsideshack.com.
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    Clean-up completes first step toward Roseville pocket park
    by Dave SCHWAB
    Jan 22, 2015 | 5012 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    The Canon Street clean-up will ideally stop erosion during the pocket park's development.
    The Canon Street clean-up will ideally stop erosion during the pocket park's development.
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    Residents of Point Loma's Roseville neighborhood took the first step in a long-term project, cleaning a vacant lot along Canon Street earmarked for conversion into a pocket park. In what some are calling a “pivotal moment,” Burtech Pipeline on Jan. 10 provided approximately $15,000 in heavy equipment and supplies and, with the help of several community volunteers, cleaned up the .28-acre open space parcel at the upper end of Avenida de Portugal where it dead-ends before reaching Canon Street. Removed were cans, bottles and other urban trash as well as dead acacia trees and tumbleweeds that represented a fire hazard. Also cleared were years of accumulated construction debris: steel girders, cinder blocks, blocks of concrete, dumploads of gravel and once-molten asphalt. Thanks to tree pruning, a dangerous blind curve along Canon Street is now much more visible. It is hoped the clean-up will slow or stop site erosion while money is raised and planning done to develop the park. The small undeveloped parcel on Canon Street was transferred from the Public Works Department to Park and Recreation on June 30, 2014, and is now a designated park site. Peninsula Community Planning Group board members Don Sevrens and Jon Linney have been spearheading the community redevelopment project. Sevrens said they approached the city first about doing site clean-up but were told the city “had no money. “So we asked Burtech,” Sevrens said, “and they agreed to do the work on a Saturday with their own people and equipment at their expense with the help of 11 community volunteers, both neighbors and activists.” Sevrens added the work party was well received. “Motorists driving by gave us the thumbs-up,” he said. “Neighbors left their homes and came up and said, ‘We really approve of what you’re doing. We want a park. Can you put us on a contact/work party list?’” In a community memo, the two planners noted the site cleanup accomplished a number of goals. “Now there is something tangible to see, a blank canvas for the features the public wants,” said their statement, noting, “One possibility is a passive walk-in park with trails, water-thrifty plants and signboards celebrating the Portuguese neighborhood’s historic accomplishments.” Pointing out that “the public will decide what goes in the park,” Sevrens and Linney noted other ideas being floated to redevelop the site include winding trails of decomposed granite with benches, a sculpture celebrating the Portuguese community’s achievements, signboards denoting community history and a playground piece styled after the San Salvador being built at Spanish Landing. “This will be a quiet place,” assured both community planners. “No restroom, no concrete, no Keep Off The Grass sign.” There is much more work to do on the project, which is likely to take three to five years to complete. “We will continue doing outreach, talking to individuals, neighbors and small groups,” said Sevrens. “Once a nonprofit sponsor and financial custodian are in place, we will hold two formal workshops to find out what features the public wants. We will approach the county for a possible grant.” But Sevrens conceded that “most of the money, maybe all,” is going to have to come through private donations. “To that end, we will do everything we can to keep the cost down,” Sevrens said. “If we can quickly land major donations, great. Otherwise, we anticipate opening the park in phases so the public will be able to see and enjoy the park sooner.” The planners said a community workshop will likely be scheduled at Portuguese Hall by early summer to receive public input on the pocket park development project.
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    Correia Middle School buries time capsule
    Jan 22, 2015 | 733 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Steven V. Correia and student Jacob Wade at the time capsule ceremony.
    Steven V. Correia and student Jacob Wade at the time capsule ceremony.
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    In 1983, the school once known as Collier made the drastic change to combine with neighboring school Dana to form the all new Correia Middle School. The school’s decision to change the name came in recognition of the bonding of the schools. It was decided to name the school after a living person. Being that the previous namesake was an important developer in San Diego, the choice to name the school after an artist specializing in the skill of glass blowing, Steven V. Correia, was a unique choice. The school has grown immensely since the name change. It receives input from Correia, and is ecstatic about being able to share with him the progress of the school. “Being able to meet the person the school is named after, the school I’ve worked so hard for, is amazing,” said eighth grader Jacob Wade. “In 2013, I became a member of Correia’s own ASB. There, I became a student intrigued with the school’s fascinating past. “While working in the nooks and crannies of back rooms I discovered the 1984 yearbook, which started my fascination with the school’s history. I’ve found almost 100 artifacts from the school and have organized hundreds of yearbooks.” After finding out that Correia was 30 years old, Wade decided to bury a time capsule in its honor. Through the years, ASB purchased the time capsule and Wade organized the ceremony. “Finally on Jan. 16, after two years of planning, I finished my goal to celebrate this historic day in our school,” Wade said.
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    Ocean Beach restaurateur encourages participation in his pet project
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Jan 21, 2015 | 3057 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Jeff Levitt, who won a 2014 Humane Society Animal Compassion Award, promotes pet adoptions as part of his campaign on dogs' behalves.
    Jeff Levitt, who won a 2014 Humane Society Animal Compassion Award, promotes pet adoptions as part of his campaign on dogs' behalves.
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    Though he’s not likely to win again this year, Jeff Levitt, co-owner of Shades restaurant in Ocean Beach and the 2014 winner of the Pet-Friendly Business Award, encourages people to participate in the annual San Diego Humane Society competition. The Society’s annual Animal Compassion Awards recognize and pay tribute to extraordinary animals and animal lovers throughout San Diego County. Nominations are collected in three categories: animal impact, humane hero, and pet-friendly destination. Award submissions are being accepted through Feb. 13 for individuals and businesses who’ve demonstrated “an exceptional level of compassion” toward animals. Winners will be featured in the July 2015 issue of San Diego Pets magazine. Levitt was granted the award in the destination category, not only because his oceanfront bistro is pet friendly but also because of the quarterly adoption events he hosts there. The events have led to homes for more than 175 pets in the past two years. 

 “Anything we can do to help promote pet adoptions within the community, we're more than happy to do; it's something we love to do anyway, so it's just been a win-win,” said Levitt. Levitt’s two dogs are like part of his staff. “My dogs are canine ambassadors for the San Diego Humane Society,” he said. “They participate in public functions for the society, like the San Diego County Fair last year, and we take them to places like elementary schools to do community outreach. When the dogs aren’t busy with the society, they sometimes are here at the restaurant greeting guests as they come upstairs.” Winning the society’s animal compassion awards has given Levitt’s restaurant business notoriety. “Last year, the Food Network came down to do a piece on us being pet-friendly,” he said, adding the award “is a big part of our visibility and presence in San Diego because of all the things we do in the dog community.” Levitt noted he’s proud to have contributed to San Diego’s being “one of the pet-friendliest cities in the country.” The restaurateur said he hoped whoever succeeds him as an award winner will carry on with the society’s humanitarian mission. “The society’s goal in 2015 is for no dogs or cats (other than sick or injured) to be euthanized within San Diego,” he said, adding, “It’s a very lofty goal, but I think they’re going to hit it by the end of 2015.” Shades hosts quarterly pet adoption events on the restaurant’s outdoor patio. “We’ll have 50 or 60 dogs on the patio,” he said, adding canines are people pleasers. “Our dogs greet guests coming into our restaurant at the top of the stairs,” he said, “and it’s amazing how their expressions go from scowls to smiling faces and how it has a calming effect.” Shades is a dog-friendly business in dog-friendly Ocean Beach, where even the homeless have pets. Levitt said Shades, as a perk, feeds customers' dogs from the standard menu. “You can order food for your dog sitting on the patio,” he said, “and have chicken or beef served to them in stainless-steel bowls as a treat.” The San Diego Humane Society and SPCA have served San Diego County since 1880, offering a wide range of programs and services that strengthen the human-animal bond, prevent cruelty/neglect, provide medical care and educate the community on the humane treatment of animals. 
The society is supported solely through contributions, grants, investments, proceeds from the Muttique retail store and small fees for services.
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    Paris tragedies, triumph: The lesson isn't lost on San Diego
    by MARTIN JONES WESTLIN
    Jan 13, 2015 | 12503 views | 1 1 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Millions marched in Paris on Jan. 11 in defense of speech freedom following an attack on a satirical newspaper and a subsequent shootout that left a total of 20 dead. COURTESY PHOTO
    Millions marched in Paris on Jan. 11 in defense of speech freedom following an attack on a satirical newspaper and a subsequent shootout that left a total of 20 dead. COURTESY PHOTO
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    Don't look now (unless you somehow find yourself duly compelled), but I’m off to France for most of July to help recast a big farmhouse outside Bordeaux into a bigger live-in education and community center. The project is in the southwest commune of Brossac, and this is great for two reasons: I'll get a hard-won taste of true rural life (Brossac, a farming town, holds just over 500), and my workmates come from around the world, which means I'll be that much less conspicuous amid my totally suckworthy French. Tiny, windswept Brossac is a cultural solar system away from Paris, the Western world's premiere historical landmark – but even as six months will have passed, both locales will operate in lockstep following the horrific Jan. 7 massacre of 17 innocents and the police killings of three perpetrators of the crimes. What began as a mass murder at a controversial Paris newspaper morphed into the latest installment in religious fervor gone mad, with satirical cartoons of Islam’s prophet Mohammed fueling two battles of almost Shakespearean proportions. Nearly 90,000 French forces were involved in the aftermath, with French Prime Minister Manuel Valls declaring Jan. 10 that France is at “war” with radical Islam. Charlie Hebdo (“Charlie Weekly”), the paper at the center of the tragedies, normally circulates 30,000 copies every Wednesday. This week’s edition was to have rolled out at an unbelievable 3 million, a figure eclipsed by the nearly 4 million (about a third of Paris’ metropolitan population) who on Jan. 11 swelled the country’s streets in defiant, jubilant defense of freedom of expression the world over. Some 40 world leaders walked among the crowds, arms linked in a rare show of unity (President Obama's absolutely unbelievable absence notwithstanding). “Je suis Charlie,” or “I am Charlie,” became the mantra of choice in Paris and in cities from Beirut to Tokyo, and “Le Marseillaise,” the French national anthem, totally hit the top of the charts. In the blink of an adoring public eye, France’s 9/11 had morphed into a political Woodstock. The upshot from the bloodshed wasn’t lost on San Diego, whose House of France in Balboa Park was the scene of a hastily arranged candlelight vigil on Jan. 8. On the day of the Paris rally, about 125 showed their solidarity at the park – and perhaps no presence was more reassuring than that of Taha Hassane, director and imam at the Islamic Center of San Diego, who participated in both rallies. “I’m against injustice,” he said in a published report. “I’m against crimes committed in the name of my faith, in the name of the God that I worship, in the name of the prophet that I follow. Extremism and terrorism have no religion, no culture except the culture of hate.” French President François Hollande isn’t highly thought of by his people, but it’s a cinch he carried himself every inch the statesman Jan. 11, when he declared that “Today, Paris is capital of the world.” And so it has been for centuries as the signature city of about 40 peace treaties since 1229. By contrast, little Brossac became a commune in 1793 and has never had more than 1,200 residents at one time. But this is one of those cases where size, thankfully, doesn’t matter. Paris, Brossac and every French city in between stand shoulder to shoulder as this moment’s true leaders of the free world. Just as I’m elated at their courage, I am sorely shaken amid my own devastation at the attack on a free press and the loss of life. I am rapt with anticipation of my trip and my hosts’ colossal resolve, writ bold and extra-large Jan. 11 on the world stage. And even as my French is well-near hopeless, I am beside myself with pride for a nation that fuels mankind with its almost unimaginable presence, dispensing hope and humanity as freely as an impoverished world can scare draw its sustenance. Je suis Charlie. Martin Jones Westlin is editor of La Jolla Village News, sister paper of Beach & Bay Press.
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    labeach
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    January 15, 2015
    Thank you for this insightful and poignant article. Somehow you have captured the pain we share with the venerable country of France during this most recent terrorist attack against artist/journalists of the press, like a knife in the heart of a country at the forefront of liberty and humanity, that has sheltered more refugees and immigrants of all creeds and colors than any other...

    Not to confuse kindness with weakness, as the french say:

    Revenge is a dish best eaten cold.

    "La revanche est un plat qui se mange froid."

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