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    Albion SC Pros fall in West Region final, but gain success in Pacific Beach
    by DAVE THOMAS
    Jul 26, 2016 | 5669 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Albion midfielder Felipe Liborio is upended by a Sol defender in the first half of the West Region final at Mission Bay High School. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Albion midfielder Felipe Liborio is upended by a Sol defender in the first half of the West Region final at Mission Bay High School. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Albion forward Lester (Tre) Hayes races up the sideline in the first half against the Sol. / Photo by Thomas Melvillea
    Albion forward Lester (Tre) Hayes races up the sideline in the first half against the Sol. / Photo by Thomas Melvillea
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    Members of The Deep End cheer on Albion Pros during the West Region final at Mission Bay High in Pacific Beach. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Members of The Deep End cheer on Albion Pros during the West Region final at Mission Bay High in Pacific Beach. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Although they came up a little short in last weekend’s National Premier Soccer League West Region final at Mission Bay High School, the area’s Albion SC Pros soccer team had quite a season to boot. Albion SC Pros dropped a 1-0 decision to perennial power Sonoma County Sol in front of a raucous crowd in Pacific Beach on Saturday, July 23. The loss ended what was a fantastic season for the locals, as they entered the match unbeaten. Knotted at 0-0 heading into the intermission break, things would change in the second half, with the visitors getting the only goal (from Diego Lopez) they would need to secure the title. The victory allowed Sonoma County Sol to move on to the National Semifinals, where it is slated to meet up with a powerful Chattanooga FC team. Albion SC Pros, which captured its first conference title during its unbeaten regular season run, can look back on its season with nothing but pride and satisfaction.Ian Cook, head of marketing for Albion SC Pros, mentioned recently on the National Soccer Premiere League website what kind of season it has been for the expansion franchise.In his comments, Cook noted, “Going undefeated in the regular season and winning the conference championship is a massive accomplishment. It is a testament to all the great work by the Albion Pros coaching staff and players to put the hard work in day after day. This organization committed to a vision of winning a national championship back in December and to foster an undefeated, hard-working culture.” Making the ride to the West Region final all the more impressive was the total team effort that Albion Pros displayed. As Albion Pros head coach Ziggy Korytoski stated, it was an effort that included players, staff, volunteers and the San Diego community. For this local soccer team, the sky is the limit moving forward.
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    Coco Ho wins Supergirl Pro in Oceanside
    Jul 25, 2016 | 2478 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Coco Ho (HAW) bested Malia Manuel (HAW) in the Final Heat to win the title. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Coco Ho (HAW) bested Malia Manuel (HAW) in the Final Heat to win the title. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Sage Erickson (USA) has her photo taken with a fan after winning her Quarterfinal Heat on Sunday. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Sage Erickson (USA) has her photo taken with a fan after winning her Quarterfinal Heat on Sunday. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Dominic Barona (ECU) rips during her Quarterfinal Heat with Malia Manuel. / Photo by Thomas Melville.
    Dominic Barona (ECU) rips during her Quarterfinal Heat with Malia Manuel. / Photo by Thomas Melville.
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    Carissa Moore (HAW) won her heat with Holly Wawn (AUS) on Sunday. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Carissa Moore (HAW) won her heat with Holly Wawn (AUS) on Sunday. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) during her heat with Zoe McDougall (HAW) on Sunday morning. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) during her heat with Zoe McDougall (HAW) on Sunday morning. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Day three of the Paul Mitchell Supergirl Pro – the largest all-women’s surf contest in the world and the only WSL Women’s QS6000 event in North America – came down to a battle between two Hawaiian Supergirl podium vets, Coco Ho and Malia Manuel. Sunday saw fierce competition at the iconic Oceanside Pier as the Round of 16 was whittled down to Hawaiians versus Australians in the semifinals. After head-to-head heats in front of a packed beach, the top three spots went to Ho (HAW) taking first and jumping from No. 21 to No. 4 on the QS rankings, Manuel (HAW) at runner up, and Laura Enever (AUS) and Carissa Moore (HAW) tying for third. The finals came down to a fight of former Supergirl titans when Manuel, the 2013 champion, faced Ho, who took first in 2008 and 2010. Ho captured the coveted pink Supergirl cape by posting two of the top scores in the final day of competition, earning a 9.00 (out of a possible 10) in the Final and matching the highest-single wave score of this year’s event. The North Shore, Oahu native topped fellow Oahu islander Moore with an equally impressive 8.50 in the Semifinals, and Nikk Van Dijk (AUS) in the Quarterfinals.  “It’s all a whirlwind!” said Ho, whose win earned her a third iconic Supergirl cape, and her first since the contest became a QS6000. “I’ve never really been labeled as consistent and to be able to prove that wrong with a third win is my biggest milestone.”  Manuel did not go down without a fight – posting a 7.10 and 6.17, to earn runner up. By making it in to the Final, Manuel now sits at the No. 1 position on the Women’s QS rankings after a great run at this year’s Supergirl Pro. The Kauai, Maui native showcased her powerful surfing and smooth style that progressed her through each round, topping Australians Macy Callaghan in the Quarterfinals and Enever in the Semis. “For years now Coco and I have wanted to be on opposite sides of the heat draw at Supergirl Pro so we could compete together in the finals. Finally being able to compete with each other in the finals is a dream come true for me and Coco,” said Manuel. “I’m so grateful to sponsors like Paul Mitchell who continue to support this event. It’s huge for us to have such a big company supporting women’s surfing like this.” The event will be broadcast on FOX Sports this fall.
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    Rio report: Don’t let Zika hype scare you away from Brazil
    by JOE CAPOZZOLI
    Jul 25, 2016 | 1340 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    The new beach volleyball arena for the Summer Olympics in Rio. / Photo by Joe Capozzoli
    The new beach volleyball arena for the Summer Olympics in Rio. / Photo by Joe Capozzoli
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    Copacabana Beach is where many of the water sports will take place. / Photo by Joe Capozzoli
    Copacabana Beach is where many of the water sports will take place. / Photo by Joe Capozzoli
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    If you’re old enough to remember the early days of “Saturday Night Live,” you surely remember skits John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Laraine Newman and Garrett Morris starred in as recurring characters: The Killer Bees. The actors were dressed in black-and-yellow bee costumes, wore floppy antennae, carried plastic guns and the jokes ensued. It was hilarious then and is still funny today because it parodied the press in America. Killer bees were hyped by the media and frightened the nation at the time. Large swarms were supposedly flying up from South and Central America and these bees did not sting you once, they stung you a thousand times. Until you died. Everyone panicked and was afraid to go outside that summer. Much like the summer when the film “Jaws” came out and no one went into the water. Almost 40 years have passed and while killer bee sting deaths have occurred, the threat never came close to the level or intensity leveled by the press. Fast forward to late 2015: A new deadly insect has arrived, carrying a new form of terror and its name is the Zika virus. How’s that for scary? So what is Zika and why is the press using Zika to scare everyone off from Rio during this year’s Summer Olympics? First things first, Zika is not new, in fact, it has been around longer than those dreaded killer bees. Zika was isolated in 1947 from a rhesus monkey in Uganda and a sample was provided to researchers by the famous virologist Jordi Casals-Ariet. Zika is available today to purchase on a website that sells research samples online (if you don't believe me, click here: https://www.atcc.org/Products/All/VR-84.aspx?slp=1&geo_country=us#history). But unless you work for a lab that meets stringent CDC regulations, you won't be able to buy your own Zika. Zika, unfortunately, is giving Rio a bad rap at a particularly critical time. The only thing the American press has to say about Rio is why you should not go there. This is unfair because Rio is a beautiful city with beautiful beaches, a fantastic shoreline, great restaurants and bars and, in just a few weeks, the best athletes from all over the world will be there competing in the 2016 Summer Olympics. Yes, the quality of the water is not what it is in San Diego, but it is not as bad as press reports suggest. Guanabara Bay, while definitely polluted and not a place to go swimming, is where the Olympic sailing competitions will take place. No swimming, or diving or things that require people to immerse themselves in the water will be in Guanabara Bay. Does this make it OK? Not really, but, once again, it is not as bad as is being reported. The “Lagoa” or lake, where rowing and other “above water” sports are scheduled, is much cleaner than Guanabara, or, when related to San Diego, just slightly dirtier than Mission Bay in this writer’s opinion. There have been occasions, after a good rain and runoff, when I would say Mission Bay would in fact be even dirtier. Ocean swimming and other water-related events are scheduled for Copacabana Beach. This is the Atlantic Ocean and the tides continually renew the water in the same way the Pacific does in San Diego. If it does get dirty, it will not stay dirty long. The Zika virus is a disease that is mainly spread by mosquitoes. For most people infected with it, symptoms are very mild and the disease is not harmful. There is one caveat, if you are a woman and are pregnant, it appears likely that Zika infection can result in birth defects, in particular, abnormally small heads (microcephaly) in newborns. With this in mind, if you were planning to attend the Summer Olympics in August, it is a good idea to skip this one. Pregnant women’s sex partners returning from Rio should practice safer sex or abstain from sex throughout the pregnancy. But, if you’re not a pregnant woman, and you love being close to the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat, there is no better city in the world to be in come Aug. 5. The people of Rio know how to celebrate and a three-week celebration of world-class athletes and their feats of excellence is guaranteed! For more about the Zika virus, the Olympics and travel to Rio, visit the World Health Organization: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2016/zika-health-advice-olympics/en/.
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    Buccaneer to represent Pacific Beach at Rio Paralympics
    by DAVE THOMAS
    Jul 25, 2016 | 10322 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Partnered with Massachusetts resident Maureen McKinnon (she won gold in the SKUD-18 at the 2008 Games in Beijing), Ryan Porteous (right) is more than happy to represent the United States.
    Partnered with Massachusetts resident Maureen McKinnon (she won gold in the SKUD-18 at the 2008 Games in Beijing), Ryan Porteous (right) is more than happy to represent the United States.
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    Ryan Porteous
    Ryan Porteous
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    It can be easy for many individuals when the chips are down to fold their tents and go home. That said, many others will stand and fight. Such is the case with one Mission Bay High grad, a young man who chose to make a stand when life presented him with a very serious challenge. For Pacific Beach native Ryan Porteous, his introduction to the college world was not what any young man (or woman for that matter) would envision. In 2011, after graduating from Mission Bay High (second in his class) and being named Male Athlete of the Year (he lettered three years on the football team), life would soon change. Porteous was injured during a fall on a boat dock in his early days at the University of California Santa Barbara (still a student there), a spinal cord injury that led to partial paralysis. While his body changed, his mind made up of determination and accomplishing things in life did not. Porteous persevered despite his injury, working hard enough to earn a spot this year on the U.S. Paralympics team that will compete in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The former Buccaneer will be representing his country in the SKUD 18 class sailboat two-person competition. He and his sailing partner were recently victorious in the U.S. Sailing Paralympic Athlete Selection Series for the two-person keelboat competition. Partnered with Massachusetts resident Maureen McKinnon (she won gold in the SKUD-18 at the 2008 Games in Beijing), Porteous is more than happy to represent the United States, noting that it was both a relief and an accomplishment to earn the right to be going to Rio 2016 this September. Porteous, who has also represented Mission Bay Yacht Club in his sailing ventures over the years, is not one to quit. As he mentioned online, “Though this injury has been a life-changing experience, I approach it with optimism. Being the athletic person I was before, I also knew I had to get back out there and renew my passion for sports. Sailing has been a perfect fit.” Better yet, Porteous can be an inspiration for others who have been placed in challenging situations for one reason or another. “Much of what we see depends largely on what we look for. Look for the good stuff, accentuate the positive and press on,” he adds. Porteous will be doing just that come September in Rio and for many years to come.
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    DecoBike plans to add more beach bike stations
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Jul 25, 2016 | 1525 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Some business owners and residents are upset that DecoBikes placed stations on the boardwalk in Pacific Beach. More are on the way for beach communities. / Photo By Thomas Melville
    Some business owners and residents are upset that DecoBikes placed stations on the boardwalk in Pacific Beach. More are on the way for beach communities. / Photo By Thomas Melville
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    The battle to remove two existing DecoBike stations on Pacific Beach's boardwalk continues despite city opposition and amid reports that the bike-sharing company may be further expanding its coastal network. On July 20, community activists Alan Harris and Jennifer Tandy addressed Pacific Beach Town Council about an ongoing petition drive opposing PB boardwalk's commercialization. Following that meeting, Harris noted a petition drive opposing boardwalk DecoBike stations had garnered about 3,000 signatures in just three of four weeks. Harris said the objective is clear. “We want to see the two stations on the boardwalk get relocated,” he said pointing out beach residents have had multiple meetings with both DecoBike and the city. Harris and other residents addressed the City Council recently about their opposition to boardwalk DecoBike stations. Told by the city that those stations were “lucrative,” Harris said they also learned DecoBike wants to increase, to 20, the number of its coastal bike stations between Ocean Beach and La Jolla. “Those stations were never planned, they were never shown to anybody in the community,” noted Harris. “We've been fighting them for a little over a year since they were first installed on the boardwalk.” Brian Curry, Pacific Beach Planning Group chair, said the city advisory group remains “opposed to DecoBike on our boardwalk and in tourist-oriented locations which compete with our small-business owners. The city is committed to running the program without public subsidy. Unfortunately, the city position results in a subsidy being paid by our local bike shop rental business owners.” According to city spokeswoman Katie Keach, as additional sites are considered throughout the city for a functional bike sharing network, no additional stations will be constructed on the boardwalk. Because the existing boardwalk stations are key to the network, the city will not move them. Florida-based DecoBike signed a 10-year contract with the city of San Diego and spent $8 million setting up bike share infrastructure citywide. After more than a year of delays, DecoBike opened its first rental stations in January 2015. During its first year of operations, DecoBike sold 102,641 rides and 697 memberships in San Diego, according to its annual report. Rides ranged from $5 for 30 minutes to a $125 annual membership. By comparison, the bike share program Citi Bike in New York City sold almost 4 million rides and more than 85,000 memberships in the first three months after it opened in 2013. Melinda Pederson, administrative manager for DecoBike San Diego, previously said the number of rides sold in San Diego is "lower than we would have liked” but added that is "not unusual for the first year of a bike-share program.” Asked about rumors that DecoBike might be asking the city for a “bailout,” Pederson replied, “We have never asked for any such payment, nor do we intend to. Our agreement with the city is that we will privately fund the bike share program and they will allow us to install stations in the public right-of-way. They also allow us to install ad panels and sell ad space to offset the cost of running the system.” Concerning the PB boardwalk stations, Pederson added, “They are very important to the bike share system. Those two stations consistently rank in our top five busiest stations, and there are no plans to move either of them.” Pederson said, prior to installing the two boardwalk stations, that DecoBike revised its station plan in response to community concerns.  “We reduced the number of stations to be installed on the boardwalk, and we reduced the station size,” she said. “Unfortunately, I can't give you any specifics on upcoming installations just yet. We have been working very closely with the city to agree upon sites for the next phase of installation. “The city has been meeting with local community groups to review locations and take their input into consideration as well. Once we have approval from the city on the new locations, we will make an announcement. "We are optimistic about the future of the program and we are looking forward to launching the next phase of installation," said Pederson. San Diego does not pay for the bike share program, but instead allows DecoBike to set up rental kiosks on city property. The city gets $25,000 from the company in the first year, and then either a portion of the company’s sales or an annual payment of up to $175,000 – whichever is higher – for 10 years.
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