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    THUNDER ON THE BAY: Bayfair powerboat races mark 50 years of thrills, spills
    by JOHNNY MCDONALD
    Sep 17, 2014 | 3576 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Hydroplanes launch into action from the starting line during the 50th anniversary race weekend of Bayfair San Diego from Sept. 12-14 along the Bill Muncey Cup course on the waters of Mission Bay.   		  	 Photo by Jim Grant
    Hydroplanes launch into action from the starting line during the 50th anniversary race weekend of Bayfair San Diego from Sept. 12-14 along the Bill Muncey Cup course on the waters of Mission Bay. Photo by Jim Grant
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    J. Michael Kelly, in the Graham Trucking hydroplane, left, and Jimmy Shane, in the Oberto boat, fight for position. 	        Courtesy photo by John Jones
    J. Michael Kelly, in the Graham Trucking hydroplane, left, and Jimmy Shane, in the Oberto boat, fight for position. Courtesy photo by John Jones
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    Bayfair San Diego hydroplane race safety officials inspect a boat that flipped multiple times during the race. 	        Photo by Jim Grant
    Bayfair San Diego hydroplane race safety officials inspect a boat that flipped multiple times during the race. Photo by Jim Grant
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    Jimmy Shane’s Oberto hydroplane was the first across the finish line, but, instead, runner-up J. Michael Kelly got the checkered flag, signaling that he was the Bayfair race victor for the coveted Bill Muncey Cup during the weekend of Sept. 12-14. Race officials ruled that Shane crossed in front of Kelly at the start of the five-lap feature. Shane was penalized a lap and later fined for the infraction. However, Shane earlier posted two convincing wins in heat races to maintain his points lead for the championship heading into the season finale at Doha, Qatar from Nov. 20-22. An emotional Kelly soaked in the victory that became official about 30 minutes after the final was completed along the 2 1⁄2-mile Bill Muncey course. Fran Muncey, wife of the late Bill Muncey, presented the trophy to Kelly on the 50th anniversary of the Bayfair races.  “It’s very cool to be a part of the history of Bill Muncey,” Kelly said. “Knowing I’ll never have what he’s done, but to be part of it all.” It was a bizarre conclusion to the three-day festival that included other class speedboats, a car show and bands on three stages. The weekend began when the board of governors was advised that the city would not lift its order to ban spectators from bringing alcohol in to the event. Board members said they felt this will create a future financial hardship and affect the number of recreational vehicles that normally circle the course.  Also, in a surprise move, the sanctioning H1 Hydroplane series announced that chairman Sam Cole was being replaced by Steve David on an interim basis. David, a Florida real-estate executive, is a former hydroplane champion. Cole had been chairman for 10 years. Board president Jeff Thomas said the board of governors would conduct a post-race meeting in a few weeks to discuss the future of Bayfair and to discuss a possible meeting with the San Diego City Council over the alcohol issue. Thunderboats Inc. is a nonprofit organization to promote powerboat racing in San Diego and tourism in the beach area. Bayfair is funded in part by the San Diego Tourism Marketing District Corporation with tourism marketing district assessment funds. Although final attendance figures have yet to be compiled, organizers report a strong turnout over the three-day race period.  “We’re thankful to the 700-plus volunteers that come together each year to stage this family event,” said Thomas. “Mission Bay Park was built for hydro-plane racing, and we’re proud to showcase it.” 
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    Packed house expected for MB centennial finale
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Sep 17, 2014 | 349 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Though with a different configuration and a bit more barren, the area around the Giant Dipper is still quite recognizable in this historic photo of Belmont Park. 					Courtesy photo
    Though with a different configuration and a bit more barren, the area around the Giant Dipper is still quite recognizable in this historic photo of Belmont Park. Courtesy photo
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    The boardwalk area of South Mission Beach has always been a popular spot for sunbathers and people-watchers, as shown in this undated historic photo. 						              Courtesy photo
    The boardwalk area of South Mission Beach has always been a popular spot for sunbathers and people-watchers, as shown in this undated historic photo. Courtesy photo
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    Mission Beach has always held an allure for funseekers, like these involved in a tug-of-war likely in the 1920s or ’30s. 	             Courtesy photo
    Mission Beach has always held an allure for funseekers, like these involved in a tug-of-war likely in the 1920s or ’30s. Courtesy photo
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    What would Mission Beach be without an impromptu volleyball game in the sand? 				             Courtesy photo
    What would Mission Beach be without an impromptu volleyball game in the sand? Courtesy photo
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    San Diego lifeguards, who are also celebrating 100 years of service this year, stand perched atop a lookout station in this historic photo. 	        Courtesy photo
    San Diego lifeguards, who are also celebrating 100 years of service this year, stand perched atop a lookout station in this historic photo. Courtesy photo
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    It’s been a year of great celebrations as Mission Beach caps its 100th anniversary observance this month with a Centennial Festival & BBQ Competition between Belmont Park and Ventura Boulevard — an event that will spill out onto the streets Sept. 27 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. More than 15,000 people are expected to swell the centennial festival, which will take San Diegans “through the decades” of this beach community, starting from the roaring 1920s. Guests will enjoy a “Bathing Beauties Fashion Show” with swimsuits from the ’20s, sponsored by Pilar’s Beachwear. The event will also feature a walking museum filled with Mission Beach memorabilia. Entertainment in and around 3146 Mission Blvd. will include local live music performed by Split Finger, Rian Basilio and the Roosters, The Soulside Players, The Jackstraws, Fred Thompson Ukulele Majesty, Sue Palmer and the Euphoria Brass Band. Adults will be able to dive into drinks at a craft-style beer garden. The little ones will have their own party too, with a Kids’ Zone set up inside Belmont Park to entertain youngsters of all ages. Inside the Kids’ Zone, families will find plenty of activities, include The Boo Hoo Crew, the Hullabaloo Band, magicians, balloon art, free face painting, rides and attractions. To date, the Mission Beach centennial celebration has featured nine community-based events: a monument dedication and resident walk, a pub crawl, a “MeetThe Legends Surf Classic,” a Father’s Day classic car show, a “Dive-In” movie featuring the 1975 thriller “Jaws,” a horseshoe tournament put on by the Old Mission Beach Athletic Club, a hands-on sandcastle-building demonstration and a volleyball tournament. It all leads up to this, the piece de resistance: the free Centennial Festival & BBQ Competition. The festival wouldn’t be complete without tasty grub. Visitors will be able to grab the best barbecue taste treats at the sanctioned cook-off area, with samplings starting at 11 a.m. until they’re gone. Some San Diego favorites like Brazen BBQ, Holy Mole, Chillin & Grillin and Rubbed the Right Way will be competing. San Diego’s finest festival food and vendors will also be attending. “This is a festival and a Mission Beach birthday celebration that San Diegans cannot miss out on,” said Wendy Crain, co-chairwoman for the Mission Beach Centennial. “San Diego lifeguards are celebrating 100 years of service as well, and we’ll incorporate this into the festival. “We would like to thank our sponsors, committee members, The Mission Beach Women’s Club, The Mission Beach Town Council, OMBAC, San Diego Park and Rec, the city of San Diego, the Beach & Bay Press and the entire Mission Beach community for helping us celebrate the spirit that is Mission Beach,” she said. For more information, visit www.missionbeachcentennial.org or call (858) 488-1549.
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    8,000 volunteers expected to attack 100-plus sites in Coastal Cleanup Day
    by STAFF AND CONTRIBUTION
    Sep 17, 2014 | 299 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Boy Scouts turn in the refuse they collected near the Ocean Beach Pier during a previous Coastal Cleanup Day event.
    Boy Scouts turn in the refuse they collected near the Ocean Beach Pier during a previous Coastal Cleanup Day event.
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    Online volunteer registration is now open for Coastal Cleanup Day 2014, the largest single-day volunteer event in San Diego dedicated to protecting and preserving our local environment. The event will be held Saturday, Sept. 20. Volunteers of all ages are needed from 9 a.m. to noon at more than 100 coastal and inland sites to help preserve the local environment by cleaning up these outdoor areas. Interested volunteers can sign up for the cleanup online at www.CleanupDay.org.  Organized locally by environmental nonprofit I Love a Clean San Diego (ILACSD), Coastal Cleanup Day is part of the statewide Coastal Cleanup Day and International Coastal Cleanup, which has included more than 150 countries and 9 million volunteers since its inception more than 30 years ago. Locally, the event successfully brings together roughly 7,500 volunteers, local businesses, community organizations and government agencies, all working toward the same goal: a cleaner and healthier San Diego. The city’s Storm Water and Transportation Department launched a “Think Blue” campaign to prevent stormwater pollution. Each year, hundreds of tons of garbage end up on the beaches and in our waterways after traveling through San Diego’s vast watershed system. Best known for its beach cleanup sites, Coastal Cleanup Day reaches far beyond the beach, with more than 65 percent of sites located along the rivers, creeks, canyons and urban areas throughout the county. Event organizers said cleaning up these inland sites prevents trash from reaching the coast, stopping pollution at the source.  Trash removal is just one component of the annual event. Volunteers will also conduct storm-drain stenciling, invasive plant removal, native planting and graffiti removal. Another unique component of the event is the “on the water” cleanups that take place at San Dieguito Lagoon and Shelter Island/San Diego Bay. ILACSD encourages San Diegans to come together for the event to improve the health of the environment and preserve the San Diego way of life for future generations. For a complete list of cleanup sites and to register to volunteer, visit www.CleanupDay.-org.  For more information or to donate, visit www.cleansd.org, or call (619) 291-0103.
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    Ex-NTC site is no longer a best-kept secret
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Sep 10, 2014 | 18733 views | 1 1 comments | 58 58 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    The redevelopment of Liberty Station into a sprawling civilianized complex entailed the restoration and preservation of historic buildings that were once the pride and joy of the venerable Naval Training Center before being shuttered during military base closures.    Courtesy photo
    The redevelopment of Liberty Station into a sprawling civilianized complex entailed the restoration and preservation of historic buildings that were once the pride and joy of the venerable Naval Training Center before being shuttered during military base closures. Courtesy photo
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    The former Naval Training Center (NTC) site now known as Liberty Station is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and many of its individual structures are designated as historic by the city of San Diego. Liberty Station’s multifaceted retail and commercial district is divided into five sections: The Marketplace, Ocean Village, NTC Landing, Harbor Square and Fitness Club. Anchor tenants of the retail and commercial districts include Vons, Trader Joe’s and Ace Hardware. There are several dozen restaurants, including several Starbucks coffee shops, and a variety of retail shops. In May 2013, Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens opened on Historic Decatur Road. Several of the retail establishments, including Vons and Stone Brewing, are built inside historic structures from Naval Training Center days. The Vons store occupies two separate buildings, formerly barracks, separated by an open courtyard. Stone Brewing incorporates multiple buildings, including the former mess hall. The NTC Promenade is a group of historic buildings being renovated for the display of arts, science, culture and technology. The educational district of Liberty Station consists of High Tech Village, a group of public charter schools collectively known as High Tech High. The campus includes five high schools, two middle schools and one elementary school. The residential district of Liberty Station has two main sections, one for military housing and the other a residential community developed by the McMillin Corporation. The military housing area includes 500 units, mostly townhomes, and also features children’s playgrounds and sports facilities. The exterior of the housing is in a Spanish architectural style in keeping with traditional San Diego. The civilian residential community includes townhomes, rowhomes and single-family houses. The hotel district of Liberty Station is designated for several hotels, currently including a Homewood Suites by Hilton and a Courtyard by Marriott. A large resort hotel by Nickelodeon is in the works. The office district is a collection of newly built office buildings whose architecture reflects the Spanish Colonial Revival style of the original NTC buildings. The Rock Church, a nondenominational, evangelical Christian  mega-church, was constructed in 2005 and opened in 2007. The building houses new Christian education facilities, office space and a 3,500-seat worship center, making it one of the largest auditoriums in Southern California. The church currently averages 12,000 in attendance per week, making it the largest church in San Diego. The Rock Church occupies the site of the former Technical Training Center at Service School Command San Diego.
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    Steady
    |
    September 12, 2014
    Enjoyed Dave Scwab's article on LIBERTY Station. With all of the back & forth going on currently regarding lights for the Point Loma High School football field - why couldn't a multiuser facility be developed at Liberty Station with a lighted football field that could've used by Point Loma High School as well as other events. The area is more conducive to this type of activity/traffic flow and would seem to be a win-win for all.
    Liberty Station’s charm, history still fueling growth of 361-acre site
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Sep 10, 2014 | 1007 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    With its seemingly endless venues, museums, arts, shopping and stunning panoramic views, Liberty Station is increasingly a major draw for concerts, entertainment, dance and community fundraisers. 
Courtesy photo
    With its seemingly endless venues, museums, arts, shopping and stunning panoramic views, Liberty Station is increasingly a major draw for concerts, entertainment, dance and community fundraisers. Courtesy photo
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    Liberty Station hosts its share of community events like concerts and outdoor summer movie series for families. Courtesy photo
    Liberty Station hosts its share of community events like concerts and outdoor summer movie series for families. Courtesy photo
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    In the 17 years since NTC Liberty Station closed as a military base and was reborn as a sprawling mixed-use civilian development, it has become one of the prime city venues for hosting public and private events of all kinds. “We host about 650 events per year, ranging in size from a meeting of 10 people up to large-scale, outdoor festivals for several thousand people,” said Barbara Ramsey, director of event sales for NTC venues at Liberty Station. Venue spaces available to rent on the former Naval base include The McMillin Event Center, Gallery 17 Event Center/Plaza, The Command Center, Luce Court/Legacy Plaza, North and South Promenade and Ingram Plaza.  Some of the larger organizations and events hosted at Liberty Station include ArtWalk, The Best of San Diego hosted by San Diego Magazine, Vin Diego, the Parkinson’s Walk and the Live Well San Diego 5K. “We also have The Dance Place Studios offering more than 600 dance classes annually, plus The North Chapel, which hosts more than 350 events — weddings, baptisms, concerts, military ceremonies and funerals — per year,” Ramsey said. Ramsey said the cost of renting out a portion of Liberty Station varies “depending on the venue space and for how long you would like to rent the space.”  Despite the large number of events already hosted at Liberty Station, there’s still room for expansion, said Liberty Station officials.  “While we have had two very successful years, we still have room for growth in the corporate market, social occasions and multi-day conferences,” said Ramsey. The 361-acre former Naval Training Center (NTC) offers much in the way of park and open-space areas, making it amenable for hosting events. There also is the historic Sail Ho Golf Course, which is San Diego’s oldest. Built in the 1920s as the Loma Club, it was recently renovated by Cary Bickler, who redesigned its fairways, greens and practice facilities. The nine-hole executive course features a pro-shop and the Sail Ho Bar & Grill. Liberty Station also has a 46-acre waterfront park with playground areas, plus a walking/jogging trail along the boat channel and an athletic club. Liberty Station’s large open areas makes it an attractive setting for numerous 5k walk/runs sponsored by local businesses and nonprofit organizations that have made the former base their home. “We’ve got it all: great value, unparalleled amenities, centrally located and plenty of complimentary parking,” said Ramsey. “The venues at NTC Liberty Station offer a slice of San Diego’s rich naval history coupled with spectacular surroundings that will make any meeting, conference, celebration, festival or wedding an event to remember.” Liberty Station is also full of fitness and therapy centers, as well as gyms and athletic clubs for all ages, including the Point Loma Sports Club, Therapy Specialists, Yoga Six, Fitness Without Walls, Fitness Together, San Diego Gymnastics, Riptide Soccer Club, Pilates By The Bay, Performing Arts & Athletics Restorative Training Specialists and Walkabout International. An aquatic center is also planned on 3.7 acres in the active space area of NTC Park. The city is in the process of approving a contract with an architect to begin the community input and design phase of that project.
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