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    Turning the page on a storied neighborhood in Point Loma with Little Free Libraries
    by THOMAS MELVILLE
    Apr 01, 2015 | 817 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Jessica Wilkinson reads a book from her Little Free Library on Browning Street in Point Loma. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Jessica Wilkinson reads a book from her Little Free Library on Browning Street in Point Loma. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    On Monday afternoon, Jessica Wilkinson arrived home and found a pair of sandals. A few days before that, there was a bag of chips. Two weeks ago, she found a jacket draped over her bench, which is nestled in between the sidewalk and a short retaining wall in front of her home on Browning Street. “I guess people sit down, start reading and forget things – like their shoes,” Wilkinson said with a smile. It's not as odd as it sounds when you consider that next to her comfy wooden bench is a colorful box of books – a Little Free Library – which encourages everyone in the neighborhood to take a good read and share a better story. “It's been a real blessing for our street, our neighborhood,” said Wilkinson, who opened her LFL six months ago. “It brings neighbors together; it's a conversation starter.” Little Free Library is a movement started by Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisc., and Rick Brooks of Madison, Wisc., in 2010, and has grown to include little libraries in most states and dozens of countries. As of January, there were more than 25,000 of the mini-libraries worldwide, with thousands more being built. Little Free Library’s mission is to: - Promote literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide. - Foster a sense of community and connection as neighbors share skills, creativity and wisdom across generations. For the van den Helders on Santa Barbara Drive, installing a Little Free Library on the Moana Drive side of their home quickly became a way to connect and reconnect with their community. “I have had conversations with neighbors I haven't seen for years,” said Wendy van den Helder, who has lived in Point Loma for 13 years and opened her LFL about a month ago. “I've also met people who will stop on their walk and take photos of the library and then start asking questions about it. I think it may need its own Instagram account soon.” Little Free Libraries are sprouting up all over the Peninsula. At last count there were seven, but that number may grow as the LFL on Tivoli Street also includes a seed exchange. “I think that means we have a well-read neighborhood,” van den Helder said. The van den Helders' library is stocked mostly with novels with some non-fiction, occasionally a cookbook, and at one time a DVD. Their offerings are geared more toward adults. Over the hill and closer to Loma Portal Elementary, Wilkinson's library is usually stocked with children's books or young adult fiction. Her LFL has a bright red, blue, green and yellow color scheme with flowers painted on the sides and the lyrics to the song “You Are My Sunshine” on the back. “I love that song and sing it to my two young children all the time,” she said. When Wilkinson moved to Point Loma three years ago, she grew tired of going back and forth to the public library in an effort to keep up with her daughter's prolific reading habit. She thought about starting a book trading program, but when she learned of the Little Free Library program, it seemed like a perfect fit. “I like that it's bringing people back to books and keeping reading alive,” Wilkinson said. “People will put their phones away and read a book, remember how it makes them feel, and pass that appreciation on to their children.” Now, if they could just remember to take their shoes. Here's how to create your Little Free Library First decide where you can legally and safely install the Little Free Library. The location should also have a lot of foot traffic and be highly visible to anyone nearby. Then identify at least one person to be the steward; this person regularly checks the library to be sure it is stocked, clean and inviting. They also promotes the library on an ongoing basis. You can build your own library, find someone locally to build one for you, or purchase a library through the Little Free Library online catalog. You can also apply to receive a sponsored GIFT Fund Library. Once you have installed your library, be sure to hold a grand opening ceremony and invite your friends and neighbors to kick off the library in style. Have a ribbon cutting, provide snacks and exchange books. Take lots of photos and register on the World Map so that anyone can easily find your library. For more information, visit littlefreelibrary.org.
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    San Salvador replica set to launch in San Diego Bay
    Mar 31, 2015 | 3958 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    The replica of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo’s ship San Salvador at Spanish Landing. / Photo by Jerry Soto
    The replica of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo’s ship San Salvador at Spanish Landing. / Photo by Jerry Soto
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    Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo’s ship, San Salvador, arrived in San Diego Bay on Sept. 28, 1542. On Sunday, April 19, San Salvador (a replica four years in the making) will once again sail San Diego Bay. Details of the launch event are still being finalized and more information will be posted at www.sdmaritime.org/san-salvador-build/. She was the first recorded European vessel to sail along Southern California, surveying its coastline. San Salvador functions as an "origin symbol" for San Diego in much the same way as the Mayflower is the origin symbol of New England. In the past four years the Maritime Museum of San Diego has embarked on the construction of a historically accurate replica. This construction is now complete at Spanish Landing, located along the San Diego Bay near the San Diego International Airport. Visitors are welcome to tour the build-site from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. until her launch. The new San Salvador will function much more than just a static museum display. While she will call the Maritime Museum of San Diego home, she will also sail along the coast of California, visiting its cities and towns as a floating education platform for California's school children. To help with the cost of building and maintaining the San Salvador, there is a GoFundMe site (www.gofundme.com/sslaunch) set up for donations.
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    Latest Avenida project closes traffic yet again
    Mar 31, 2015 | 469 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Business owners and residents in the Avenida de la Playa area can's get a break. PHOTO BY DAVE SCHWAB
    Business owners and residents in the Avenida de la Playa area can's get a break. PHOTO BY DAVE SCHWAB
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    Calle de la Plata from Avenida de la Playa to Paseo Dorado is closed for the next four weeks to through-traffic to facilitate the installation of a new sewer main as part of Avenida de la Playa Infrastructure Replacement Project and Sewer and Water Group Job 809. The job began March 30. Fencing will be installed just south of the driveway of the condominium building at 2137-2147 Avenida de la Playa. Residents of this building will have garage access. The fencing will extend to north of the driveway of 8023 Calle de la Plata. When the work extends south of the fenced area, construction crews will work with residents to provide driveway access. The fencing will block access to the alley from Calle de la Plata. The alley access from El Paseo Grande will remain open. Sidewalks will also be open to allow for pedestrian traffic. Crews will work Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Job 809 is a topic of contention to several business owners in the Avenida de la Playa area of La Jolla. The extent of repairs, they've said, is drastically cutting into profits amid the swell of traffic and dearth of parking spaces. The contractor is also performing curb and gutter repair on St. Louis Terrace from Viking Way to Little Street. The job should be completed by April 5. Normal work hours of 7 a.m. to 4 p.m will apply. No Parking signs will be posted at least 72 hours in advance of the construction. Paving of the street will take place by the Memorial Day Weekend. Repairs in the area began last September and are expected to continue through Memorial Day.
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    Point Loma students speak out against SeaWorld's orca shows; school board passes resolution calling for animal sanctuaries
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Mar 29, 2015 | 6064 views | 1 1 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    PLHS students speak to the school board.
    PLHS students speak to the school board.
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    Attempts to persuade SeaWorld San Diego to change its business model eliminating orca shows was rejoined recently as Point Loma High School (PLHS) students supported the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) board, which unanimously endorsed a resolution calling for SeaWorld to explore animal sanctuaries for its marine mammal entertainers. This renouncement of SeaWorld from the school board comes during the theme park's recent national advertising campaign trying to improve its image. Coincidentally, the San Diego school board's resolution also comes on the heels of a book released from former SeaWorld trainer John Hargrove, which condemns the theme park's actions with and treatment of its orcas. Last week in San Diego, four 16-year-old high school juniors from the Cinematic Arts Program at PLHS spoke in behalf of the resolution proposed by school board members Kevin Beiser and Richard Barrera asking SeaWorld to explore animal sanctuaries. Animal rights groups such as PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), have been campaigning for months asking SeaWorld to consider changing its business model. They want the marine park to drop live marine mammal shows altogether, which some allege are exploiting animals commercially, in favor of creating as-yet-undefined “sanctuaries,” where marine mammals could be exhibited by SeaWorld patrons in their natural environment, but where mammals would not be compelled to perform in choreographed shows. “I am proud to say although my students were greatly outnumbered, they were victorious in securing a controversial unanimous vote on a resolution Supporting Educational Opportunities for Students on the Human Treatment of Animals,” said Anthony Palmiotto, PLHS cinematic arts advisor. “This resolution comes on the heels of Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus announcing their plan to phase out elephant acts over the next few years.” Palmiotto said the question now is, will the SDUSD resolution proposed by Beiser and Barrera, and unanimously passed by the school board, help influence SeaWorld to do the same for their animal acts? “The students from my class think so,” Palmiotto said. PLHS students spoke on their own behalf. “As I grew up I realized animals were being exploited just for our entertainment,” said PLHS junior Lavonniee Pyant. “To know that there is more of a social awareness spreading around the exploitation of animals in the entertainment industry is great. Getting the opportunity to speak for the animals at the school board meeting was extremely rewarding.” “I really enjoyed being able to speak on behalf of the many animals that are unjustly treated in the entertainment industry,” said PLHS junior D’Anna Abril. “I've had the opportunity to visit tiger temples and elephant sanctuaries in Thailand that don't have animal acts and I felt it was time for SeaWorld to change. I really just wanted to stand up for those who couldn't and let their voices and mine be heard.” “I believe animals should be treated with the same respect as any human being,” said Alex Allen, a PLHS junior. “Looking for alternatives for animal shows is crucial not just because people have come to realize the extent to which the trainers abuse the creatures, but also because we are evolving as a society. That evolution needs to evolve to favor all creatures, not just ourselves.” “We are taught that we need to stand up for those who cannot do it for themselves, but when did we decide that this idea only applies to humans?” asked Logan Leising. “We need to wake up. To know that there were so many others like me, was a true pleasure, and I am incredibly honored to have had the opportunity to speak for the animals. And I was even more pleased to hear that the school board supported the resolution.” At the school board hearing, the PLHS students’ opposition was SeaWorld San Diego president John T. Reilly and two-dozen staff members of the park and their families. SeaWorld’s answer to animal-rights activists’ charges that its killer whale exhibit amounts to commercial exploitation came Aug. 15 when the theme park announced plans to nearly double the size of its existing San Diego orca environment. SeaWorld’s blue world project calls for the construction of a 10-million-gallon tank environment, set to open to the public in 2018. Marine park officials said the 50-foot deep exhibit, with a 1.5-acre surface area, is expected to give guests more access to views of killer whales underwater and would allow the animals increased engagement with park experts. Plans for the tanks also include a “fast-water current,” which would allow the orcas to swim against moving water. “Through up-close and personal encounters, the new environment will transform how visitors experience killer whales,’” said SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. president and CEO Jim Atchison. “Our guests will be able to walk alongside the whales as if they were at the shore, watch them interact at the depths found in the ocean or get a birds-eye view from above.’’ SeaWorld Entertainment has also pledged $10 million in matching funds for killer whale research and plans a ”multi-million dollar partnership” to focus on ocean health, company officials said. The research includes projects to understand killer whales’ hearing ranges and gain information on their nutritional status and reproduction.
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    dagobarbz
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    March 30, 2015
    This is such a bunch of useless hype, this "doubling the size" of the orca tanks.

    It's like moving them from a cupboard to a walk in closet. These creatures swim hundreds of miles. Mission Bay might be a decent enclosure if you could block it off, but while the tank size in millions of gallons sounds impressive, look at the size of the intelligent animals they are imprisoning.

    Larger tanks, not an acceptable solution!
    Mission Bay High’s Lancia named San Diego Unified District High School Teacher of the Year
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Mar 27, 2015 | 6763 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Teacher of the Year Dr. Ron Lancia celebrates his award with his students at Mission Bay High School.
    Teacher of the Year Dr. Ron Lancia celebrates his award with his students at Mission Bay High School.
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    Mission Bay High teacher Dr. Ron Lancia has been named San Diego Unified School District's 2015 High School Teacher of the Year. Lancia said he was “thrilled and honored” by the award but added he considers it to be more of a school and community achievement than something personal. “This honor is the sum total of the hard work of different people: students, teachers, parents and administrators,” Lancia said. “There is absolutely no way this happens without an incredible amount of effort from the entire Mission Bay community.” Lancia teaches English, AVID, yearbook, and IB film, and was instrumental in the creation of the ACES after-school tutoring program. ACES (after-school center for excellence and support) provides consistent academic support Mondays through Thursdays in Mission Bay High’s library from 2:15 to 4:15 p.m. The program provides assistance in English, history, math, science and special populations, including English language learners, special education, IB and art, and access to technology resources. ACES furnishes an array of holistic services, including social-emotional support, college readiness and self-advocacy through leadership-building seminars, workshops on health-related topics and access to school counselors. Lancia received kudos from Mission Bay High principal Ernest Remillard. “I couldn’t be more proud of Ron and the fact he is being honored for all the work he does throughout the Mission Bay campus,” said Remillard. Earlier this school year, Lancia was selected by his peers as the Mission Bay High School teacher of the year. He will be recognized later this spring at a districtwide event, and will then compete for the San Diego County Teacher of the Year. Lancia attribute much of his success to his “malleable” instructional approach. “We have a180-day calendar year and day one is always the same, but the other 179 days are always different,” he said, adding, he “treats everyone as an individual” and is “very accepting of diversity” while “teaching every class differently.” The Mission Bay High instructor noted technology is allowing modern students to excel and go beyond just being literate. “Modern students have all these different kinds of intelligences that teachers can tap into to find some great results,” he said offering a “metaphor” describing student potential. “I have 36 students in my classroom, 36 jewels, and I ask that all of them contribute in any given day,” Lancia said. “My challenge is to see that every one of those voices is heard.” A Philadelphia native, Lancia, who has taught at Mission Bay high since 2004, noted the ACES program he fostered just passed another milestone. “We just reached 13,000 students tutored in less than two years,” he said.
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