Community briefs for Pacific Beach and Mission Beach
Published - 10/05/18 - 09:13 AM | 16677 views | 0 0 comments | 32 32 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Taking in the view at Palisades Park in Pacific Beach. / Photo by Thomas Melville
Taking in the view at Palisades Park in Pacific Beach. / Photo by Thomas Melville
Polish Festival in Pacific Beach

Polish culture and hospitality will be on display Friday through Sunday, Oct. 12-14, at the St. Maximilian Kolbe Roman Catholic Church fundraiser at 1735 Grand Ave.  

The annual Polish Fest is a tribute to Polish heritage and pride. The event includes live performances by Polish folk dancers and various musical bands. 

Polish cuisine and genuine imported Polish beer will be sold. Also available for purchase at the church mission site will be a variety of commemorative event T-shirts, hats and other apparel.

“This annual fundraising event is one of the most popular ethnic festivals in the Pacific Beach area, attracting people from all around San Diego as well as international visitors who want to get a taste of what Poland is all about,” said St. Maximilian Kolbe spokeswoman Agnieszka Giacalone.

St. Maximilian was built in 1995 in Pacific Beach to serve the Polish community, a large number of whom emigrated from their native land during the Solidarity labor-union movement of the 1990s.

The church is named for St. Maximilian Kolbe, a Franciscan friar and World War II-era hero who voluntarily sacrificed himself in the place of a stranger at the infamous Auschwitz concentration camp.

Kolbe provided shelter to refugees from Greater Poland, including 2,000 Jews, whom he hid from Nazi persecution in his friary until he was arrested by the German Gestapo and imprisoned.

For more information, visit

BOOmont and Fall Fest at Belmont Park

Returning for its sixth season, BOOmont and Fall Fest rises from the dusk as Belmont Park transforms with festive fall thrills and chills throughout the amusement park. Throughout October, guests will be able to participate in free activities including trick-or-treating from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. from Friday to Sunday and family costume contests each Saturday at 5:30 p.m. There will be pumpkin painting starting at $2.

There will also be two free concerts at the Beach House for all ages featuring The Cool Kids and other bands 7 p.m. on Oct. 13. Sure Fire Soul Ensemble performs 1 to 4 p.m. on Oct. 28. Beer lovers can taste craft brews and hand-made pretzels while enjoying live music at the Belmont Beer Tasting Garden on Oct. 20 from 4 to 7 p.m. Draft will hold its annual costume party with a live DJ on Oct. 26 from 7 p.m. to midnight.

Sun Diego Am Slam Surf & Skate Series

San Diego's only surf, skate and music festival will be happening at Belmont Park in Mission Beach on Saturday, Oct. 13. The final stop of the Sun Diego Am Slam Surf & Skate Series presented by Vans is also the largest with more than $8,000 up for grabs in the pro-am divisions. The Am Slam is the only amateur surf/skate contest series in Southern California and is designed to give local surfers and skaters of all ages the opportunity to compete and excel.

Governor signs no-helmet bill for motorized scooters

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill absolving adults from being required to wear helmets on electric scooters on city streets.

Dockless bike company Bird backed the no-helmet law, AB 2989, which also permits scooters to be on streets with speed limits up to 35 mph. State law currently bans scooters on streets with speed limits exceeding 25 mph.

Gov. Brown also signed AB 3077, which allows people under age 18, who’ve been cited for not wearing a bicycle helmet, to correct the violation within four months by attending a bicycle safety course and proving they now have a correct-fitting helmet.

Both laws take effect Jan. 1, 2019.

Gartland named SDFD lifeguard division chief

After a thorough recruitment process, San Diego Fire-Rescue Department (SDFD) Chief Colin Stowell announced the appointment of James Gartland as the new lifeguard division chief. Gartland has served as interim chief for the past six months.

Gartland has been a SDFD lifeguard for 23 years. He is a graduate of San Diego State University with a degree in business administration/accounting and completed the Wharton College Mission Critical Team Professional Development Program. He is currently a member of the Type 3 San Diego All-Hazards Incident Management Team and has served as the chair of the San Diego Regional Aquatic Lifesaving Emergency Response Task Force and the Area Maritime Security Subcommittee on Preventative Radiological Nuclear Detection.

He also spent 18 months as the regional maritime emergency preparedness manager with the City’s Office of Homeland Security. Aside from his commitment to his career as a public servant, Gartland spends a lot of time volunteering in a variety of capacities in San Diego.

He is currently the president of the Old Town Academy School Advisory Board and has volunteered for San Diego Coastkeeper and Clairemont Hilltoppers Little League. Chief Gartland has been an officer with the San Diego Lifesaving Association and the San Diego Association for Lifeguards.

Flu vaccine now available

The flu vaccine is here. And now that the influenza vaccine is readily available across the region, the County Health and Human Services Agency is encouraging the public to get vaccinated.

“Everyone 6 months and older should get vaccinated now before flu season arrives,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “The vaccine is safe and effective. All San Diegans should get vaccinated to avoid getting sick and spreading the virus to others.”

Last season, 342 people died from complications from the flu, 255 more than the previous season and the highest total since the County began tracking flu deaths nearly 20 years ago.

Visit or call 2-1-1 San Diego to find a list of County locations. The County provides free vaccinations as part of the County’s Live Well San Diego vision of healthy, safe and thriving residents and communities.

Pure Water moves forward with EPA loan

The City’s efforts to create one-third of its own water supply by 2035 took a major step forward last week with City Council approval of a loan that will finance nearly half of the first phase of Pure Water San Diego – a multi-year program that will use proven water purification technology to clean recycled water to produce safe, high-quality drinking water.

The $614 million loan comes from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) Program and will cover 49 percent of the $1.25 billion project. There will be a second reading of the ordinance by the City Council in two weeks to officially authorize the loan.

The Pure Water program will eventually recycle up to 83 million gallons of waste-water per day. It is one of the major sustainability projects that support Mayor Faulconer’s Climate Action Plan.
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