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    Beachgoers flock to the new trend: Bird scooters
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Feb 16, 2018 | 8274 views | 1 1 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    A Bird scooter is ridden down the boardwalk in Pacific Beach. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    A Bird scooter is ridden down the boardwalk in Pacific Beach. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Stephanie Michaels (left), visiting from Chicago, and Pacific Beach resident Kelley Hopkins download the Bird app so they can take a ride. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Stephanie Michaels (left), visiting from Chicago, and Pacific Beach resident Kelley Hopkins download the Bird app so they can take a ride. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Bird scooters are the new thing to ride in Pacific Beach. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Bird scooters are the new thing to ride in Pacific Beach. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Heard of car share and bike share? Now there’s scooter share in Pacific Beach. Black-hued “Bird” Segway Kickscooter ES1 Electric Scooters, retailing for $399, are seemingly everywhere these days along the beachfront. The 30- to 40-pound dockless electric scooters, capable of speeds up to 15 mph, are available through a scooter-share service via a smartphone app. The scooter-share startup, Bird, was begun by Travis VanderZanden, who was previously an executive with Uber and Lyft ride sharing. Launched in September 2017, tens of thousands of people have already ridden Birds from the company that started in Los Angeles, and has since spread to Venice and south to San Diego. Bird plans to branch out to dozens of other markets this year. In Pacific Beach and elsewhere along the San Diego coast, the new transportation mode played to mostly mixed reviews. But Sara Berns, executive director of Discover PB, the community’s business improvement district, views Birds differently. “Bird scooters could be a unique opportunity to offer an alternative transportation model, and last-mile commutes that align with our eco-district principles, while mitigating some of Pacific Beach’s parking and traffic issues,” said Sara Berns, executive director of Discover PB, the community’s business improvement district. “However, we want to ensure that the company and its ridership are adhering to public safety concerns, and that of our merchants. We have reached out to work with the company to help alleviate some of those issues to ensure they are not impeding on our existing business community, but rather enhancing it,” she said. “We look forward to them working with us and the community at- large.” Dan Michaels of Pacific Beach turned his thumbs down on the new alternative ride share service. “These new electric scooters for rent all over PB is getting annoying,” said Michaels on the Next Door social media site. “They are leaving them everywhere and [they’re] allowed to operate without a business license. Riders are intoxicated renting them, under age, and don't obey any laws of the road. Then when finished, they are leaving them in front of doors, ramps, etc.” Business owner Michaels pointed out PB has “fought hard to remove bike share stations (Deco renamed DiscoverBike) from the boardwalk. This company thinks they can just establish these in the same places. What can we do next to stop this before someone gets hurt,” asked Michaels. There are numerous rules in the California Vehicle Codes applying to the safe and proper use of electric scooters like Bird. Police warn they will issue citations for a range of violations, costing between $197 and $367, for non-lawful operation of such scooters. Citable scooter offenses include: a prohibition against driving while intoxicated, not having headlights and reflectors at night, not riding on the right-hand edge of roadways, exiting bike lanes without signaling, not having brakes, riders not wearing mandatory bicycle helmets, and not allowing passengers, among other restrictions. When finished, Bird users lock them in place at their end destination. Scooters employ GPS and an electric lock restricting wheel movement. If tampered with, an alarm is triggered on the vehicle locking its wheels in place and making them unridable. For more information about vehicle codes applying to Bird scooters visit, http://codes.findlaw.com/ca/vehicle-code/veh-sect-21221.html.
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    Pacific Beach entrepreneur has it made in the shades
    by SAVANAH DUFFY
    Feb 14, 2018 | 3991 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    A model shows off sunglasses from Blenders Eyewear.
    A model shows off sunglasses from Blenders Eyewear.
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    Hanging out on the beach with Natty Ice Lime sunglasses.
    Hanging out on the beach with Natty Ice Lime sunglasses.
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    Modeling the Sunshine Wild and Fifth Ave Flash sunglasses from Blenders Eyewear.
    Modeling the Sunshine Wild and Fifth Ave Flash sunglasses from Blenders Eyewear.
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    If you live in San Diego, you probably recognize a few required living essentials: sunscreen, swimsuits, sandals and, according to San Diego State University graduate and entrepreneur Chase Fisher, you must have “a good pair of shades.” But sunglasses that are both affordable and of good quality can be hard to come by – a challenge met with enthusiasm by Fisher’s Pacific Beach-based business. Since 2012, his sunglasses company Blenders Eyewear has been selling “fresh, vibrant, comfortable” shades and goggles in store and online. According to Fisher, it’s the active lifestyle of San Diego that inspires the product. Their motto, “Founded on Fun. Designed for Adventure. Priced to Party,” says it all. Blender Eyewear’s sunglasses are priced between about $20 and $65 and are made to be light-weight with maximum comfortability. The polycarbonate lenses, all of which are UV-protected, can bend without breaking so they’re convenient to wear for any occasion. “We try to get the best stuff at the best price we can, and bring the best value,” Fisher said. Fisher says he was inspired to open the business by the gear he saw others wearing when he surfed competitively in his home town of Santa Barbara. The active San Diego lifestyle also inspired the products But the true “ah-ha” moment, as Fisher puts it, was when he was in a night club sporting $5 neon green sunglasses. According to him, his cheap glasses attracted as much attention as they would have if they’d been expensive name brand glasses, sparking his business idea for quality shades that wouldn’t require customers to “spend their entire bank account.” Blenders offers a diverse line of styles to fit everyone’s taste, from the bold tropical patterned Kate Forest sunglasses with blue and green lenses to the more subtle Surfliner sunglasses with the light blue rims and black lenses. Often times, the most popular sunglasses will sell out quickly, but being out of stock doesn’t tend to pose a problem, says customer success manager Lexi Horn. A different pair rises up immediately to become the new favorite. “I’m really confident in our brand,” she says. On each pair of sunglasses is the company’s logo: a pair of stripes “//,” which symbolizes “life in forward motion.” “It’s following your passion, whatever that might be,” said Fisher about the logo’s meaning. “We try to design our glasses around any possible lifestyle.” The company promotes fun and adventure, but sunglasses sales aren’t without their challenges. According to Fisher, it’s a competitive market with continuously shifting trends that are difficult to keep up with. With production timelines taking between 90 and 120 days, he says the changes in popular styles aren’t something that can be easily planned for. Horn adds that the company commonly has to “fix things on the fly,” but that the customers have remained loyal through the adjustments. For the Blenders Eyewear team, the rewards of the business outshine the challenges. “For me, the most filling thing is just adding value to people’s lives,” says Fisher. “I think our product really allows people to express themselves.” The future of Blenders Eyewear will include a new kids line, limited edition projects, and an expansion of both the snow goggles and sunglasses line, according to Fisher. The Blenders Eyewear office is located in Pacific Beach at 1940 Garnet Ave. It is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. during weekdays and closed on weekends. Blenders Eyewear Where: 1940 Garnet Ave. No. 240. Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays, closed weekends. Info: blenderseyewear.com.
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    Education Notebook: Pacific Beach Middle to put on annual Talent Show
    Feb 08, 2018 | 6900 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    BARNARD ART NIGHT 
Second grade student Reid M. and his mom Angela pose in front of a collaborative art mural, a piece completed by Barnard students and volunteers. Barnard held its fourth annual Art Night on Jan. 19. Although the school teaches 50-80 percent of the day in a Mandarin immersion environment, nights like this showcase the intrinsic artistry found within all students regardless of language and background. Reid M. looks forward to the event every year. ‘My favorite project was the hidden messages art station where I got to write on white paper with a white crayon and then watercolor over it to reveal the message,’ said Reid. ‘It was like art and science and magic all at once.’
    BARNARD ART NIGHT Second grade student Reid M. and his mom Angela pose in front of a collaborative art mural, a piece completed by Barnard students and volunteers. Barnard held its fourth annual Art Night on Jan. 19. Although the school teaches 50-80 percent of the day in a Mandarin immersion environment, nights like this showcase the intrinsic artistry found within all students regardless of language and background. Reid M. looks forward to the event every year. ‘My favorite project was the hidden messages art station where I got to write on white paper with a white crayon and then watercolor over it to reveal the message,’ said Reid. ‘It was like art and science and magic all at once.’
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    Mission Bay High - MBHS sailing team is having a spaghetti dinner fundraiser at Mission Bay Yacht Club 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10. Join family and friends to enjoy dinner and listen to the music of The Sea Monks while supporting the MBHS sailing program. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.  Pacific Beach Middle - The community is welcome to enjoy performances by talented PBMS students at the annual PBMS Talent Show 6 p.m. Feb. 9, in the auditorium. Arrive at 5 p.m., and enjoy food from Mangia Mangia and Kona Ice. A part of the proceeds from the food trucks will be donated to PBMS. General admission is $5. Barnard Elementary - Barnard will hold its annual Chinese New Year celebration 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10. Hundreds of students, parents, and community members are expected to attend this free, family-friendly event on the school’s campus, at 2445 Fogg St. To celebrate the upcoming Year of the Dog, Barnard welcomes the public to enjoy lucky lion dancers (11 a.m.), martial arts demonstrations, Taiwanese Taiko drumming, Chinese cultural activities, and food and game booths for the entire family. While the event is free and open to the public, revenue from new year T-shirts will benefit Barnard Elementary. PB Elementary - Carolyn Hernandez is PBE's teacher of the year. She is passionate about tailoring her teaching methods to individual student's needs and is gifted at discovering each student's talents. Hernandez grew up in Pacific Beach and attended PBE from preschool through third grade. Congratulations on a well-deserved award. - San Diego Youth Science is taking PBE students on field trips to Tourmaline Beach, where students will be conducting studies in the intertidal habitats. This follows a classroom session in which students explore the diversity of PB's local marine habitats, from the tidepools to the kelp forests.  Kate Sessions - Many Sessions Seahawks came out to run in the Schoolyard Dash 5K on Jan. 28, at De Anza Cove.  Two of the Seahawks placed in the top three for elementary students:  Ben Giffing won first and Caden Taffe took third.  The Seahawk team also took home the trophy for being the school with the most participation. This coveted award will be displayed with pride in the front office. Congratulations to them and thank you to the Friends of PB Secondary Schools for putting on such a fun family event.   Friends of Pacific Beach Secondary Schools - More than 300 runners participated in the Schoolyard Dash 5K on Jan. 27 at De Anza Cove. Raising money for PB secondary schools, this annual event brings together the community and families from all six Mission Bay Cluster schools including Mission Bay High, Pacific Beach Middle, Barnard Elementary, Crown Point Junior Music Academy, Kate Sessions Elementary, and Pacific Beach Elementary. Top male and female finishers in the Adult division were Mark Kamp and Cynthia Stiles, in the High School division were Trevor Reichenberg and Gina Queck, in the Middle School division were Justin Reichenberg and Alexa Gibson, and in the Elementary School division were Ben Giffing and Navah Klipsky. 
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    Pacific Beach family dedicates business to helping Promises2Kids
    by VICTORIA DAVIS
    Feb 08, 2018 | 2870 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Carrie and her husband, Scott, with their oldest, Evelyn (right), and Catherine on the beach at Crystal Pier. 
    Carrie and her husband, Scott, with their oldest, Evelyn (right), and Catherine on the beach at Crystal Pier. 
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    While she identifies first and foremost as a mother, others see Carrie Miller as a one-of-a-kind philanthropist. Seven years ago, in honor of her oldest daughter Evelyn’s first birthday, Miller and her husband Scott made a donation to Promises2Kids, a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the needs of abused children in foster care. But this wasn’t Miller’s first introduction to the nonprofit. A few months after Evelyn’s birth, Miller was looking for ways to get out of the house. While on the Volunteer San Diego website, she found an opportunity for reading to toddlers. Miller still gets emotional remembering her first time walking into the A. B. and Jessie Polinsky Children’s Center. “I remember being in this big room with a bunch of people and the center showed us this introduction video of Norma Hirsh talking about how there used to be a 24-hour hotline for abused animals, but there wasn’t a 24-hour hotline for abused children,” said Miller. “As the video went along, I was completely gutted, especially as a new mother racing with hormones. There’s absolutely no words to describe the horrific things these kids go through.” Norma Hirsh founded The Child Abuse Prevention Foundation in 1981 to raise community awareness of child abuse in San Diego. In 1994, the children from the run-down, and grossly overpopulated, Hillcrest Receiving Home were relocated to the newly established Polinsky Center, which today can house up to 200 foster kids. Fifteen years later, The Child Abuse Prevention Foundation became Promises2Kids. “We’ve definitely grown and evolved,” said Tonya Torosian, CEO of Promises2Kids. “We focus less on the prevention of child abuse through the Palinsky Center and really look at what we can do to support these kids once they’re in care. There’s something special about having local San Diegans funding local kids.” Whether they’re at the center, with a foster family or in a group home, Promises2Kids looks for gaps in the foster care system and how they can best fill those voids. After watching the video and spending the remainder of her day at the center, Miller decided she needed to be a part of it all. “I remember sitting towards the back just ugly crying and I looked around and felt surrounded by a bunch of people ugly crying with me,” said Miller. “I remember thinking, ‘I need to be a part of this.’” Now, Miller and her husband are both active volunteers and sponsors for Promises2Kids. Scott is a mentor in P2K’s Guardian Scholars program, which provides former foster youth with a partial financial scholarship, along with mentoring support, to assist them in excelling in higher education. But Miller herself is unique in her giving. “When I started my real estate business, I figured the best thing I could do was to start giving money,” said Miller. “For every real estate transaction that I close, I give back a 10 percent donation to Promises2Kids. It’s now part of my business plan.” Torosian added: “I was really shocked. You just don’t see that. People might donate personally, but to embed it into your business … that’s something amazing.” Miller’s donations are made on behalf of her clients and are unrestricted, allowing Promises2Kids to direct the funds to whichever division they think needs it most. “We do a big lottery check outside the client’s house and we post it up on social media,” said Miller. “It’s pretty cool. I now have this platform to sit with every client and potential client I know and share the story of Promises2Kids.” Miller’s two daughters also made a donation of $6 last month to Promises2Kids. Miller said it was a “proud mom moment.” “I tell my girls, ‘Think about the thing that breaks your heart, what makes you feel sad. That’s where you should give,’” said Miller. WANT TO HELP? - Promises2Kids is a leading nonprofit organization that responds to the needs of foster children and provides support to children removed from their home due to abuse and neglect. - To donate, visit promises2kids.org.
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    City breaks ground for new Rose Creek Bikeway
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Feb 07, 2018 | 2692 views | 1 1 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Officials from the San Diego Association of Governments, City of San Diego, including Councilmember Lori Zapf, at the ceremony.
    Officials from the San Diego Association of Governments, City of San Diego, including Councilmember Lori Zapf, at the ceremony.
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    Pacific Beach will be a new link in the chain of the city’s interlocking bicycle network once the Rose Creek Bikeway is completed. Officials from the San Diego Association of Governments and the City of San Diego recently broke ground on the Rose Creek Bikeway. A two-mile segment of the Coastal Rail Trail bikeway linking the greater University City area with points south including Mission Bay and downtown San Diego, Rose Creek Bikeway will create a protected and more convenient connection between two existing segments of the Coastal Rail Trail. It will extend from the Rose Canyon Bike Path in University City, south to the Rose Creek Bike Path in Pacific Beach. It is one of the most heavily traveled bike corridors in the region.  “We are excited to see this project moving forward,” said SANDAG chair Terry Sinnott. “The goal of our regional bike plan is to create a network of bikeways designed for riders of all ages and abilities. This project is a big step in that direction.” “This bikeway will be great for our community,” said District 2 Councilmember Lorie Zapf. “Since my children were small, I’ve enjoyed riding bicycles with my family and I think it is very important to have bike paths separated from vehicles, like this one will be. The Rose Creek Bikeway is an example of good planning that will enhance our community.” When completed, the Rose Creek Bikeway will provide a 14-foot-wide paved path with environmentally sensitive lighting for added public safety. The bikeway will include under crossings at Interstate 5 and Mission Bay Drive, as well as a 260-foot-long bridge over Rose Creek. It is expected to be open to the public in early 2020. Local stakeholders in active transportation improvements along the beachfront weighed-in on the launch of the new bikeway. “This is great news to help incorporate Rose Creek into our community,” said Henish Pulickal, chair of Pacific Beach Planning Group. “Currently, it's an unused community asset that's been neglected and underutilized. This upcoming bike path is a great first step in this area.” Added Pulickal, “The next step would be to implement some place-making strategies to turn Rose Creek into a focal point of this section in Pacific Beach.” Andy Hanshaw, executive director of San Diego County Bicycle Coalition, was excited “to see this connection break ground.  “Separated and safe, the Rose Creek Bikeway will serve all people who ride including residents, commuters, students and recreational riders,” Hanshaw said. “As part of the Regional Bike Network, we need these [funded] critical links built out now to connect people to the places they need to go that supports the healthy, active quality of life we all enjoy in San Diego. It’s these types of bikeways that will encourage more people to commute by bike and help the city reach their mode share targets to support the Climate Action Plan.” Karin Zirk, executive director of Friends of Rose Creek, which is dedicated to Rose Creek watershed improvements, was also enthused by the bikeway. “While the project itself is doing some minor damage to Rose Creek, we are focused on the long-term benefits,” said Zirk. “With a wide cross-section of the community able to access this stretch of Rose Creek, we hope future generations will continue to love and care for the creek. Furthermore, we hope the popularity of this stretch of the bike path will preclude any future CalTrans development that would further encroach upon the creek.” Bikeway development is good for other reasons, added Zirk. “This area has suffered immensely from alternatively housed people, who have been living in this stretch of the creek and using the creek as their sewer system,” she said. “While we bear no ill will towards those with nowhere else to go, abandoned car batteries, televisions and other toxic waste have no place in our creek. “The Friends of Rose Creek look forward to the project completion when we can partner with the amazing I Love A Clean San Diego, who provide logistical and financial support, and organized cleanups along this stretch of Rose Creek.” The Rose Creek Bikeway is part of the Coastal Rail Trail and is being designed as a Class I bike path. Class I bikeways, also known as bike paths or shared-use paths, are facilities with exclusive right-of-way for bicyclists and pedestrians, away from the roadway and with cross flows by motor traffic minimized. Common applications include along rivers, shorelines, canals, utility rights-of-way, railroad rights-of-way, within school campuses or within and between parks.
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    Larry of Clairemont
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    February 10, 2018
    Unfortunately this does nothing for us in Clairemont. It would be nice to have a way to safely get from the Rose Creek bike path to a point east of the railroad tracks. I need to go up Balboa and have to get past Mission Bay Dr. I'm always thankful to make it back alive.
    News
    Pacific Beach entrepreneur has it made in the shades
    If you live in San Diego, you probably recognize a few required living essentials: sunscreen, swimsuits, sandals and, according to San Diego State University graduate and entrepreneur Chase Fisher,...
    Published - Wednesday, February 14
    full story
    Cliff collapse at Sunset Cliffs near Ladera Street stairs
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    Published - Tuesday, February 13
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    David Wells donates to military veterans' cause
    Former Major League Baseball and Point Loma High star David Wells is passionate about helping veterans of the U.S. military who are in need of medical and/or mental health assistance and cannot aff...
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    Ocean Beach winery wins big at national competition
    Some say size matters. That bigger is better. But that doesn’t seem to be the case when it comes to producing super-premium wine. San Diego’s diminutive Gianni Buonomo Vintners in Ocean Beach was r...
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    Flawless setting is just the beginning at Himitsu sushi restaurant
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