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    Seeing red in Pacific Beach as Santas take over
    Dec 09, 2017 | 8862 views | 1 1 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Thousands of Santas ran through Pacific Beach the morning of Saturday, Dec. 9 for the annual Santa Run. / All photos by Thomas Melville
    Thousands of Santas ran through Pacific Beach the morning of Saturday, Dec. 9 for the annual Santa Run. / All photos by Thomas Melville
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    A continuous red streak ran through Garnet Avenue and Cass Street in Pacific Beach on the morning Saturday, Dec. 9, as thousands of Santas took over the beach community for the fifth annual San Diego Santa Run. Hosted by High Performance Movement, the event consisted of a series of waves, including a 5K Fun Run and one-mile runs that feature the Santa’s Little Helper Mile (for the pup), the Santa’s Elves Mile (for kids) and the Speedy Mile (for competitive Santas). Throughout the course, runners donning “Sunny Santa Suits" — complete with white beards, Santa hats and sunglasses — got into the spirit as holiday music was performed live on corners along the route. Following the Santa Run, participants filled local restaurants and pubs and watched the 38th annual Pacific Beach Holiday Parade, down Garnet Avenue. The parade is funded, in part, by revenue generated through the Santa Run and other events put on by High Performance Movement. For more information, visit sandiegosantarun.com.
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    twbear@msn.com
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    December 10, 2017
    Awesome, Red Delicious!
    King tides make a splash – show shoreline susceptible to sea level rise
    Dec 06, 2017 | 23476 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    A photographer gets splashed as a huge wave crashes over the stairs to Garbage Beach during a king tide on Tuesday, Dec. 5. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    A photographer gets splashed as a huge wave crashes over the stairs to Garbage Beach during a king tide on Tuesday, Dec. 5. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Ocean Beach resident Maddie Drinkward looks on as a huge wave heads toward her during the king tide on Tuesday morning. / PHOTO BY THOMAS MELVILLE
    Ocean Beach resident Maddie Drinkward looks on as a huge wave heads toward her during the king tide on Tuesday morning. / PHOTO BY THOMAS MELVILLE
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    Some of the year's highest tides, known as “king tides,” hit the California shoreline this week, providing a glimpse of what the state can expect as sea levels rise in the coming years. This winter, the largest tides took place on Dec. 3, 4, and 5, and will take place again Jan. 1 and 2. The California King Tides Project is asking the public to go outside and photograph these ultra-high tides to illustrate how homes, harbors, beaches, wetlands, seawalls, and public access to the coast will be affected by future sea level rise. During king tides, nearly all of the Kendall Frost Marsh Reserve in Mission Bay is flooded with water, giving researchers insight into what the new normal will be for this remnant wetland under rising seas. Endangered Light-footed Ridgway's Rails live and nest in this 40-acre habitat, the only piece remaining of what was once 4,000 acres of wetlands in Mission Bay. The king tides push the birds to the margins of the salt marsh to stay out of the water and researchers use this opportunity to count this otherwise hard-to-spot secretive marsh bird.  Mission Bay’s wetlands supply habitat for hundreds of local wildlife species, protect San Diego from climate change impacts such as flooding, and improve water quality. In addition to using the high tides as a chance to document the number of Ridgway’s Rails in Mission Bay, San Diego Audubon encourages residents to use this as a visual opportunity to understand why the region must ensure protection and restoration of its wetlands so that they can continue to create cleaner water, buffer communities from sea level rise, provide habitat for wildlife, and get people into nature.  State and local officials and climate change researchers use the images taken during the king tides season to validate sea level rise models and better assess local flood vulnerabilities for planning purposes. Recent advances in the science of sea level rise and climate modeling have brought increased attention to the importance of these planning efforts. This includes the California Ocean Protection Council’s updated Sea Level Rice Guidance, which is open for public comment through Dec. 15.
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    ISA Adaptive Surf Competition in La Jolla adds women’s division
    by BLAKE BUNCH
    Dec 01, 2017 | 36103 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Dani Burt lost her right leg above the knee in a motorcycle accident, but since has learned how to surf - progressing to capture the 2016 WSA adaptive surfing championship. She will look for another title at this weekend’s adaptive surf competition. / PHOTO BY PAT WEBER
    Dani Burt lost her right leg above the knee in a motorcycle accident, but since has learned how to surf - progressing to capture the 2016 WSA adaptive surfing championship. She will look for another title at this weekend’s adaptive surf competition. / PHOTO BY PAT WEBER
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    New Jersey native Dani Burt grew up skateboarding and bodyboarding, but always found a primal need to be in the ocean. Prior to her losing her right leg (above her knee) in a motorcycle accident, however, she had never been surfing. Now Burt, a doctor of physical therapy at Scripps Memorial Hospital, has been named the 2016 WSA US champion in adaptive surfing and looks to secure another title. Between Nov. 29 and Dec. 3, she will be competing in the Stance Adaptive World Surfing Championship at La Jolla Shores. Presented by Vissla and the City of San Diego, this is the first year that Burt will be able to surf in a women’s-only division. “I was in Hawaii about 10 or 11 years ago for the Duke’s Festival. This was after the accident, after watching a lot of the competitions, I knew I had to get back in the water,” said Burt. “Around this time, however, there weren’t any ‘surf legs,’ so I had to rig one up and some of my surfer friends took me out.” While her background, developed balance and board knowledge helped push her forward, like most starting something from scratch, she had her doubts. It wasn’t until a chance meeting with legendary surfer and shaper Donald Takayama at his Oceanside shop that she dialed it in. “It was truly inspiring, as he is someone who I definitely looked up to,” said Burt. “We were talking at the shop one day, and he was like ‘here, take a board.’ He was a huge influence on me. For the ISA contest, I have a 9-foot-long Takayama and a 7-foot-10-inch-long pintail mini in my quiver.” Prior to this year’s contest, there weren’t enough women to comprise a women’s “para surfing” (adaptive surfing) division, so Burt competed in the mixed-gender division. Despite being the minority sex in her group, she went on to capture the 2016 title, as well as come in second this year. In 2016, the event featured seven women from five countries across three divisions. The inclusion of a separate women’s division has played a key role in more than doubling women’s participation in this year’s contest.  “The ISA is proud to be actively promoting and developing women’s surfing around the globe,” said ISA president Fernando Aguerre. “Creating an opportunity for women in the Stance ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship is just another step in working towards complete gender equality, which is the ultimate goal.”
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    Holidays begin in Pacific Beach with Christmas on Crystal Pier, Santa Run, and Holiday Parade
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Nov 30, 2017 | 5605 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Visitors take photos of the Christmas tree at the end of the Crystal Pier. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Visitors take photos of the Christmas tree at the end of the Crystal Pier. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    The first of three Yuletide classics in Pacific Beach, Christmas on Crystal Pier, will take place Saturday, Dec. 2 from 2 to 5 p.m. The Santa Run and Holiday Parade will follow on Saturday, Dec. 9. Join in celebrating the holiday season and get a one-of-a-kind photo on historic Crystal Pier taken with Santa, just in time for holiday cards to go out. Photos cost $10, or $5 with a donation of supplies for Pacific Beach schools. Photos are first-come, first-serve, and will end 10 minutes after sunset. Be sure to stick around after the photo shoot, because Santa will help turn on the holiday lights along the pier and tree after sunset. Christmas on Crystal Pier is also celebrated community-wide with decorative wreaths hanging from local businesses. Decorated wreaths hung along the pier are also available for sponsorship. The event is sponsored by Discover PB, the beach community's business improvement district. For more information about the pier event, visit pacificbeach.org or send an email to ann@pacificbeach.org. Santa Run, Pacific Beach Holiday Parade Prepare to be dazzled as the annual Pacific Beach Holiday Parade will kick-off at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9 immediately following the end of the San Diego Santa Run. The celebration begins at 10 a.m. at Garnet Avenue and Bayard Street with the San Diego Santa Run 5k and mile runs. Come join thousands of “Sunny Santas” running through PB, or enter your pup (human or dog) in one of the one-mile run options.  The PB Holiday Parade starts at 1 p.m. immediately following the run. The theme this year is “A Time to Give,” which reflects the holiday spirit of giving and charity, offering a prime opportunity to highlight your favorite charity or organization.  With community floats, local school bands and Santa wrapping up the parade, join everyone on Garnet Avenue for a fabulous friends-and-family experience to rejoice in the holidays. There will be something for everyone, the young, young at heart and even four-legged family members to celebrate the holidays and everything local. “The Pacific Beach Holiday Parade isn’t just about the longstanding tradition of the event itself, but that it is an important day to reflect on our inclusive and eclectic beach community while out in the business district supporting our local shops and meeting neighbors,” said Sara Berns, executive director of event sponsor, Discover Pacific Beach. “The parade wouldn’t be possible without the generous donation of Catamaran Resort Hotel and The Pacific Beach Hospitality Group this year.” The parade starts at Garnet Avenue and Haines Street and ends at Garnet Avenue and Bayard Street. The parade is in need of participants, sponsors and donations. Contact Berns at sara@pacificbeach.org to sponsor or donate to the parade. To register for the San Diego Santa Run, visit sandiegosantarun.com. For more information, contact Ann Condon, program manager of Discover Pacific Beach, at ann@pacificbeach.org. Visit pacificbeach.org for more information or to get an entry form for the parade.
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    City approves millions for upgrades to Mission Bay Park
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Nov 29, 2017 | 9993 views | 1 1 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Sunset Point, Vacation Isle Park, Ingraham Street bridge, Ski Beach, and Government Island in Mission Bay. / PHOTO BY THOMAS MELVILLE
    Sunset Point, Vacation Isle Park, Ingraham Street bridge, Ski Beach, and Government Island in Mission Bay. / PHOTO BY THOMAS MELVILLE
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    San Diego officials have unveiled plans to spend $117 million during the next decade upgrading Mission Bay Park, providing new amenities, restoring marshland and creating additional habitat for endangered species. New amenities for Mission Bay Park will include cycling and pedestrian paths, playgrounds, a fitness course, lighting, signs, landscaping, resurfaced parking lots and rehabilitation of the seawall. “This is very good news,” said Mission Beach Town Council president Gary Wonacott. “The town council has been promoting the restoration of the Boardwalk seawall for some time. The Mission Bay Park area truly serves all of San Diego. This investment is money well spent.”   Proposition C, approved by voters in 2008, mapped out a specific list of priority improvement projects for Mission Bay Park. Measure J, approved in 2016, allowed for multiple projects on the priority list to be pursued simultaneously, “As long as they did not preclude the completion of higher-priority projects,” said City spokesman Tim Graham. “The first few projects on the priority list require lengthy environmental analysis. We have, therefore, developed a plan that will first implement several projects such as new comfort stations, playgrounds and parking lots,” Graham said. San Diego Park and Recreation has started an evaluation of park amenities such as playgrounds, comfort stations and parking lots, said Graham. A 10-year Mission Bay Park Improvement Fund allocation plan, developed by Park and Recreation staff, will be considered by the City Council on Monday, Dec. 4. Before being amended, the regulations required the park’s share of lease revenues to be devoted to two priorities: dredging the floor of the bay to boost boating opportunities, and restoration of marshland, which helps fight sea-level rise. New charter amendments maintain those priorities, but allow the city to begin spending money on lower-priority projects, while lengthy environmental approvals are secured for dredging and marshland restoration. Graham said dredging and marshland restoration nonetheless still top the park's priority list. “The dredging project is designed to return navigational boating safety to Mission Bay,” he said. “It is scheduled to last approximately five to six months. Wetland creation and restoration is designed to improve the bay’s water quality.” How will marshland habitat be restored? “Campland’s 40 acres next to Kendall-Frost (preserve) will be converted to new wetland/marshland,” said Graham. “The goal is to first filter low-flow runoff from Rose Creek before it reaches the bay. De Anza will have new wetland along Rose Creek and around its perimeter. New wetland restoration will also take place at Cudahy and Tecolote creeks where they enter the bay.”   How long will it take the city to get environmental approvals for dredging/habitat restoration?   “The dredging project is currently permitted,” Graham said. “We anticipate commencing the project in December or early January.” Graham added habitat restoration environmental review most likely will take at least three years. “Any eelgrass impacted from the dredging project will be mitigated through the planting of new eelgrass,” he said. “Any impacts to nesting least terns will be minimized.” Graham said funds to upgrade the park are “100 percent Mission Bay Park lease revenues generated annually in Mission Bay Park and earmarked specifically for improvements in the park.” The city spokesperson said the park’s annual lease revenues are approximately $30 million. The first $20 million goes to the city's general fund. The remaining $10 million is allocated 65 percent to the Mission Bay Park Improvement Fund and 35 percent to the San Diego Regional Parks Improvement Fund. The San Diego Charter restricts capital improvements in Mission Bay to complete the following prioritized projects: • Restoration of navigable waters and elimination of navigable hazards; • Wetland expansion and water-quality improvements; • Restoration of shoreline treatments; • Expansion of endangered or threatened species preserves and habitats; and • Deferred maintenance projects.
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    Magie Nicholas
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    December 06, 2017
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