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    Environment Committee favors fido-friendly option for Fiesta Island
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    May 25, 2019 | 1704 views | 1 1 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Julia Gray runs with her dog Whiskers at Fiesta Island. / Photo by Kathy Miller Gray
    Julia Gray runs with her dog Whiskers at Fiesta Island. / Photo by Kathy Miller Gray
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    Dog owner’s tails were wagging as the San Diego City Council Environment Committee May 23 voted 4-0 for their preferred option in redeveloping Fiesta Island. The issue will now go to the full City Council Monday, June 17 at 2 p.m. in council chambers. It will also have to pass muster with the California Coastal Commission. Government agencies have gone back-and-forth on choosing between two alternatives: Option B favored by Fiesta Island Dog Owners, and Option A espoused by non-motorized boaters including kayakers and paddle boarders. Option A would divide the manmade island with a road and reduce access for off-leash dog park users, while providing storage and beach access for personal watercraft. Option B would keep the island intact and undivided while increasing the fenced, off-leash area, which would be bisected by a road if Option A is ultimately selected. Either option is proposed as an amendment to the Mission Bay Park Master Plan to update the land uses and vision for 470-acre, multi-use Fiesta Island. City staffer Sarah Osborne told the council committee that either option would “amend and update the Mission Bay Park master plan with a new vision and conceptual plan.” Emotions ran high on both sides during lengthy public testimony. Speaking for Option A, James Gonzalez said, “It’s about sharing, not someone winning or losing. The solution can be a win-win for all.” Added Gonzalez, “There are 17 off-leash dog parks in San Diego. … We are dog owners too. The paddling community needs a permanent home.” “The San Diego Audubon Society supports Option A,” testified Andrew Meyer.“ “Tens of thousands of people use this open space 365 days a year from dawn to dusk,” testified Kathy Parrish of FIDO for Option B. “We come from every demographic, every ethnicity and economic circumstance. Please don’t pave our paradise.” “This is not an issue of taking versus sharing,” testified FIDO president Carolyn Chase arguing if Option A is chosen, “You’ll be turning seven acres of multi-use today over to exclusive use by one group forever.” How many of you love Fiesta Island the way it is?,” asked another speaker. “I’m in support of doing everything we can to keep Fiesta Island as natural as possible,” said committee chair Dr. Jen Campbell of District 2, who moved to approve dog lover’s Option B. Committee member Councilman Scott Sherman, a dog owner, said he’s been going to Fiesta Island since he was a kid. “Being a boater and a paddler as well, I like to try and find a compromise,” Sherman said proposing an alternative for non-motorized boaters. “The nearby South Shores boat launch is both underutilized, and the best place to practice. This can be a win-win for everybody,” he said. “I appreciate that we had two options and the passion and commitment on both sides,” said committee member Barbara Bry of District 1. “This is a most opportune time to preserve Fiesta Island as a magic place to San Diegans for generations to come.” Pointing out her pooch, Luna, is frequently mentioned on her Facebook page, committee member Vivian Moreno of District 8 said, “I truly understand why so many dog owners use Fiesta Island.”
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    Ocean Beach Pier reopens for ‘unofficial start to summer’
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    May 24, 2019 | 3399 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    The first visitors on the Ocean Beach Pier in four months walk down the iconic promenade after the official reopening early Friday morning. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    The first visitors on the Ocean Beach Pier in four months walk down the iconic promenade after the official reopening early Friday morning. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Mayor Kevin Faulconer and District 2 Councilmember Dr. Jen Campbell, along with a host of Obecians, formally reopened Ocean Bean Pier at early morning ceremony on May 24. “The unofficial start to the summer is here,” proclaimed Faulconer, while thanking City crews for “bringing the pier in on time and under budget, and for working a lot of days and evenings to get this beautiful pier open for San Diego in time for Memorial Day. I’d like to thank the community for all your help and support.” “We’re so happy to have this for our Memorial Day weekend kick-off for the summer,” said Campbell. “This pier means so much to OB. It’s a community gathering center, and we really appreciate the beauty that it provides for us.” “All the businesses are so grateful to have the pier open again,” said Denny Knox of Ocean Beach MainStreet Association. “It really does affect affect us when it’s closed. I want to thank the mayor’s office for pushing so hard to make this happen, and all the work the City and our City Council did all working together to make this happen.” OB Pier was closed in January for public safety and to make repairs after the structure was ravaged by unusually strong winter storms and king tides.  City staff determined that more than 2,200 feet of guard rail, electric, water and sewer lines needed serious repair or replacement. Renovation work began in March and was completed for about $309,000, which is $121,000 less than initially estimated.  More than 50 years old, OB Pier is still in need of permanent repair. City staff is in the process of formulating a long-term rehabilitation plan to evaluate the pier’s overall condition. San Diego Lifeguard Chief James Garland saluted City crews that worked on the pier’s restoration. “They did just a fantastic job,” he said. “It’s nice it will be open for the summer. We’re really excited to have this. It’s like having an old friend back.” Spanning more than 1,970 feet, Ocean Beach Pier is the second longest on the West Coast and the longest concrete pier in the world. The pier opened in 1966 and it receives more than 500,000 visitors every year.
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    Tidal Twister coaster opens and fireworks at SeaWorld this Memorial Day weekend
    May 23, 2019 | 5121 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    The Tidal Twister roller coaster officially opens on May 24.
    The Tidal Twister roller coaster officially opens on May 24.
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    SeaWorld will kick off summer with a bang, as the park celebrates Memorial Day with fireworks, a 75-piece marching band, and the debut of the park’s all-new, dueling coaster, Tidal Twister. Plus the Sesame Street Party Parade – featuring nine larger-than-life themed floats and iconic Sesame Street characters such as Big Bird, Elmo, Bert and Ernie and more – is back with colorful musical performances weekends through Sept. 1. All of the festivities are included with park admission. May 24: Tidal Twister roller coaster officially opens. May 25-26: Military recognition before all Orca Encounter presentations, Sesame Street Party Parade (4:45 p.m.), Memorial Day Fireworks Tribute (8:50 p.m.). May 27: Memorial Day Flag Ceremony at Explorer’s Reef (10:15 a.m.) includes 75-piece Valley Center High School Marching Band, military recognition before all Orca Encounter presentations, Valley Center High School Marching Band on lawn in front of Skytower (1 p.m.), Memorial Day Fireworks Tribute (8:50 p.m.). For more information, visit SeaWorldSanDiego.com or call 619-222-4SEA.
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    First Fridays to be amplified this summer at Liberty Station
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    May 22, 2019 | 3402 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    The launch of the inaugural First Friday quarterly event will be on June 7, starting at 6:30 p.m. It will feature live concerts on the grassy North Promenade, along with a craft beer garden and a pop-up market. 
    The launch of the inaugural First Friday quarterly event will be on June 7, starting at 6:30 p.m. It will feature live concerts on the grassy North Promenade, along with a craft beer garden and a pop-up market. 
    slideshow
    First Friday amplified will feature New Reveille, a four-piece Americana band from Raleigh, N.C.
    First Friday amplified will feature New Reveille, a four-piece Americana band from Raleigh, N.C.
    slideshow
    Friday Night Liberty in Liberty Station is “supersizing,” expanding along with a name change to First Friday Arts District, and First Friday Arts District (((amplified))) for quarterly concerts. The launch of the inaugural First Friday quarterly event will take place 5 to 9 p.m. on June 7, with the band starting at 6:30 p.m. It will feature live concerts on the grassy North Promenade, along with a craft beer garden and a pop-up market.  June’s First Friday amplified will feature New Reveille, a four-piece Americana band described as “twangy, truck-driving music that runs on classical gas.” Opening for New Reveille will be Nena Anderson with her  blues-tinged, Americana music, velvet voice and catchy melodies.  NTC Foundation associate director of marketing and communications Andrew Waltz said the Arts District has come a long way. “When we started in 2009, the Arts District had seven completed buildings,” Waltz said. “Ten years later, we’ve grown to 45 renovated buildings filled with more than 145 organizations and businesses including art galleries, artist studios, museums, cafés, a food market and more.” Waltz added the event’s new name, First Friday Arts District, “reflects our new approach to this signature event and puts the focus on the arts, the community and the visitor experience. Now, the First Friday Arts District name says when it is and where it is.” It’s hoped the improved First Fridays event will have broader appeal. “We wanted a different narrative to bring in a different audience, folks coming to enjoy the music as well as the art,” Waltz said. “We hope to keep people on their feet with a whole evening of danceable music. They can walk around and visit all the art galleries. We’ll also have local craft vendors, a pop-up market and a beer garden.” Other attractions: - Pop-up Craft Market: Will offer an eclectic mix of local fashion and handmade gifts with outdoor spaces showcasing a curated selection of vendors, artisans, and creative activities. The vendor mix will include jewelry designers, candle makers, vintage retailers, local boutiques, fashion and art mixed with live demonstrations and mini-workshops.  • San Diego Dance Theater: Celebrates educational and outreach programs with performances by Aging Creatively students and outreach classes. Performances at 5:30 and 6: 30 p.m. at White Box Live Arts, Building 176 – 2590 Truxtun Rd.  • DanzArts Children's Academy takes guests on a journey through Mexico and Spain through dance. Performances at 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. near the North Promenade and Barracks 17 Plaza.  • Blue Pearl Art: First Anniversary Celebration: Invites guests to come celebrate their anniversary with flowers. Floral arrangements will be created live and raffled off. All visitors will receive one free entry, plus 20 percent off floral prints and deals on original floral pieces. 5 to 9 p.m. in Barracks 15. - Anneville Jewelry Lab: Stop by for live Japanese metalworking demos at 6, 7 and 8 p.m. - Martha Pace Swift Gallery’s new exhibit features Stacie Birky Greene. - Shop Mingei showcases a special trunk show with master textile artist Sarah Myriam Winston. And San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts Senior Class Art Show.
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    City clears out cave dwellers at Sunset Cliffs
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    May 21, 2019 | 4539 views | 5 5 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    The cave dwelling contained cots, bookshelves, backpacks, laundry hamper, cleaning products, a bucket for waste and bottles of urine, countless needles, blow torches, tools and a scooter and two bikes, among other items. / Photo by Jim Grant
    The cave dwelling contained cots, bookshelves, backpacks, laundry hamper, cleaning products, a bucket for waste and bottles of urine, countless needles, blow torches, tools and a scooter and two bikes, among other items. / Photo by Jim Grant
    slideshow
    Three men were recently forced to evacuate an elaborate, makeshift 20-foot by 10-foot cave dwelling dug from the cliff face near Sunset Cliffs Boulevard and Osprey Street. As revealed on social media, the ramshackle residence contained cots, bookshelves, backpacks, laundry hamper, cleaning products, a bucket for waste and bottles of urine, countless needles, blow torches, tools and a scooter and two bikes, among other items. Concerning the viability of such encampments, Capt. Scott M. Wahl of San Diego Police Department’s Neighborhood Policing Division said: “It is illegal to lodge and/or camp in the beach or park area. We are familiar with this very remote and hard-to-get-to location. We have handled encampments there in the past, and need the public’s help in notifying us when they return. It is an area that is ‘off the beaten path.’ ” Added Wahl: “We are currently in the process of getting that site cleaned up. Our beach enforcement team this summer will check the area routinely.”   “Until a case is brought to our office by law enforcement and specific charges are filed, we can can’t comment on potential penalties,” replied Hilary Nemchik, director of communications for the City Attorney, about prescribed punishment for such illegal habitation. Asked if encampments like this were increasing, Wahl said, “I don’t know that I would say they are more common place. I used to work the beach team back in the early 2000s and we had encampments out in Ladera and along the cliffs back then as well.” Responding to what can be done to prevent such encampments, Wahl said: “It is critical we have good communication with the community. We utilize the Get it Done application to receive complaints regarding encampments. It is the best method to notify us of the situation. We can make sure there is resolution to the problem.” Wahl added police work closely with park rangers and environmental services to make sure trash is disposed of, and that abandoned property is properly abated.
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    Robert Burns
    |
    May 22, 2019
    This is a variant of what is happening throughout the San Diego River valley, around PetCo Park, and in O.B. (e.g., the O.B. Library homeless center). The legal framework is clear that homeless offenses are all but unenforceable without available shelter (which purposely is not provided). And, the reality is clear that the phenomenon of mental illness, drug addiction, and thieves are the face of the homeless. That the City allows it to fester is a cry out for a conservatorship for the City.
    Anna Talerico
    |
    May 22, 2019
    Why does the City allow cave living to continue? Cement them solid or collapse them once and for all to stop the nonsense and waste taxpayers money with clean up, police etc.

    The prior comment is right on. These people do not want to join society, work, be productive but instead steal and do drugs. Get them out of our city. Jail and work chain!
    Robert Burns
    |
    May 22, 2019
    I don't want to see the beautiful cliffs defaced by addict, derelict, nor bureaucrat all of whom are subhuman. It's time to march this scum into Faulconer's face.
    George Wrentmore
    |
    May 21, 2019
    give them a place to live. Have them work it off working for the city,county, state. In the thirties, we had the WPA, CCC etc.

    The recipients built roads, fire trails etc.

    Maybe..because that was a different human being, that wouldn't work today.

    At the same time, Mexico gave land to the their poor,(ejidos)..The people there were able to live there and farm....again, different people ?? Mexicans though, WILL! WORK TO SURVIVE, THEY'RE INDUSTRIOUS..maybe different world then .Drugs have a major influence..all over the world. Druggies..round'em up, put on ankle bracelets, MAKE them work...no work no eat..if they run.....incarcerate ! Personally , I'm not good with the freebee society.AND THE MILLIONS THAT WORKING !! TAXPAYERS ARE PROVIDING for

    the dregs of today's society
    Robert Burns
    |
    May 22, 2019
    Thank you.
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