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    Del Mar Racetrack undergoing modifications prior to opening day, Breeders’ Cup
    Apr 23, 2017 | 9357 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    The Del Mar Racetrack’s upgrades will be completed before opening day.
    The Del Mar Racetrack’s upgrades will be completed before opening day.
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    Under the direction of its new director of track maintenance, Dennis Moore, Del Mar has begun a process designed to modify its main track with an end result of having it replicate the banking and grading of its sister track to the north, Santa Anita Park. Crews began their work on the track on Wednesday, March 29, and the stripping and grading activity is expected to take several weeks. The plan is to adjust the seaside oval’s main track banking to 5 percent (from 4 percent) on the turns and 2.5 percent (from 2 percent) in the straightaways,as is the case currently with Santa Anita – well in advance of the opening of Del Mar’s 78th summer season on Wednesday, July 19. “Our priority, of course, is safety,” said Joe Harper, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club’s president, and CEO. “One of the key elements in safety is consistency and this adjustment will give our horses and horsemen that consistency when it comes to the two main racing surfaces on our circuit. Once again we salute the folks at Santa Anita for working with us on this.” Moore, who is considered one of the top track surface experts in the world and is presently the track superintendent at Santa Anita, took on his additional role at Del Mar earlier this year. “We’ve got the same El Segundo sand from the same batch at both Santa Anita and Del Mar,” Moore noted. “That’s a good step on the road to consistency. Then we’re adding another by bringing the banking at Del Mar right in line with what already exists at Santa Anita, therefore giving our horses the same experience on both tracks, which has to prop up their confidence and make an easier transition between the two. This change isn’t a drastic one, but it’s the little things that can make for big differences.” Del Mar has put in place a series of adjustments for its 2017 meetings that are aimed at increasing safety for horses and riders at the popular shore track. Among the changes for the summer session is a return to a seven-week season (instead of eight) with a later start, thus allowing horses and horsemen more time to get acclimated to new surroundings. The revised calendar also allows for incremental days to prepare the track in advance of racing and training. Additionally, there will be fewer horses (by approximately 10 percent) allowed to stable on the grounds, therefore reducing the traffic issues during morning workout times. Further, adjustments to the track flow during the morning work period were experimented with last year and found to be very effective. That rule will be employed throughout 2017. Del Mar continues to work with the California Horse Racing Board and, in particular, its executive director, Rick Baedeker, as it ensures that all avenues are explored in its search for more and more safety. Additionally, it employs and calls upon one of the industry’s premier track experts, Dr. Mick Peterson, for advice and counsel in its various projects. “I am pleased to see that there is a coordinated effort with Del Mar and other industry stakeholders to create consistent track surfaces in Southern California on a year-round basis,” said Peterson. “I look forward to continuing to collect and analyze all pertinent data with the goal of creating the safest possible environment for horses and riders.”  “When the horses shift between races after Los Angeles, some then race at Los Alamitos in Orange County, but some shift directly to Del Mar,” said Mac Macbride, director of media for the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. “Consistency is a big deal for these animals.” Following the track’s 36-day summer meet, it will hold its fourth fall meeting, a 16-day run between Nov. 1 and Nov. 26. Highlighting that gathering will be the presentation of the 34th edition of the Breeders’ Cup on Friday, Nov. 3 and Saturday, Nov. 4 – the first time the sport’s championship events have come to the iconic racing grounds alongside the blue Pacific.  “Although this process is ongoing, we are making major headway,” said Macbride. “Initially, we were talking about a six-week process. Currently, we are estimated to finish in early May.” More updates The Breeders' Cup also announced its Challenge series schedule on April 12. This series will consist of 81 automatic qualifying stakes races into corresponding races of the Breeders' Cup World Championships. This year’s series, which includes 62 Grade/Group 1 events, will have 49 Challenge races held in the U.S. and Canada, and 32 races to be run outside of North America. Horses from around the globe will be qualifying for the 34th Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which will be held, for the first time, at the Del Mar race track, on Nov. 3 and 4, and televised live by NBC Sports. For more information, visit www.dmtc.com.
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    SeaWorld to end nightly fireworks; theme park set to debut new shows and rides
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Apr 18, 2017 | 37987 views | 3 3 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    SeaWorld plans to cease its nightly fireworks over Mission Bay during the summer. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    SeaWorld plans to cease its nightly fireworks over Mission Bay during the summer. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Orca Encounter will debut this summer with temporary seating around the orca underwater viewing area pool.
    Orca Encounter will debut this summer with temporary seating around the orca underwater viewing area pool.
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    SeaWorld San Diego is transforming its decades-old business model. Recently scrapping its heretofore trademark Shamu shows, the marine mammal theme park is also silencing, for now, its nightly summer fireworks displays. “This summer we are debuting our new summer nighttime extravaganza called Electric Ocean,” said SeaWorld spokesman David Koontz. “At dusk, we will transform the park into an underwater world of colorful vibrancy immersing our guests in a glowing sea of bioluminescent-like lighting, music and pathway entertainment, and a dance club.” Koontz noted Electric Ocean “will be a nighttime version of our Cirque de la Mer show (a summer daytime show the last 12 years), which will be take place in our Cirque Stadium on Mission Bay. Complementing Cirque Electrique will be another new nighttime show featuring overhead laser lights and an interactive RFID (radio frequency identification) experience, acrobats and live musicians and an illuminated parade.” Koontz added SeaWorld's “Putting our fireworks on hiatus, other than on the summertime three-day holiday weekends, and for a handful of other special events. This new nighttime spectacular will have no impact on general aviation in that area, nor will it impact air traffic departing and arriving at Lindbergh Field.” The cessation of SeaWorld's summertime pyrotechnics was hailed by long-time opponents as a major step forward. Martha Sullivan, spokesperson for SeaWorld fireworks opponents, who launched a successful online petition drive garnering more than 11,000 signatures against summertime displays, labelled SeaWorld's announcement shelving them as a victory. “It's an evolution that we've been encouraging them to do,” Sullivan said. ”They're using new technologies and adjusting their business model to the current conditions of their customer base.” Sullivan added the marine park is “realizing they need to be good neighbors.” Asked why fireworks became an issue, Sullivan replied, “I think it was just people being really fed up with it.” SeaWorld fireworks detractors claim research shows “noise pollution from nightly fireworks causes harm to humans and other animals. … Effects of noise pollution to humans include (damage to the) physiological and psychological health of human beings: hypertension, annoyance, high stress levels, aggression, hearing loss, tinnitus, sleep disturbance, etc.” Meanwhile, SeaWorld is transitioning from theatrical orca shows to a more educational presentation reflecting natural behaviors of the whales. The final "One Ocean Shamu" show was conducted Jan. 8. The first of these live documentary-style presentations, called Orca Encounter, will debut at SeaWorld San Diego this summer with temporary seating around the orca underwater viewing area pool. Patrons will learn how killer whales behave in the wild, how they move, hunt and navigate, what they eat and even how they communicate. Orca Encounter will also look at broader themes such as research, rescue, conservation, habitats and distribution, husbandry and care, and social structures.  “This will inspire as well as educate guests about the majesty of these complex animals and reinforce the company’s commitment to provide educational experiences with the park’s resident orcas,” Koontz said.  Other game-changing developments at SeaWorld San Diego include development of the Electric Eel, 150-foot high ride roller coaster debuting summer 2018, and Submarine Quest, a submarine-inspired attraction.  Both attractions are coming to SeaWorld as part of the park's new Ocean Explorer area. Participants will experience digital technology and can interact with the ride to "save" ocean creatures.   Through Ocean Explorer, debuting later this year, guests, through an interactive mini-sub, can get up close to some of the ocean's most fascinating creatures, then take a spin on three new family friendly rides. With three new attractions, this is SeaWorld's biggest roll-out in 53 years.  For more information, visit seaworldparks.com.
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    Bay Park Resident
    |
    April 23, 2017
    @Justbetweenyouandme

    Do you really think 3 minutes of nighttime fireworks has a bigger noise impact than jets flying overhead every 15 minutes all day or motorboats and jetskis on bay? I agree that one cannot make an argument for the utility of fireworks, but we happen to enjoy seeing them every night and I would challenge anyone to show me data that the biggest environmental threat to the area is a 3 minute fireworks show rather than the parade of cars on 5, motorized transport on the bay, people's slovenly habits in the park, jets flying overhead OR the periodic dumps of human waste into the bay. Not to mention the desire for increased "densification" along the Morena corridor.

    How people assess risk continues to be an absolute mystery to me.
    Fireworks Loving Guy
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    April 18, 2017
    You've gotta be kidding me. The killjoy levels of the vocal minority are out of control. What's next? No more ice cream shops? GET A F&*^% LIFE PEOPLE.
    Justbetweenyouandme
    |
    April 21, 2017
    There are many ways to celebrate without explosive noise.

    Japan’s Muroya wins Red Bull Air Race over San Diego Bay
    Apr 17, 2017 | 7373 views | 0 0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Kirby Chambliss (USA) flies through the course on Sunday. He finished fourth. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Kirby Chambliss (USA) flies through the course on Sunday. He finished fourth. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Reigning world champion Matthias Dolderer finished third after clipping a pylon on Sunday. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Reigning world champion Matthias Dolderer finished third after clipping a pylon on Sunday. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Peter Podlunšek from Slovenian stunned the field in capturing second place in his first-ever Final 4. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Peter Podlunšek from Slovenian stunned the field in capturing second place in his first-ever Final 4. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA) flies past the USS Midway on San Diego Bay on Sunday. He finished seventh. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA) flies past the USS Midway on San Diego Bay on Sunday. He finished seventh. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Yoshihide (Yoshi) Muroya of Japan on the course during his first run on Sunday. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Yoshihide (Yoshi) Muroya of Japan on the course during his first run on Sunday. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Kirby Chambliss (USA) zips through the course with San Diego as a backdrop on Sunday. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Kirby Chambliss (USA) zips through the course with San Diego as a backdrop on Sunday. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    One upset followed another at the second stop of the 2017 Red Bull Air Race World Championship in San Diego on Sunday. Yoshihide (Yoshi) Muroya of Japan was the only pilot with the consistency to reach the top of the podium, dazzling a crowd of more than 40,000 fans across the race weekend, with a time of 58.529. Peter Podlunšek from Slovenian stunned the field in capturing second place in his first-ever Final 4, two seconds behind Muroya at 1:00.454. Reigning world champion Matthias Dolderer was third after a pylon hit, and American Kirby Chambliss finished fourth. Earning 15 World Championship points with the victory, Muroya jumped up 10 places in the overall standings, to third behind Martin Šonka of the Czech Republic (21 points) and Dolderer (16). The result was especially meaningful because the next stop of the season is in Muroya’s home skies of Chiba, Japan – where he earned his first Red Bull Air Race win in 2016. “I’m quite happy. We had a very hard time at the season opener in Abu Dhabi, and we’ve been working really hard for months,” said Muroya, who had an over-G penalty at the 2017 kickoff. “My crew and my family have been helping a lot to help us get more stable and consistent, and I thank them. “The next race in Japan is going to be a big one, and it’s an important step forward to win here as I head to my home country. It’s a huge crowd and pressure for me, but I will have fun there.”  In the day’s earlier action, 2016 Challenger Cup winner Florian Bergér of Germany earned his first Challenger Class win of the season. For more information on tickets and all the latest, visit www.redbullairrace.com. Results Master Class San Diego: 1. Yoshihide Muroya (JPN), 2. Peter Podlunšek (SLO), 3. Matthias Dolderer (GER), 4. Kirby Chambliss (USA), 5. Martin Šonka (CZE), 6. Petr Kopfstein (CZE), 7. Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA), 8. Michael Goulian (USA), 9. Matt Hall (AUS), 10. Pete McLeod (CAN), 11. Juan Velarde (ESP), 12. François Le Vot (FRA), 13. Mikaël Brageot (FRA), 14. Cristian Bolton (CHI). World Championship standings after two races: 1. Martin Šonka (CZE) 21 points, 2. Matthias Dolderer (GER) 16 pts, 3. Yoshihide Muroya (JPN) 15 pts, 4. Juan Velarde (ESP) 12 pts, 5. Peter Podlunšek (SLO) 12 pts, 6. Pete McLeod (CAN) 10 pts, 7. Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA) 10 pts, 8. Michael Goulian (USA) 8 pts, 9. Kirby Chambliss (USA) 7 pts, 10. Petr Kopfstein (CZE) 5 pts, 11. Cristian Bolton (CHI) 4 pts, 12. François Le Vot (FRA) 3 pts, 13. Matt Hall (AUS) 3 pts, 14. Mikaël Brageot (FRA) 2 pts.
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    Community briefs for Point Loma and Ocean Beach
    Apr 13, 2017 | 20062 views | 0 0 comments | 26 26 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    The Californian sails through San Diego Bay with downtown as a backdrop. The Californian is a replica of the 1847 Revenue Cutter C.W. Lawrence, which patrolled the coast of California enforcing federal law during the gold rush. The yacht was built from the ground up in 1984 at Spanish Landing in San Diego Bay. She was launched with great fanfare for the 1984 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles. In July 2003, the governor signed a bill into law designating the Californian as the official tall ship of the State of California. She is the only ship to carry this prestigious title. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    The Californian sails through San Diego Bay with downtown as a backdrop. The Californian is a replica of the 1847 Revenue Cutter C.W. Lawrence, which patrolled the coast of California enforcing federal law during the gold rush. The yacht was built from the ground up in 1984 at Spanish Landing in San Diego Bay. She was launched with great fanfare for the 1984 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles. In July 2003, the governor signed a bill into law designating the Californian as the official tall ship of the State of California. She is the only ship to carry this prestigious title. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Easter Sunrise Service Easter is April 16 this year and the gates to Cabrillo National Monument will open at 6 a.m. with the non-denominational service beginning at 6:30 a.m. There is seating for approximately 700 attendees and the public is encouraged to arrive early. The Kiwanis Club of Point Loma will again present an ecumenical Easter Sunrise Service at the Cabrillo National Monument. The services will be held in the lower parking lot, giving those who attend a great early morning panoramic view of San Diego Harbor and the city behind it. The speakers this year are Capt. Howard Warner, commanding officer, Naval Base Point Loma, Lonnie Folsom, Kiwanis Division 21, and Matt Lemas, president Point Loma Kiwanis Club. Free entry at Cabrillo National Monument National Park Week is an annual week for celebration and recognition of national parks. Visitors to Cabrillo National Monument will be granted free admission April 15, 16, 22 and 23. - Junior Ranger Day will take place on Saturday, April 15. Ask for a free Junior Ranger program at the visitor center. New Junior Rangers will be awarded a National Park Week badge. - Open Tower Day will take place on Wednesday, April 19. Visitors will be able to climb the 31 stairs to the top of the Old Point Loma Lighthouse. Groups of 10 at a time will be guided to the top. No bags will be permitted. This event is weather permitting. For more information, visit www.nps.gov/cabr. Republican Women monthly luncheon Point Loma Republican Women Federated monthly luncheon meeting will be 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 19 at Point Loma Cafe, 4865 Harbor Drive. Program: Eric Golub – a popular Republican commentator and comedian. A no host lunch follows. Guests welcome. Call Marilyn at 619-222-9532 for information. Veterans plaza fundraiser Join the Ocean Beach Community Development Corporation to honor veterans at Wonderland Ocean Pub on Abbott Street in Ocean Beach 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 19. This event is the kickoff for a capital campaign to raise $1 million to build a new regional veterans plaza in Ocean Beach in 2018. The event is sponsored by the OBCDC with the support of the Ocean Beach Community groups. All donations are tax-deductible and pledge-sheets will be available. There is a minimum $50 per person donation at the door. Detailed information about the new veterans plaza will be presented. For advance information, visit obcdc.org. Meeting about Saratoga Park options The Ocean Beach Community Development Corporation will hold its second neighborhood meeting regarding the children's park/lifeguard fitness areas at Saratoga Park. This is an opportunity to meet the designers and have questions answered. The forum is at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 18 at the Ocean Beach Recreation Center. Seashell hunt Crystal Pier Bait and Tackle will be having a seashell hunt on Easter Sunday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Children can come to Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach, find a seashell (one per child) and bring it to the shop for a treat and a chance to win a grand prize. OB Green Center annual celebration Ocean Beach Green Center is celebrating Earth Day and 28 years of environmental, peace and social justice activism at its annual anniversary celebration fundraiser 2 to 7 p.m. Saturday, April 22 at 4843 B, Voltaire St. There will be live music and presentations on solutions to the homeless situation, climate change, and social justice issues. For information, visit oceanbeachgreencenter.org. Lenten food drive Point Loma Community Presbyterian Church is holding its annual Lenten food drive through April 16. Consider donating non-perishable food or personal hygiene items that supports the Mission Beyond Partners, Presbyterian Urban Ministries, Loaves and Fishes Food Ministry, OB Community Dinners and Military Outreach Ministries. Any questions, contact Kathy Zorn and Eddie Dees at 619-224-2177. You can drop off items at: Point Loma Community Presbyterian Church, 2128 Chatsworth Blvd. 619-223-1633; Stump's Family Marketplace, 3770 Voltaire St. 619-226-9575; Jensen's Foods, 955 Catalina Blvd. 619-550-2097; US Bank, 2150 Chatsworth Blvd. 619-226-5557. Talmadge Art Show The Talmadge Art Show artists have created works of contemporary craft and clothing just for this show 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, May 7 at Liberty Station Conference Center, 2600 Laning Road. For more, visit talmadgeartshow.com. OB photo contest The Ocean Beach Town Council has started a "Share Your OB" photo contest. To enter just tag your best photos of OB with #shareyourOB and post on Instagram or Facebook. Winner receives bragging rights and is entered in a monthly drawing for some cool swag. Each Saturday, a new winner will be announced. So get out there and #shareyourOB. Miracle Babies 5K The ninth annual Miracle Babies 5K will take place from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 7 at NTC Park at Liberty Station (2455 Cushing Road), with registration beginning at 7 a.m. The event includes a timed 5K run at 8 a.m. followed by a family friendly 5K walk at 9 a.m. Attendees are invited to show their spirit by dressing up as their favorite hero. Participants will receive a collectable race medal and are encourage and invited to attend in the postrace celebration including a Kid Zone, Family Resource Fair, merchandise vendors, food trucks and exotic cars. Registration fee for walkers is $25 for adults and free for children under 12. Runners’ fee is $30 for adults and $10 for children under 12. Register at www.miraclebabies5k.com. Summer concerts series seeks sponsors As the Point Loma Summer Concerts board gears up for another season of free, summer concerts at Point Loma Park, they are seeking new community sponsors. After losing a major sponsor this year, the board had an idea: Since the event is truly a neighborhood event, why not ask neighbors to sponsor the concerts? The neighborhood with the most donations will get reserved seating at their concert of choice – complete with signage. Those interested in donating on behalf of their neighborhood can go to the Summer Concerts website at www.plconcerts.org, click on the donate button at the top of the page, enter a donation amount, and – this is critical – click “Write a note,” then enter their NextDoor neighborhood name. The Summer Concerts are on Fridays, July 14 through Aug. 11 at 6:30 p.m. This year’s lineup (in concert order): The Mighty Untouchables, Detroit Underground, PettyBreakers, Cash’d Out, and Battle of the Bands: Beatles vs. Stones. For more information, go to www.plconcerts.org. Battle of San Diego Bay House of Spain, Casa De España will host the Battle of San Diego Bay 214th anniversary celebration through the courtesy of the U.S. Naval Base Point Loma. This event commemorates the only Pacific Coast, ship-to-shore battle between an American ship, the Lelia Byrd, and Spain’s Fort Guijarros located on Naval Base Point Loma from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.Saturday, April 22 at Naval Base Point Loma, at the end of Rosecrans Street. The ceremony begins at noon with a flag raising ceremony, accompanied by Spain and U.S. national anthems. Following the ceremony there will be a Spanish dance performance by Doña Juanita Franco, and her Classical Dance Academy Ole Flamenco. The fiesta will include a variety of historical, cultural and maritime displays; historical costumes; children’s craft activities, bounce house, and food and beverage services including paella (by Paella Valenciana Catering), tapas, desserts, beer, wine and sangria. VanDover named sales manager Zephyr’s The Park, Bankers Hill, has added luxury high-rise real estate specialist, Micah VanDover, as its community sales manager. With more than 16 years of experience selling luxury condominiums and private residences in high-profile buildings and hotels, VanDover brings a wealth of knowledge to his new role. “I’ve always worked with luxury buyers, and while they have unique preferences, the one commonality they all share is a love of five-star service,” he says. “I’ll provide that level of service to buyers and the brokers and agents who represent them.” VanDover is married with two children and one on the way. In his free time, he enjoys surfing, building sand castles with his kids and doing mission work.
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    Le Rondelet: Point Loma’s early high rise, celebrates 50 years
    by KAREN SCANLON
    Apr 12, 2017 | 4976 views | 2 2 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    The finished product, April 1967: 174,000 square feet of luxury apartments for Point Loma, or four acres of floor area. Le Rondelet contractor Leonard Teyssier laughs, “How many people buy a building by the acre?”
    The finished product, April 1967: 174,000 square feet of luxury apartments for Point Loma, or four acres of floor area. Le Rondelet contractor Leonard Teyssier laughs, “How many people buy a building by the acre?”
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    Playful Point Loma neighbors watching the circular Le Rondelet rise likened it to the Italian Coliseum in Rome. They attached a homemade scoreboard to the first floor balcony that read, “COLISEUM SCORE BOARD”. In Roman numerals the final score: “LIONS II - CHRISTIANS 0”.  Below the scoreboard, a large drawing of a lion.
    Playful Point Loma neighbors watching the circular Le Rondelet rise likened it to the Italian Coliseum in Rome. They attached a homemade scoreboard to the first floor balcony that read, “COLISEUM SCORE BOARD”. In Roman numerals the final score: “LIONS II - CHRISTIANS 0”. Below the scoreboard, a large drawing of a lion.
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    Leonard Teyssier, looking at blueprints of Le Rondelet.
    Leonard Teyssier, looking at blueprints of Le Rondelet.
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    All the while Ocean Beach Fishing Pier was being raised over the Pacific, pier contractor Leonard Teyssier was conceiving his notion of building a luxury high rise on the site of an old tuna cannery in Point Loma. Before dredging spoils were dumped on the unlovely shoal that became Shelter Island, “Boats came up 10 feet to our building line,” remembers 89-year-old Teyssier. “Fish were off-loaded into the cannery, which was an old rusty sheet metal building. When my friends heard I was building down there, they advised me to stay away from that nasty, smelly cannery.” But Teyssier’s luxury Le Rondelet apartment complex was ideal with bay views, and its 5-minute proximity to the airport and downtown San Diego. “When we started planning the building, it became more and more obvious that everyone should share in the view and round was the obvious answer,“ Teyssier remembers. “Before we started construction, we set up scaffolds in a straight line 60 feet up, then went to each level and took photos of the views you’d have when the building was finished.” Family friend Lynn Gildred, wife of Fox Theatre owner, Philip Gildred, offered the name Le Rondelet after studying in France. During construction the building began to resemble the first-century Italian Coliseum, an oval amphitheatre in the center of Rome. Point Loma neighbors of the project playfully attached a large sign made of dry wall scraps to the lower balcony, which read, “Coliseum Score Board.” Below these letters, in Roman numerals, a line of scores, finally, “Lions II. Christians 0.” Nearby, another sign was hung with an image of a lion. Leonard notes, “I remember later when I was in Rome, resenting that the Romans had copied my design!” Two architects and a draftsman worked with Teyssier for three years designing the building. “I didn’t want any feature that I wouldn’t be happy to live with. This was our gauge, and I knew what I wanted.” For economy and longevity, pre-cast concrete was used instead of wood. “When we poured wall panels, and inserted rebar, we laid the panels on the floor then stood them up. In another six or eight years, this became the way of doing things. Bigger equipment being manufactured meant you could pick up bigger pieces of walls.” A few hundred balcony posts and rails were also precast. White concrete was sandblasted to give it a finished, colorful appearance. “The building is 50 years old now,” Teyssier says, “and it has not be necessary to repaint or refinish these natural colors. The building looks recently constructed.” Teyssier designed the complex with open walkway balconies so it didn’t need corridors, air-conditioning, lighting, or carpeting. Outside walkways would be easy to maintain. To avoid people seeing inside another’s space as they walked by, designers placed windows five feet high along the walkway. The six-story Le Rondelet on Anchorage Street stands at 60-feet tall. According to The San Diego Union, April 16, 1967: “The building, of reinforced concrete, swings in a half circle around a central recreation complex with swimming pool, terrace, two sauna baths, recreation room, and hobby shop. It contains 77 luxury apartments, ranging from single bedroom, single bath units of 1,000 square feet to deluxe penthouses of 2,100 square feet, with three bedrooms and three baths, which will rent for $1,200 a month. The lowest price on the rent schedule is $400 a month.” “We designed 16 different floor plans,” Teyssier chuckles, “and we charged a different price for every unit. When you’re trying to fill a new building you have to compromise the rent a little to get it started, but then everybody else wants the same price. “ Standing in the center courtyard is a 63-year old tree that has grown taller than the six-story building. Teyssier had seen it along the route of a future freeway in Riverside and asked to have it. He sent a backhoe and trailer, and crane operator Joe to collect it. Too big to go under the freeway, and limbs were broken. “Leonard, I’m not unloading that tree until you look at it. Miserable looking thing.” “I told Joe to take it off the trailer, put it in a hole. We ordered heating cables from Chicago to wrap around the roots of the tree because we knew it grew well in Hawaii at 80 degree temps,” Leonard says. Teyssier exchanged the complex in 1972 to Lincoln Property’s Peter Bren and Joe Landau in trades for 17 other properties in California, Texas, and Arizona. Teyssier shakes his head. “I was on the phone in a simultaneous exchange to satisfy IRS rules, telling 17 property owners in three time zones, close! “ Son Paul Teyssier said of the tax deferred exchange, “It was historic, the biggest title transfer at the time. The title people remembered it for years after.” Originally built as luxury and penthouse apartments for investment property, Le Rondelet stands strong today as privately owned condominiums. “Equivalent to an Isolated Family Farm…”—Paul Teyssier “Building Le Rondelet was another burden equivalent to an isolated family farm where everybody in the family had to pull in the crops,” says Paul, oldest of Leonard’s eight children. “Dad’s prouder of this project than of any other. He designed it. Worked on everything about it. It was an extraordinary finish that took just one year. I remember when they were plastering the walls, Dad taking a golf tee out of his pocket to measure the mix. ‘Too much sand, not strong enough,’ he insisted.’” Like so many other projects taken on by his contractor father, Paul remembers sitting in the car when he mentioned the idea of building a high-rise apartment complex. “Oh, hell’s bells, Dad, just leave it alone, not another crisis!” Paul never doubted his father could pull off the huge job, but the construction lender wasn’t so certain. “Mother was always his sounding board.” “Leonard’s office staff and foreman were extraordinary. Tradesmen came and followed him one job to another,” Paul says. “It was a tightrope. Dad attracted extremely loyal employees, and we kids were pressed to tasks suitable to our ages.” The building had been opened a few months when a regional forest fire raged, and breezes blew ashes and cinders over Le Rondelet’s outside balconies. All eight children were sent to clean it up right away. The youngest carried buckets of water to the other kids. Son Ralph remembers that, “Once the project was done, we were still enrolled every Saturday – unless there was a Boy Scout campout – for pulling weeds, moving furniture, and vacuuming the buildings.” There is a gentlemanly nature to Leonard Teyssier’s disposition, but behind it an edge – a tenacity for big dreams and hard, honest work. When asked if he ever doubted he could do the job, he answers, “No, I didn’t know any better.” Leonard has earned a reputation of excellence over his long career. (At this, his eyes well up, and a broad smile comes across his face.) Interestingly, as the construction superintendent began digging the footings for Le Rondelet, he discovered a buried diesel tank that had been used by the cannery. It was hauled off, but a problem with water and oil in the hole caused some uproar at the nearby yacht club. “Hang him from the yardarm!” members fussed. But when the commodore heard it was Leonard Teyssier’s project, he said, “Forget it, he’ll take care of it!” When asked if he were to teach students of contemporary construction, what would he tell them? His lofty lesson, “Don’t sell Le Rondelet!” Teyssier’s $3.5 million complex that sold in 1972 for $6 million, is worth $60 to $80 million today. Residents of Le Rondelet and special guests celebrated the historic occasion of 50 years strong with champagne, catered buffet, and music on April 8. Happy anniversary, Teyssier family!
    Comments
    (2)
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    Mark T.
    |
    April 18, 2017
    I wish they would build more high-rises in Point Loma.
    Jan H.
    |
    April 14, 2017
    Wow, who would have ever known about the history of this interesting building and the man behind it? Karen Scanlon wrote an excellent article with a personal touch. I will put this site on my list to see when I visit San Diego again.
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