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    Region's Prebys heart unit unveiled at open house
    Feb 26, 2015 | 12514 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    The new Prebys Cardiovascular Institute features six operating rooms for Scripps Health's 166 heart specialists. PHOTO FROM KPBS
    The new Prebys Cardiovascular Institute features six operating rooms for Scripps Health's 166 heart specialists. PHOTO FROM KPBS
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    Scripps Health, recognized as a leader in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease, held an open house March 1 at its newly opened Prebys Cardiovascular Institute on the campus of Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla. The $456 million facility, which formally opened Feb. 26, brings together researchers, physicians, staff and technologies in the largest heart program in the region. “We designed this institute,” said Scripps president and CEO Chris van Gorder at the Feb. 26 ceremonies, “to be centered around our patients and their needs, creating an innovative environment for collaboration among some of the nation’s most brilliant physicians, for ground-breaking research by world-class scientists and for the diagnosis and treatment of the most challenging heart conditions.” Scripps Hospital La Jolla is located at 9888 Genesee Avenue. Public tours were held Sunday at the open house. Scripps Health held a gala Saturday night to celebrate the center's opening.of the facility that will provide heart care for patients of Scripps Health and Kaiser Permanente. The open house was the only time the public will be allowed to tour the institute, according to Scripps. “As one of San Diego County’s largest employers and a top innovative health system in the country, Scripps has long provided opportunities to countless San Diegans,” said San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer. “With the Prebys Cardiovascular Institute, Scripps has taken it a step further by building the most sophisticated heart hospital on the West Coast – right here in San Diego.” The 383,000-square-foot tower of glass, brick and steel, rising seven stories above Genesee Avenue, is named for Conrad Prebys, a real estate developer, philanthropist and Scripps donor whose $45 million gift helped create an institution designed to foster medical breakthroughs for decades to come. The new tower features 108 inpatient beds in private rooms, 59 intensive care beds, six state-of-the-art operating rooms and three advanced technology cardiac catheterization labs, with space to add three more. Work also has begun on a state-of-the-art emergency department on the ground floor of the hospital. The emergency unit is scheduled to open in June of 2016. “In business, and in philanthropy, I want to be involved in projects that make me want to jump up and down with enthusiasm,” said local philanthropist Prebys, whose $45 million donation to the institute was the largest he has ever made and the largest ever received by Scripps. “I’m overwhelmingly enthusiastic about this building because it symbolizes the caliber of expertise, technological advancement and care that patients receive throughout the Scripps system.” Each year, more than 76,000 patients receive cardiovascular care from Scripps, making it San Diego County’s, and California’s, largest heart care provider. For more than 30 years, Kaiser Permanente cardiologists have partnered with Scripps cardiovascular surgeons to care for Kaiser Permanente heart patients. “Building on a long history of working together, Kaiser Permanente and Scripps cardiac specialists will continue to offer the best heart care available to patients throughout the region through the Prebys Cardiovascular Institute,” said Kaiser Permanente Senior Vice President and Executive Director Jane Finley. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, claiming about 600,000 lives each year and accounting for one in every four deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In San Diego County, nearly 4,000 people die of heart disease each year, according to the county Health and Human Services Agency. With 166 cardiovascular specialists, Scripps is the only heart care provider in the region consistently recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best in the country. In 2014, US News ranked Scripps 18 in the nation, the highest rated program in San Diego County.
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    Mission Bay High School athletic complex nears completion
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Feb 25, 2015 | 2880 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    MBHS principal Ernest Remillard shows off the new football stadium, which will be completed in March. / Photo by Dave Schwab
    MBHS principal Ernest Remillard shows off the new football stadium, which will be completed in March. / Photo by Dave Schwab
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    More than a year in the making, the new $13 million Mission Bay High School athletic facilities, which broke ground Feb. 12 last year, will be finished soon. “The progress of the new Mission Bay Stadium is right on track for a March 27 completion,” said MBHS principal Ernest Remillard. “At this point, the football/soccer field and track are completed, as well as the new softball field.” Remillard said the construction crew is currently finishing up the bleachers and handling some smaller items within each of the new buildings. “Those include putting in final plumbing fixtures, tying in the fire alarms and other smaller-polish items,” he said. “The remaining bigger project is the landscaping and some final fencing, including the main entrance gate.” The high school’s principal said a formal opening is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Thursday, April 16. “This event is open to the community, and they are encouraged to park in the large parking lot along Grand Avenue and Lee Street,” Remillard said. “Following the ceremony, we will have a home track meet and varsity baseball game.” The principal added the community is encouraged to remain after the new athletic facilities have been dedicated, as the high school will then be hosting its annual Spring Open House. Teachers and students will be displaying work from throughout the year in the school’s gymnasium from 3 to 6 p.m. “We will have food trucks at the event,” Remillard said. The field opening ceremony will be sponsored by the Mission Bay Alumni Association. MBAA spokesperson Pam Deitz said, “We just launched a new engraved brick fundraiser in celebration of the new stadium — and you don't have to be an alumni to purchase a brick. PB residents and businesses are also welcome to be a part of history.” More information about the brick fundraiser can be found at https://brickorder.com/form/view.php?id=80477. The athletic complex project includes a complete renovation of the football field and running track. Other features include: the existing football field and track have been replaced with new synthetic turf field and all-weather track; new handicap-accessible bleachers; a new press box with an elevator to comply with ADA accessibility; new athletic facilities (handicap-accessible ticket booth, restrooms and concession stand for home and visitors); storage area for athletic equipment; new football stadium lighting and sound system; new scoreboard and goal posts; new home and visitor entrance gates; the existing softball field relocated and reconstructed with new synthetic turf; and new ADA-accessible dugouts, bleachers, concession stand and announcer’s booth. Due to the renovations, MBHS will join the ranks of “Friday Night Lights” to host football games at night for the first time. in its 60-year history.
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    MTA chief cites potential downtown stadium construction delay
    Feb 25, 2015 | 1574 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Imperial Avenue Division bus yard at 16th Street and Imperial Avenue in the East Village would need to be relocated in order to make room for a new downtown stadium. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Imperial Avenue Division bus yard at 16th Street and Imperial Avenue in the East Village would need to be relocated in order to make room for a new downtown stadium. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    The chief executive officer of the Metropolitan Transit System says a potential downtown stadium for the San Diego Chargers could face a lengthy delay. In a letter sent to Adam Day of the city's stadium task force, Paul Jablonski said the Imperial Avenue Division bus yard at 16th Street and Imperial Avenue in the East Village would need to be relocated in order to make room for a new downtown stadium. The 7.75-acre yard is said to be a preferred location for a possible stadium in the East Village. Jablonski said, “Moving an operation of (the Imperial Avenue Division's) size is not a quick, easy or inexpensive endeavor. If the MTS Board, the Chargers and the City were able to come to an agreement to relocate (the division), the actual vacation of the property at 100 16th St. would take a considerable amount of time, anywhere from 5 to 7 years. The new site would need to be acquired and replacement facilities constructed before the (yard's) operations could be moved.” Jablonski also noted that a stadium in that location would cause stress on transportation services in and out of the area. He said moving thousands of fans in and out of the East Village area “would require infrastructure improvements to the Trolley system.” -- KUSI
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    Scripps bids farewell to old reliable Melville
    by THOMAS MELVILLE
    Feb 24, 2015 | 6360 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    R/V Melville docked at the Broadway Pier in downtown San Diego.
    R/V Melville docked at the Broadway Pier in downtown San Diego.
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    R/V Melville is named after Henry Wallace Melville, a pioneer Arctic explorer and an innovative U.S. Navy engineer who served in the early 1900s.
    R/V Melville is named after Henry Wallace Melville, a pioneer Arctic explorer and an innovative U.S. Navy engineer who served in the early 1900s.
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    Old ships, unlike old soldiers, don't just fade away, they're sold away, to foreign navies for more years of service, or to manufacturers for scrap. The fate of the research vessel Melville will likely be the same, but it had a long and fruitful life with Scripps Institution of Oceanography, which has retired the ship from its oceangoing fleet after 46 years of service. What can you say about a boat that has traveled more than 1.5 million nautical miles and seen everything? Is there a gold watch that could fit around it? Scripps decided to give R/V Melville a proper sendoff on Saturday at the Broadway Pier in downtown, to not only showcase its four decades of global ocean exploration by holding an open house for the public, but to give former crew members a chance to visit the vessel one more time. “I’ve been on about 80 expeditions over a career of almost 50 years but the two cruises on the R/V Melville were both unique and inspiring experiences,” said Bob Embley, a marine geologist/geophysicist with NOAA. The ship served the U.S. scientific community as a shared-use research vessel, which allowed access for scientists throughout the country. Melville was a jack-of-all-trades and master of them all – chemistry, physics, acoustics, geology, geophysics, atmospheric science, and biology. The global class ship compiled 391 research cruises since 1970, crossed the equator more than 90 times, and averaged 284 operational days per year. Oh yeah, it was also cut in half in the1980s. “We began planning for a midlife refit of Melville in the late ’80s,” said Bob Knox, physical oceanographer, and former head of Scripps Oceanography ship operations. “The propulsion system caused sound, which could interfere with sonar. It was decided the propulsion system had to be changed. But how?” A naval architect proposed cutting the ship in half and lengthening it by 34 feet, which would allow space for a new propulsion system. Scripps agreed. The ship was brought to the naval shipyard where a huge crane lifted it out of the water and put it on blocks. Then they pulled it apart, and through a precise process, added the new propulsion system. “It was an even better ship when it went back into service,” Knox said. R/V Melville often spent years away from San Diego, often working in remote and extreme conditions. In 1987, during the Helios I expedition in the south-central Pacific to trace deep flowing currents along the seafloor and to collect geological specimens, including volcanic rock, the ship traveled over an erupting undersea volcano, the MacDonald Seamount, previously thought to be extinct. “I was on the bridge and noticed that the water ahead looked like it was boiling,” said Eric Buck, Scripps Oceanography port captain and the former captain of Melville. “The ocean went from clear blue to looking like chocolate.” Buck called chief scientist Dr. Harmon Craig to the bridge, and Craig decided they needed to take samples. “We didn’t know if it was safe to take the ship into there, but we cautiously maneuvered into the area and were able to take samples for 24 hours,” Buck said. That night, the ship was hit by shock waves caused from collapsing steam bubbles generated from the volcanic eruption. “It sounded like someone was underneath the ship hitting the keel with a sledge hammer,” Buck said. Traveling over this volcanic hot spot enabled researchers to learn more about how islands are created and how old they are. R/V Melville took many similar expeditions as part of Scripps’s century-long history to fully explore the oceans for the benefit of society and the environment. But now it’s time to say goodbye. Scripps will remain as caretaker for Melville in San Diego while its owner (U.S. Navy) resolves the disposition of the ship. The Navy has offered the ship for foreign military sale and expects it to be sold later this year. The last major vessel retired from Scripps was R/V Thomas Washington, which was transferred to Chile, where it served for many more years as an oceanographic research vessel renamed R/V Vidal Gormaz. “I’ll always remember the remarkable research cruises I spent aboard Melville,” said Bruce Applegate, geologist, Scripps Oceanography associate director and head of ship operations. “It’s a terrific ship that had outstanding mariners and technicians.” R/V Melville Built: 1969 Length: 279 feet Owner: U.S. Navy
 Crew: 23 Science Party: 38 Endurance: 60 days
 -Named after Henry Wallace Melville, a pioneer Arctic explorer and an innovative U.S. Navy engineer who served in the early 1900s. -The oldest vessel in the U.S. academic research fleet, R/V Melville has served as one of the most capable general-purpose, global-class ships in the world.
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    New ice age begins as Gulls come back to roost in San Diego
    by SCOTT HOPKINS
    Feb 24, 2015 | 3650 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    More than 8,500 fans showed up at Valley View Casino Center on Sunday, Feb. 22, for the San Diego Gulls' HockeyFest. / Photo by Lori Neshovska
    More than 8,500 fans showed up at Valley View Casino Center on Sunday, Feb. 22, for the San Diego Gulls' HockeyFest. / Photo by Lori Neshovska
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    The new San Diego Gulls logo.
    The new San Diego Gulls logo.
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    If a recent HockeyFest at the Valley View Casino Center is any indication, the people of San Diego are passionate about the return of professional ice action after a nine-year absence. "We were thinking a turnout of 500 people would be good and 1,000 would be great," said Ari Segal, president of business operations for San Diego's new entry in the American Hockey League (AHL). The local team will serve as the top minor league team of the National Hockey League (NHL) Anaheim Mighty Ducks. But when people began lining up at 7 a.m., Segal and other Ducks' officials began to realize the extent of San Diego's excitement. By the time fans waiting in lines, which stretched around the Midway district arena and down a nearby street, were able to enter the building a 30-minute delay in the ceremony had been announced. An eventual crowd of 8,500 erupted in ear-splitting cheers as Mighty Ducks owners Henry and (observing) Susan Samueli and team CEO Michael Schulman, wielding sledgehammers, broke down an ice wall to reveal the name and familiar logo of the newest edition of the San Diego Gulls. As a mass of orange and blue streamers fell from arena rafters, fans saw the new logo features lettering in the Ducks' windswept style and subtle color additions that will reflect the team's new colors of black, orange and blue. The logo unveiling was such a well-kept secret that even fresh new team merchandise at stands was shielded from view until the two executives completed their task. The Samuelis realized the community's love for the Gulls name. “While we initially considered several options, it quickly became clear that the obvious affinity and affection the fans have for the Gulls name," the couple said in a release. "We enthusiastically embrace the history and tradition of hockey in this market and plan on adding to its legacy with a community-first organization and winning product.” That community-first approach will include expansion of the team's hugely successful High School Hockey League, which currently boasts two local teams and its "Learn to Play" program that provides free hockey equipment to put kids on the ice for lessons from Ducks players. "We plan to become more than just San Diego's hockey team, but rather a part of the city's DNA and fabric," Henry Samueli told the crowd. The Samuelis acknowledged that when discussions began three years ago about creating a Pacific Division of the AHL, they immediately focused on San Diego and its colorful hockey history. Another attraction is San Diego's proximity to the Honda Center in Anaheim, where the Mighty Ducks play, allowing players to be quickly moved between teams. "San Diego has been clamoring for professional hockey since it left nine years ago," Segal said recently. "We've been exploring ways to bring our affiliate here for seven years." That effort is already paying off, as over 1,500 deposits on season tickets were received before the HockeyFest event. HockeyFest marked the beginning of San Diego's newest "ice age." The sport first appeared locally at a downtown rink known as Glacier Gardens in 1941. Since that time, San Diego has been home to eight professional teams in at least nine different leagues. Most recently, the Gulls played from 2003-2006 in the East Coast Hockey League. On hand for the festivities were former Gulls Martin St. Amour, Brad Belland and hockey legend Willie O'Ree, a member of the Western Hockey League team when the Gulls name and sports arena both made 1966 debuts. O'Ree, who turns 80 in October, made sports history as the first black player in the NHL, and continues to serve the league as an ambassador. The 27-year resident of La Mesa was clearly the choice of autograph hounds. The event also served as a homecoming for the son of O'Ree's coach. David McNab, an original Ducks player and now senior vice president of hockey operations, is the son of Max McNab, who moved his young family from Vancouver, B.C. to Point Loma when he was named the first Gulls' head coach in 1966. The younger McNab recalled how his older brother, Peter, served as the original "Sandy Gull" team mascot who led the team onto the ice at each home game. Peter, a 1970 alumni of Point Loma High School, went on to a lengthy NHL career in which he scored 895 points on 405 goals and 490 assists. David, who was 8 years old when the family arrived, described his family's love for the area and what it was like to come back to the former San Diego Sports Arena. "I know my father would be proud to know hockey is back in San Diego," McNab told a cheering crowd. "For my family, these were the best years of our lives as far as hockey was concerned. Walking through the building today was like going back to 1973 in a time machine. This is fantastic!" Other California members of the Gulls' new Pacific Division (with parent clubs) are Stockton (Calgary Flames), Bakersfield (Edmonton Oilers), Ontario (Los Angeles Kings) and San Jose (San Jose Sharks). The 34-game home season begins in October. For season and individual game ticket prices, go to sandiegoahl.com.
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    News
    National Weather Service issues beach hazard statement for San Diego
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    Mar 02, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
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    Sports
    Mission Bay survives late Lincoln surge
    On Senior Night, the Mission Bay Buccaneers (21-3, 9-3) capped off the second best season in school history with a 52-45 division win over Lincoln (8-14, 4-8). The final Friday night contest of the...
    Feb 23, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend
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    Arts & Entertainment
    LEONARD NIMOY: 1931-2015
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    Feb 27, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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    Business
    Upscale eatery to replace former China Inn
    Shuttered for nearly a year, China Inn in Pacific Beach will be redeveloped as another restaurant; though it’s new owners are disclosing few details. “I purchased the assets of the China Inn,” said...
    Feb 27, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
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