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    School values now more visible at Pacific Beach Middle
    by HANNA LAUKKANEN
    Apr 27, 2016 | 2174 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Samantha Ford (in front) and Sonja Cayetano painted the symbols at Pacific Beach Middle School on Saturday. / Photo by Hanna Laukkanen
    Samantha Ford (in front) and Sonja Cayetano painted the symbols at Pacific Beach Middle School on Saturday. / Photo by Hanna Laukkanen
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    Sonja Cayetano, an eighth-grader at Pacific Beach Middle, had her family and 13 volunteers help her complete her school community project on April 23. The group spent their Saturday morning painting murals on walls around the school's athletic fields to signify the values of the International Baccalaureate school, which are trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. Cayetano interviewed students about their poor behavior out on the fields during the lunch. She saw kids being verbally and physically abusive to one another. “The school's values and principals were already painted on the wall for us to follow. They are examples of how we really should behave and yet we weren’t following them. So I wanted to create these symbols to show students visually what those principles actually mean,” Cayetano explains. Cayetano thinks that a lot of students don’t really recognize what the school values mean. Because of her, they now will be more visually prompted by something that is aesthetically pleasing. Last year, she designed murals advocating students to be safer while coming to school. She says it had a really profound effect on a community and she felt that art would really have a great effect on a school community. “I really would like to do more art projects like this, because I enjoy creating art. I’m going to have to see how this is going the affect the community and I would like to hear student and teacher feedback,” she says. Her mother, Julie Cayetano, says that Sonja put a lot of heart and soul into the project. “It’s meaningful for her, and I think it’s great because it’s going be here for a really long time. Maybe another child along the way will make it their eighth grade project to continue to keep them up and repaint them as they need it,” Julie said. Sonja says she wanted to create something that is permanent and would inspire other students to do the same.
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    Locals discuss leads in parrot killings in Point Loma, Ocean Beach
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Apr 25, 2016 | 6794 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Brooke Durham, representing SoCal Parrot, a Jamul-based nonprofit animal welfare group, at a special meeting held April 21 at All Souls Episcopal Church in Point Loma.
    Brooke Durham, representing SoCal Parrot, a Jamul-based nonprofit animal welfare group, at a special meeting held April 21 at All Souls Episcopal Church in Point Loma.
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    Reward money probably won't matter in catching the culprits, authorities are being tight-lipped about their investigation, the identity of the shooter(s) is possibly being hushed up and juvenile(s) are the most likely perpetrators. That was the gist of a presentation by husband-and-wife team Josh Bridwell and Brooke Durham representing SoCal Parrot, a Jamul-based nonprofit animal welfare group, at a special meeting held April 21 at All Souls Episcopal Church in Point Loma. Speaking of the death or wounding of 12 or more wild endangered parrots since Feb. 19 in the Ocean Beach area, Durham said reward money being offered for information leading to prosecution of the culprit(s) is now up to $7,000. But she added she doubts that will make a real difference in capturing those guilty of animal cruelty, a crime punishable by up to one year in jail and a $20,000 fine per count with any conviction remaining on the defendant's record. “We know career criminals will give up other criminals for money,” Durham said. “But here we're dealing with something that is much more community-based, and (therefore) money is not the motivating thing here.” Animal cruelty is defined as “malicious, intentional or cruel maiming, mutilation, torture or causing unjustified pain, suffering, wounding or killing of living animals.” Durham hinted there are some strong leads in identifying the Ocean Beach parrot killers, but added, “Right now there's not enough to go forward with a prosecution.” She said SoCal Parrot has taken the initiative in “going out into the community and encouraging people to say what they've seen.” Durham suggested the identities of those responsible is known, but that that information is likely being withheld due to neighborhood peer pressure. Noting the shooter(s) are probably using air-guns with bb's and pellets, Durham pointed out, “It's illegal for anyone under age 18 to use an air-gun without written parental consent.” But Durham was quick to note air-guns are not in the same category as hand guns and other firearms, which use black powder for pellet propulsion. As to leads, Durham said, “We have clear indications, from multiple sources, that a particular group of juveniles may be involved,” while adding there's also a strong likelihood that the identities of youths who may be involved is being suppressed by their parents, who could be threatening their neighbors with legal action if they allege their children are involved. Durham also said SoCal Parrot has essentially been “locked out” of the investigation into the parrot killings by police and animal control. She's been told by those organization's that SoCal Parrot's involvement would interfere with the ongoing investigation. 
Josh Bridwell gave a slideshow presentation on parrots noting there are three primary species found in San Diego and the Peninsula, none of which are native and most of which are threatened. He said most of the wild parrots in San Diego and Southern California have migrated here from Mexico, where deforestation has destroyed trees they live in and feed off of causing them to migrate. The slideshow presentation showed an alarming decline in the wild parrot's habitat which has dwindled to a remnant of the huge areas they once inhabited before agriculture led to wide scale deforestation altering the natural environment driving the birds out. Durham likened the parrot-killing case to a Jigsaw puzzle. “Every little bit of information given to the authorities, the better the picture is,” she concluded. Anyone with information about the parrot killings is urged to call the county Department of Animal Services' parrot information hotline at (619) 767-2766 or (619) 236-2341. Callers can remain anonymous. For more information about SoCal Parrot visit socalparrot.org, facebook.com/socalparrot or email brooke@socalparrot.org.
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    Photographer highlights humanity of homeless in Pacific Beach
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Apr 22, 2016 | 6994 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Photographer Lisa Kanemoto of Bird Rock has been documenting and getting to know Pacific Beach’s homeless population.
    Photographer Lisa Kanemoto of Bird Rock has been documenting and getting to know Pacific Beach’s homeless population.
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    Photographer Lisa Kanemoto has been documenting and getting to know Pacific Beach’s homeless population.
    Photographer Lisa Kanemoto has been documenting and getting to know Pacific Beach’s homeless population.
    slideshow
    Photographer Lisa Kanemoto has been documenting and getting to know Pacific Beach’s homeless population.
    Photographer Lisa Kanemoto has been documenting and getting to know Pacific Beach’s homeless population.
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    The face of homelessness in Pacific Beach is coming more sharply into focus these days thanks to the photographic work of Lisa Kanemoto of Bird Rock. As she's done previously, Kanemoto has used her camera lens to expose social ills and injustice. In a photographic book titled “We Are,” she documented the gay revolution in San Francisco in the 1980s. In “Dark Mirror,'” a self-analytical work, Kanemoto explores her personal demons, touching on the horrors of her childhood in Germany during World War II and concealing her partial Jewish ancestry, the death of her father on the Russian front and, later, her son's schizophrenia as well as her own account of surviving a mastectomy. Now, she's trained her shutter onto another fringe group: Pacific Beach's homeless population. “I'm changing my whole outlook on life,” said Kanemoto of her new photographic passion, chronicling the lives of people living in the shadows on the streets of PB. “Every single one of these people, I've fallen in love with all of them.” The photographer of 40 years talked about that “first” encounter with a homeless person about five years ago. “I took a walk every morning at the boardwalk, and one day I found a man, Tommy, from Chicago, sitting there crying like a baby,” she said, noting that getting to know him was an eye-opening and transformative experience. “He was so heavy into drugs that, at age 17, he'd killed somebody and was put into prison,” she said. “After he got out on good behavior… that's when the heavy drinking started. I talked to him, and he introduced me to others.” Tommy's story is a sad and tragic one, said Kanemoto, noting “as many as 85 percent of the people out on the streets are mentally ill, with some coming from terrible homes where both parents took drugs.” Thumbing through a portfolio of her most recent work capturing the plight – and indomitable spirit – of the beach homeless, one can't help but be moved by the insight and clarity of Kanemoto's vision. “I've gotten initiated – and I'm proud of it,” the photographer said of her entry into PB homeless society, where she is affectionately known as Grandmother by many. “I feel very motherly,” she said. “This is my gang.” Thumbing through her portfolio, her finger stops on Birdman and then on a gentleman who was once a pastor and is now going through alcohol rehab. Kanemoto said it's surprising how much the homeless, even those who are mentally ill, can respond to expressions of openness and warmth. “I've taken their pictures and talked with them about their families,” said Kanemoto, noting one of her newfound friends, a man, “has 11 kids.” Another homeless woman Kanemoto knows smiles even though she no longer has any teeth. “I find that so endearing,” she noted. Kanemoto spoke of another homeless friend's account of how he became a street person. “He said one day he prayed to God for guidance, and God told him, 'Sell all your belongings, give up your studio and follow Me,’ which he did. He sold everything he owned, joined the homeless and became homeless himself.” Today, Kanemoto said that same man can be seen preaching Sunday nights in a local church. “It's inspiring to me,” she said. “It changes my outlook on things.” In the introduction to her blog, which can be found at homelessofpacificbeach.wordpress.com/, Kanemoto writes, “I feel the responsibility to help those who are rejected by society. With this documentary, I created a portrait of people who are feared and ignored. I'm trying to shed light on their shadowy world as an observer, a friend and participant in the drama of their lives. I focus on the individual with the intent to show the dignity and goodness inherent in every human being and give thought to what brought my new friends into their present situation. I dedicate this to all my homeless friends.”
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    Pacific Beach seen in watercolor with nostalgia
    by HANNA LAUKKANEN
    Apr 19, 2016 | 7134 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    San Diego artist Michaela Jean Upp has created 15 original watercolor and mixed media works on paper commemorating iconic Pacific and Mission Beach locations.
    San Diego artist Michaela Jean Upp has created 15 original watercolor and mixed media works on paper commemorating iconic Pacific and Mission Beach locations.
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    San Diego resident Michaela Jean Upp has launched an exhibit of watercolor paintings of Pacific Beach and Mission Beach, hoping she can capture those places that have changed just a bit despite the influx of tourism and the city’s urban growth. In “Pacific Beach Paperworks,” Upp has invested a lot of nostalgia, particularly in relation to architecture and space. She has painted 15 mixed media drawings of the beach area, such as catamarans on the sand, that continuously illustrate both neighborhoods' vibes. After moving away for schooling and other opportunities, Upp noticed the changes made to her home each time she returned to PB. There were a lot of new businesses along Garnet Avenue, and even the side streets seemed to continually sport condominiums in place of old single-family homes. Pacific Beach and Mission Beach, unlike European neighborhoods, have only minimally preserved their historical authenticity. Upp essentially attempts to stop change and time. Upp thinks that fixtures like the Crystal Pier or the Giant Dipper serve as the only implication of the vibrant community that surrounds them and are therefore just as likely to represent the city in 1970 as they are today. Through lines, perspectives and colors, the structures and spaces take on their own personas that reflect their purpose and unique aesthetic. “I intentionally simplify the atmosphere to accurately represent the most common weather patterns seen in the beach community,” Upp says, “but even more importantly to accentuate the beauty of the manmade structure in focus, which can be so easily overlooked when compared to the natural beauty of the communities’ beaches, estuaries, forests of palms, sunsets and mountainous backdrops.” Info - San Diego artist Michaela Jean Upp has created 15 original watercolor and mixed media works on paper commemorating iconic Pacific and Mission Beach locations. - “Pacific Beach Paperworks” pay tribute to the jewels of Pacific and Mission Beach that served as the literal building blocks - Paintings are available for purchase at www.michaelajeanart.com - More info: www.michaelajeanart.com
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    Albion SC Pros taps into Pacific Beach's soccer spirit
    by DAVE THOMAS
    Apr 18, 2016 | 7393 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Fans at the Albion Pros' latest home match at Mission Bay High School Stadium.
    Fans at the Albion Pros' latest home match at Mission Bay High School Stadium.
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    The team plays their games on Saturday nights at Mission Bay High School Stadium at 5 p.m. Visit albionscpros.com for the team's schedule and more information.
    The team plays their games on Saturday nights at Mission Bay High School Stadium at 5 p.m. Visit albionscpros.com for the team's schedule and more information.
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    All one has to do is drive around the Mission Bay and Pacific Beach areas to see the love locals have for soccer. Whether it is adults on the weekends mixing it up in a friendly game of soccer or kids running up and down a pitch in a youth program, the sport has developed a rather strong foothold locally over the last number of decades. And now, Pacific Beach has its own pro club to root for on Saturday evenings at Mission Bay High School. Albion SC Pros has tapped into the local passion for futbol by playing home games on the Buccaneers' pitch with a fun, festive family-friendly atmosphere. Beach & Bay Press caught up with the club’s director of marketing and operations, Nick Surface, for a recent Q&A: - BBP: How long has Albion Soccer been around and are there members of the club from Pacific Beach and Mission Bay involved? - Nick Surface: Albion Pros is in its first year and is the professional team that sits atop the Albion SC Youth Club. The youth club has been based in Ocean Beach for the last 35 years and has players and families that live all over San Diego including PB and Mission Bay. The Albion Pros team has players who live in PB such as standout forward Matt Clare. Other players come from as far away as the Netherlands, Haiti and Brazil, but most players are from the San Diego area. The team plays their games on Saturday nights at Mission Bay High School Stadium at 5 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $3 for 17-and-under and free for children under-5. The atmosphere at the games is amazing. Visit albionscpros.com for the team's schedule and more information. The whole game is an experience that starts at the Tap Room on Garnet Avenue at 3 p.m. Our supporters group called The Deep End meets there beforehand along with our fans to have beers and get excited for the match. At the game there is Mexican food, chair massages, plenty to do for kids and an electric atmosphere as our fans sing and chant the entire game (much like you see in Europe). Afterwards, the whole team including players, coaches and front office staff head back to the Tap Room to hang out with fans and (hopefully) celebrate another win. Our last home game of the season is June 18 and the playoffs will start the second week of July. If things go well, we could be playing until the national championship game in New York in August. Tickets to home games can be bought at prosoccersandiego.com or at the game at our ticket window. - BBP: How is the team doing this year? - NS: We are currently a perfect 3-0 and sit atop the division in first place. So far, so good. We are very happy with the direction the team is going.  We are always trying to increase our performance as would be expected, but we are doing well. - BBP: Are tryouts held for locals during the year? - NS: Tryouts are held generally before the pre-season in December and January, but we welcome players to tryout throughout the year if they feel they have what it takes. Players interested should contact: nsurface@albionsoccer.org. - BBP: For soccer fans in the area, what makes coming out to see the team play so enjoyable? - NS: We really put on a production at every game. We understand that San Diego is an amazing place to live and has so much to do, so we put on more than just a soccer game. The game is of course the main event, but there are a lot of things to do at games. We have a great choice of food as well as face painters, balloon men and giveaways every single week. There is halftime entertainment and festivities before and after the game at Tap Room. The atmosphere at the games really is something special and not something you’ll get at any other professional sport in San Diego. That is a big statement to make but we would stand by it. While we don’t have 60,000 fans, the 2,000-plus we do have are passionate and loud in their support and it is constant. There are drums banging and flags waving to go along with songs and chants. It truly is something special to see and experience.
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