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    Class of 2017 graduates from Mission Bay High
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Jun 19, 2017 | 12015 views | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Mission Bay High students celebrate their graduation on Wednesday, June 14. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Mission Bay High students celebrate their graduation on Wednesday, June 14. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    A student hugs Mission Bay High teacher Lauren Filamor during commencement ceremonies. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    A student hugs Mission Bay High teacher Lauren Filamor during commencement ceremonies. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Students celebrate after receiving their diplomas. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Students celebrate after receiving their diplomas. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    A Mission Bay High senior receives her diploma during commencement exercises. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    A Mission Bay High senior receives her diploma during commencement exercises. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Students react right at the moment they're told they have graduated. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Students react right at the moment they're told they have graduated. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Mission Bay High School Class of 2017's graduation ceremony June 14 was an ending – and a beginning for more than 220 seniors. It was a familiar theme, along with school pride, that cut across the speeches of the commencement program. Speakers included senior class president Jacquelyn Macias, MC Laura Barton, co-valedictorians Alexandra Briski and Emery Reyna, principal Ernest Remillard and San Diego Unified School District Board Trustee Dr. John Lee Evans. “We finally achieved the most important goal – graduation,” said Barton during opening remarks. Macias noted the Class of '17 began as “a mass of individuals trying to find our way,” and ended with “memories of special friends that will stay in our hearts forever. We are, and always will be, Mission Bay Buccaneers.” Briski and Reyna, who shared valedictorian honors as well as a 4.55 grade point average, were brief – but pointed – in their remarks. “I've never particularly liked endings, the last day of vacation, or the last chapter of a great book,” Briski confessed, adding, “Today we leave behind friends and teachers who have truly influenced our lives forever.” Briski said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed the past four years at Mission Bay High School. With each new page, new understanding. With each new chapter, new growth in our lives.” Briski concluded, “We've reached the end of this speech, and of high school. Go Bucs. Go Bears.” In her speech, Reyna praised the athletic accomplishments of MBHS, which she noted included “a fledgling (women's) lacrosse team that won a CIF championship,” and an internationally renowned music program. Reyna invoked the wisdom of Einstein who said, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” “Some of us are fish that are meant to swim,” noted Reyna. “I'm proud to be recognized as valedictorian, and proud, though I'm not able to climb trees, to do what I'm truly designed for. This chapter in my life is close to an end. I will now have the freedom to explore what I am inspired to be.” Remillard praised the Class of '17 noting, “I am confident that they will do amazing things in the real world. You have raised the bar for future Mission Bay graduates.” But Remillard cautioned students saying, “Your journey isn't over. My challenge to the Class of 2017 is going to remain in place: Continue to work hard, challenge yourself as opportunities come your way.” In closing, MBHS's principal exhorted graduates to “always be respectful, appreciate your life experiences.” Remillard closed with, “Go Bucs.” SDUSD trustee Evans read a statement in Spanish then translated. “There is not one way,” he said. “You make your way as you begin walking. Some of you know exactly what you are going to do. Others of you have absolutely no idea. And others are in-between. That's all ok, because this is the beginning of your journey starting here today.”
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    Kitten Nursery announces 10,000th arrival, and he needs a name
    Jun 16, 2017 | 10362 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    He was just weeks old when he came to the San Diego Humane Society’s Kitten Nursery.
    He was just weeks old when he came to the San Diego Humane Society’s Kitten Nursery.
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    Bottle-fed and cared for around-the-clock by experienced kitten caregivers and medical staff, he is growing up strong, fluffy and playful, and will soon be ready for his public debut.
    Bottle-fed and cared for around-the-clock by experienced kitten caregivers and medical staff, he is growing up strong, fluffy and playful, and will soon be ready for his public debut.
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    He was carried in a tattered cardboard box, seven other littermates pressed up against him. Terrified and hungry, he wanted his mama. A compassionate person found him and his littermates abandoned on the side of the road and knew just where to bring them. He was just weeks old when he came to the San Diego Humane Society’s Kitten Nursery. His story is not unique – it’s one that’s seen each and every day at the Kitten Nursery, but what does make this kitten unique is that he is the 10,000th arrival at the country’s first 24-hour Kitten Nursery. His survival now depends on the caregivers at the Kitten Nursery. Bottle-fed and cared for around-the-clock by experienced kitten caregivers and medical staff, he is growing up strong, fluffy and playful, and will soon be ready for his public debut. “Neonate kittens are the most vulnerable animal in shelters and I’m extremely proud that San Diego took the lead to establish a 24/7 nursery in 2009 to reduce the needless euthanasia of underage orphan kittens,” said Dr. Gary Weitzman, president and CEO of San Diego Humane Society. “Most shelters simply don’t have the resources to care for fragile kittens around-the-clock. We’re very grateful to our staff, volunteers and donors who enable our important lifesaving work.” Very young, orphaned kittens need to be bottle fed every 3-4 hours and receive the same attention they would normally receive from their mothers. This comprehensive care is vital to both their physiological and behavioral development during this critical time period in their young lives. Once kittens reach about 4-5 weeks of age, they are typically moved to foster homes for socialization until they are old enough for adoption. “Since ours opened as the first 24-hour kitten nursery in the country in 2009, more than a dozen organizations across America have followed our lead by opening other nurseries in their communities; including national agencies like the American Society for the Prevention and Cruelty of Animals and Best Friends,” said Morgan Hill, director of nursery and foster for San Diego Humane Society. “We’re so proud that this lifesaving model is being replicated to save even more animals.” “I’m excited and amazed that we’ve reached such a milestone at the Kitten Nursery,” says Jackie Noble, Kitten Nursery supervisor. “We have so many incredible people working very hard to care for these tiny babies, but it’s a labor of love – we all love saving kitten lives.” Kitten number 10,000 is currently in foster care until he’s old enough to be adopted. San Diego Humane Society is holding a naming contest – submit your suggested name for the 10,000th kitten here: https://sdhumane.org/10000kittens/.
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    SeaWorld debuts new Orca Encounter and other shows
    by SAVANAH DUFFY
    Jun 09, 2017 | 27386 views | 3 3 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    The killer whales perform in front of the huge video screen at the new Orca Encounter show last week. / PHOTO BY THOMAS MELVILLE
    The killer whales perform in front of the huge video screen at the new Orca Encounter show last week. / PHOTO BY THOMAS MELVILLE
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    SeaWorld’s new Orca Encounter show is a live documentary, intended to educate and entertain visitors by incorporating facts and figures about killer whales while demonstrating their behavior with orcas acting it out in front of the audience. The orca presentation features an infinity screen, which is three stories tall and long enough to span the length of the exhibit. With eye-catching, moving scenes of beaches, lakes and rippling water, audience members may feel as if they are on an island watching the orcas glide gracefully through the ocean. Various aspects of the behavioral habits of orcas in the wild are examined on the high-definition video screen and then demonstrated by the killer whales in the tank throughout the show. The video uses graphics and text to help guests understand the trainers’ narration. Communicating, hunting and playing are just a few of the activities covered by the show. A trainer introduces the whales’ communication skills by pointing out that orcas are social creatures. At a trainer’s prompting, one of the orcas demonstrates a dolphin call that she learned and, according to the trainer, had taught to some of the other orcas as well. Visitors are taught that orcas have to work together to surround and disorientate or exhaust their prey. The orcas at SeaWorld demonstrate this activity by swimming swiftly through the water, as they would if they were in the wild and trying to surround a school of fish. The aggressive swimming tactic causes gallons of water to gush over the sides and into the drains outside the tank, while slightly ominous music plays over the speakers. To imitate what it would look like for the orca to be hunting a seal in the wild, the orca pushes herself out of the water and onto the slippery surface, center-stage, and shakes her head back and forth, mouth open as if she were holding a seal. Playful behavior is also demonstrated, which is the crowd’s favorite. The orcas swim the tank’s length, splashing gallons of water over the “wet zone” with their powerful flukes. Some guests leap to their feet and race up the stairs, while others laugh and embrace their soggy fate.
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    Kaytee2457
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    June 12, 2017
    This is so ironic, and so incredibly sad. The new show emphasises the simple beauty of freedom that these whales will never have. An ironic illusion to cover-up the continued exploitation and abuse. Will you ever get it right SeaWorld? Sadly I doubt it.
    karorca
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    June 11, 2017
    Your article says it all "show". Sea World has done nothing to improve the existence of these poor imprisoned orca. It is still a performance, it is still a money grabbing abusive show. Do yourselves and the orcas a favour and boycott this abuse.

    It is a rubbish argument that for people to learn to appreciate ocean dwelling animals they have to see them in captivity. I didn't.
    ckalia
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    June 10, 2017
    SeaWorld's hours and show schedules change all the time. You're better off just checking the website. https://seaworld.com/san-diego/park-info/theme-park-hours/
    As airplane noise complaints rise, SD Airport Authority and FAA answer residents’ concerns
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Jun 08, 2017 | 7307 views | 1 1 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    A plan takes off from San Diego International Airport in the early morning hours. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    A plan takes off from San Diego International Airport in the early morning hours. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Amid continuing reports of problematic noise by San Diegans surrounding San Diego International Airport, the San Diego Airport Noise Advisory Committee, with broad public representation, continues to study the issues involved. The ANAC board is comprised of more than 20 board members representing a broad cross-section of the community, everyone from retired airline pilots to city and county legislative aides, community advisory board members and citizens at-large. Residents can track airplanes coming and going from San Diego via Flight Tracker, which monitors the movement of flights and air traffic patterns within the greater San Diego area. Flight Tracker includes specific information about flights from San Diego International (SAN), Montgomery Field (MYF), Brown Field (SDM), NAS North Island (NZY), and MCAS Miramar (NKX) airports, as well as information on air traffic transiting through the San Diego area. Flight Tracker information includes the aircraft’s type, altitude, origin/destination airports, and flight identification. This system allows residents to review specific aircraft that created a noise concern and lodge a complaint to the Airport Noise Mitigation Office directly from Flight Tracker. All Flight Tracker data is post processed by the vendor within 24-hours ensuring the track is accurately displayed and complete. Casey Schnoor, a representative from the Peninsula on the ANAC board, had several questions about ongoing noise problems allegedly associated with flight path changes in and out of San Diego International Airport. Using Schnoor's queries, the San Diego Community Newspaper Group held a Q&A with Federal Aviation Administration public affairs manager Ian Gregor, as well as the San Diego Airport Authority. SDCNG: With the exception of left turns over the Peninsula, all departure issues (early turns, missed approaches, curfew violations, etc.) tracked by the Airport Authority are continuing at, or greatly in excess of, the growth rate in SAN operations (less than 2 percent annually), indicating day-to-day management is not controlling, nor improving upon, the problems. FAA: Missed approaches/go-arounds are important safety tools that air traffic controllers and pilots use. They occur for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, controllers send arrivals around if a preceding arrival exits the runway more slowly than expected. Sometimes pilots choose to go around if they are coming in too high or fast on their approach. What's referred to as “early turns” is in fact controllers directing aircraft off published departure routes to keep aircraft properly separated from one another, or to keep them efficiently sequenced. SDCNG: Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) are FAA facilities housing air-traffic controllers using radar displays and radios to guide approaching and departing aircraft. TRACON appears to now be redirecting some westerly departures with flight plans filed for left turns (ZZOOO) instead to the right along the coast at Bird Rock and turning over La Jolla for no reason, negating the efficiency benefits of the ZZOOO departure around Point Loma. Is this true? FAA: For more than two decades, we have issued a 290-degree heading to all Lindbergh departures after 10 p.m. Controllers usually clear the aircraft to a point where they can resume the ZZOO departure, which entails turning left. However, controllers will occasionally instruct a pilot to turn right. They generally do this to avoid conflicts with military traffic that is inbound to North Island. SDCNG: ANAC did little to help meet the ANAC Subcommittee's request to have the FAA fulfill its promise to have an appropriate FAA representative attend the subcommittee meetings and ANAC to facilitate a dialog for solutions and in fact, tabled a motion to forward a letter drafted by the subcommittee to the FAA asking them to please follow through on their promise. Can you tell me more about this allegation?  FAA: The FAA sends air traffic representatives to the ANAC and sub-committee meetings. These representatives are based locally and have detailed knowledge of how the local air traffic system works, so they are able to directly answer any questions that arise. SDCNG: In the first three months of this year, more than 8,000 noise complaints have been filed, putting them on track to exceed the approximately 30,000 submitted in 2016. Any response to this? SDAA: At the Airport Authority, the most important consideration is not the number of complaints, but rather ensuring that we have the appropriate data needed to fully investigate each individual complaint. While we strive to be responsive to community complaints, it should be noted that almost two-thirds (65 percent) of all noise complaints received during February and March were from just four homes. Our goal is to be able to track complaints geographically, pinpointing concentrations of complaints and then working to connect trends in various neighborhoods. With accurate information gathered from residents, airport staff can spend more time researching information and providing specific information back to the community, instead of just collecting complaint responses. This ultimately allows the airport to have more productive conversations with the FAA about the issue during ongoing meetings. SDCNG: The San Diego Airport Authority has changed their procedures for accepting citizen noise complaints to disallow complaints submitted by email, forcing community residents to resort to phone calls or a lengthy online procedure, which will likely result in a reduction in complaints due to these complexities. What is the reasoning behind this change? There are three ways a resident can file a noise complaint:  1.) via the online Flight Tracker. 2.) via web form (available in Flight Tracker or www.san.org/Airport-Noise/Flight-Tracking#4055230-submit-noise-concerns). 3.) via the noise complaint hotline at 619-400-2799.  SDAA: We take noise complaints very seriously. The new web format helps ensure that we have all the information we need to investigate concerns.  E-mailed complaints are not as helpful because they sometimes lack sufficient detail (precise location, precise time of event, etc.) to help us investigate the cause of the concern. As mentioned previously, our goal is to be able to track complaints geographically, pinpointing concentrations of complaints and then working to connect trends in various neighborhoods. We have heard concerns regarding the ability to lodge noise complaints with mobile devices and are working with the vendor to develop an update that would allow residents to input noise complaints on mobile devices, which we hope to release soon.    SDCNG: The Airport Authority has instituted a new "flight tracker" system that has been roundly criticized by citizens as being harder to use, both to track flights and to submit noise complaints, with no apparent improvement in track accuracy.   SDAA: The new Flight Tracker site offers the same functionality as the previous site, with some added enhancements to provide the public with additional information. The data provided on each flight has more complete information (flight number, tail number, altitude, airline, etc.) and there are additional enhancements to the map, such as the FAA Noise Dots. To submit a noise complaint, the public can click on the link on the left side of the screen (see image one) or find a concerning aircraft and click on the link (see image two). The site has increased customization specific for our community, i.e., showing the FAA Noise Dots in blue. The FAA sources the data for all web tracking sites so there is no change in accuracy. 
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    John Doemeny
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    June 11, 2017
    My neighborhood has suffered significantly increased airplane noise ever since the Fall of 2016. I have submitted numerous noise complaints through the web-tracker which has now been changed to Casper. I have not once received a response to my requests for explanations why there is persistent noise despite a March 2 FAA agreement that planes idle upon descent. A tracker to submit complaints is just a way to mollify the community, with absolutely no intention of doing anything about our problem. The Airport Authority is toothless.
    News and community briefs for Pacific Beach and Mission Beach
    Jun 02, 2017 | 9573 views | 0 0 comments | 33 33 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Sunset over Mission Bay. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Sunset over Mission Bay. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Shore Buddies beach cleanup Join Shore Buddies and Surfrider Foundation San Diego County Chapter on Sunday, June 4 from 9 to 11 a.m. for Shore Buddies’ first official beach cleanup. The event will be located at Pacific Beach. The first 100 volunteers will receive a free Shore Buddies hat. Stay after the cleanup for the raffle, featuring prizes from local ocean-minded businesses, and hear live music from Potato Wave. For more information, visit the Shore Buddies Facebook page. I-5 and ramp closures The northbound I-5 off-ramp at Balboa Avenue will be temporarily closed Friday, June 2 at 7 p.m. through Monday, June 5 at 5 a.m. Crews will install infrastructure to support a new railroad bridge on Balboa Avenue/Garnet Avenue. Changeable Message Signs will be placed in advance of the closure detouring motorists to take the northbound I-5 exit at Clairemont Drive/Mission Bay Drive. Additionally, between 6 and 8:30 a.m. Saturday, June 3 and Sunday, June 4, motorists will encounter a series of intermittent traffic closures up to 10 minutes on northbound and southbound I-5 near Balboa Avenue. The rolling closures are needed to relocate electric distribution lines across the freeway. SD crime decreases Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer and Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman announced last week that San Diego remains one of the safest big cities in the nation after a new report shows that crime is at its lowest level in decades. The report shows a 10 percent decrease in overall crime from January to April compared to the same period last year. The report shows historic lows for aggravated assault, violent crime, burglary, larceny and property crime, though crime was down for all categories year over year. Earlier this year, the police department announced that the 2016 total crime rate was at its lowest level in four decades. “I am pleased to announce that during the first four months of 2017, every major category of crime decreased when compared to the first four months of 2016,” Zimmerman said. Lifeguards receive new Toyota vehicles Toyota and the City of San Diego recently announced its continued partnership and unveiled 35 Toyota vehicles for lifeguard rescue and operations. The multi-year partnership agreement includes Toyota’s promise to maintain and service the 35 vehicles in the fleet, providing monthly detailing on each vehicle during the peak summer months and saving the City of San Diego tens of thousands of dollars in maintenance and service fees. The 2017 lineup features a variety of SUVs and pick-up trucks, including Tacoma, Tundra, 4Runner and Sequoia. The newest addition is the 2017 RAV4 Hybrid launched for the first time in 2015. This hybrid grade is the most fuel-efficient vehicle the lifeguards have utilized, to date, offering 34 miles to the gallon. Belmont Park Car Show This Father’s Day, cruise on down to Belmont Park for their annual Car Show 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 18 in the north parking lot at 3146 Ocean Front Walk. Get your fix of classic cars and more at this free event.  New this year, registration is open to all years, makes, and models of cars. There will be more than 75 cars including a selection of restored classic cars to enjoy. For more information on Belmont Park’s annual Car Show or Belmont Park, visit www.belmontpark.com. Boaz earns Sun Catcher environmental award Pacific Beach resident Trish Boaz, executive director of the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy, received the San Diego EarthWorks’ Sun Catcher award at the organization’s annual dinner on May 24. Every year, EarthWorks recognizes businesses, clubs, organizations and/or individuals that deserve special recognition for their work on behalf of a healthy environment. Boaz’s long-time friend, former City Councilmember Donna Frye, presented her with the award. Over the last 20 years, Frye and Boaz have worked together on environmental causes. In 2013, Boaz joined the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy – a nonprofit dedicated to sustainable management of the natural resources of the San Dieguito Watershed – as executive director, bringing more than 30 years of conservation and environmental knowledge to the conservancy, as well as establishing positive relationships with many of the group’s partners. Van Duzer joins PB Coldwell Banker Amy Van Duzer has affiliated with the Pacific Beach office of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage as a sales associate.  “I love getting to collaborate with people, finding out their wants and needs, and delivering,” said Van Duzer. “I chose to affiliate with Coldwell Banker because of their strong branding and training program.” Prior to affiliating with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Van Duzer was the business development manager for Aberdeen Market Intelligence. She holds a bachelor’s degree and a master of business administration. She actively volunteers with Father Joe’s Village. Volunteers needed for OB Street Fair Don't miss a most fun volunteer opportunity in Ocean Beach – the annual Street Fair and Chili Cook-Off Festival on Saturday, June 24. Volunteer registration is open, and Ocean Beach MainStreet Association is recruiting for lots of great positions. Check out the details and register at www.OceanBeachSanDiego.com. Volunteering is even more fun with friends, so spread the word! Taste of Liberty Station The Liberty Station Community Association has announced its inaugural Taste of Liberty Station: a Taste of Art, Music, and Food, which will take place 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, June 21. This event will showcase the tenants of Liberty Station. Information needed on unsolved homicide in PB Authorities renewed their call for information that could lead them to whoever carjacked a 77-year-old man, then fatally struck him with his own pickup truck in a Pacific Beach alley 15 years ago. Investigators believe Edward Wager was carjacked after he stopped his white Toyota pickup truck in an alley off Grand Avenue near Noyes Street shortly before 2 a.m. on Nov. 8, 2001. He was subsequently run over by his truck as the suspect sped off, according to San Diego police and Crime Stoppers. Police found Wager's truck in the Encanto neighborhood in southeastern San Diego three days later, authorities said. Anyone with information on the case was asked to call San Diego police at 619-531-2293. Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477 or contacting the agency online at sdcrimestoppers.org.
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    Ocean Beach Street Fair & Chili Cook-Off Guide 2017
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