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    A wheel fight in Pacific Beach: Some locals, businesses upset with DecoBike sites on boardwalk
    Jul 27, 2015 | 1685 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    The DecoBike rental stand on the boardwalk near Crystal Pier. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    The DecoBike rental stand on the boardwalk near Crystal Pier. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    The DecoBike stand near Grand Avenue on the boardwalk in Pacific Beach. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    The DecoBike stand near Grand Avenue on the boardwalk in Pacific Beach. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Sounds like DecoBike could have a fight on its hands. Some Pacific Beach business owners and residents are up in arms as the Miami-based company, which has entered into a partnership with the city of San Diego to provide public bike sharing at 180 separate stations citywide, has installed stations along the PB boardwalk. “The Pacific Beach Planning Group (PBPG) voted unanimously to adamantly protest the proposed location of DecoBike’s stations on the public boardwalk in Pacific Beach,” said advisory group chair Brian Curry in a letter sent to Councilmember Lori Zapf and Mayor Kevin Faulconer earlier this year. “Our understanding is DecoBike intends to proceed with installation in the near-term, despite opposition from representatives of the PBPG, Discover PB, PB Town Council, bike shop operators and the public.” Two of the bike rental stands are on the beach side of the boardwalk – one near the lifeguard station at Grand Avenue and the another just a bit north of that location near Crystal Pier. “(Deco Bike installed) large bike docking stations along the PB Boardwalk, right on the ocean front viewing locations,” said Chris Olson, longtime PBPG planner and community activist. “These locations are often used by people in wheelchairs to sit and view the ocean.” Discover Pacific Beach, the community’s Business Improvement District (BID), concurred with other community groups in protesting the three boardwalk sites. “Discover Pacific Beach is supportive of this concept (bikesharing) … (But) our organization along with the others approved a ‘well vetted’ list of bike share locations to achieve a successful partnership … there was adamant objection to two of these locations, not just because of ‘obstructed view,’ but based on the impact to the businesses and, more importantly, the safety and integrity of the boardwalk which belongs to all San Diegans and visitors alike. … This is blatant disregard for concerns that were expressed by representation of the business community, residential community and land-use advisory board.” In response, Deco Bike released the following statement: “DecoBike is committed to enhancing the quality of urban life by providing a convenient, easy-to-use bike sharing program that will provide residents and visitors a healthy, fun alternative way to ride around the city. A significant aspect of the bike sharing implementation is the placement of a network of docking stations providing a 'stop and go' model different from traditional bike shops that allows users to dock bikes at any station, during any given time, which provides flexibility and safety. “In order to incorporate bike sharing into the region’s transportation plan as a viable alternative transportation option, DecoBike is moving forward with the installation of the sites,” continued the bike share company in its public response. “Bike share in Pacific Beach is a key connector to other parts of the city’s network. The input of the community has resulted in fewer locations and smaller stations than what was originally requested.” DecoBike touted the benefits of their new interlocking system to the region's economy. “A bike share system leads riders to spend additional dollars at local retailers, lessens the reliance on automobiles and parking, and improves community livability,” said DecoBike, which added the company “looks forward to having a continued dialog with the community of Pacific Beach.” In PBPG’s letter to the city protesting the boardwalk bikeshare locations, Curry noted that the coastal community has “multiple bike shop operators and merchants directly on the boardwalk or in close proximity. None of these other private bike shop operators are allowed to occupy public space as is proposed for DecoBike. Further, DecoBike did not address our request to move one location, which is located directly across the street from a bike shop, and adjacent to another bike shop, in the very shopping center in which it is located.” Curry added, “DecoBikes also ignored our request to place stations in North Pacific Beach, primarily at Mission Boulevard and Turquoise Street, which would help connect the community.” DecoBikes and the city are now ignoring the original intent to work together and identify acceptable station locations. We will continue our strong opposition to the boardwalk locations,” Curry said. The community planner also issued a warning. “Given the actions on part of DecoBike and the city, we may also oppose any DecoBike’s locations in our community. If stations are installed, we will encourage a comprehensive boycott of any and all DecoBikes in Pacific Beach and other City of San Diego neighborhoods.”
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    Locals get first look at new Law Street lifeguard tower
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Jul 27, 2015 | 567 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    An artist's rendering of preliminary design plans for a new lifeguard tower in North Pacific Beach off Law Street.
    An artist's rendering of preliminary design plans for a new lifeguard tower in North Pacific Beach off Law Street.
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    Residents got their first glimpse at preliminary design plans for a new lifeguard tower in North Pacific Beach off Law Street at a July 16 Pacific Beach Planning Group (PBPG) subcommittee meeting. But some residents nearby continue to insist plans for the new tower are more than the community expected – or needs. Scott Chipman, chair of the North Pacific Beach lifeguard tower subcommittee, told neighbors there have now been four meetings since 2012 to publicly vet the project. “We determined two potential sites, and the subcommittee voted to approve the coastal canyon location (off Law Street),” Chipman said, adding the group “provided some design suggestions” and received community input with “almost none in favor of the project.” Chipman noted that lifeguards “established the facility’s shape, size and type.” Alternative locations on the sand at the beach and further north than the proposed site were considered but rejected. The subcommittee chair said the purpose of the July 16 meeting was not to debate the need for a lifeguard tower or its location. “If you are in opposition … you should be going to Councilwoman Lorie Zapf’s office or the City Council’s Public Safety or Natural Resources committees,” Chipman said. Jihad Sleiman, an engineer with the city’s Public Works Department, led a team of city officials who gave a brief slideshow presentation on the new proposed lifeguard tower. “Once we received a favorable vote for this location, we took all your input and ideas seriously,” said Sleiman. Subcommittee guests were told by city officials that the building had to be large enough to serve lifeguard’s needs, that a storm drain on the site diverting rain runoff from Law Street had to be relocated, and that there had to be beach access provided from Law Street where the new bathrooms are located. Project architects noted the new lifeguard building has a second floor and an observation tower. They said the building is to be “tucked into the canyon as much as possible” while attempting to “blend the building’s structure in with the rocks and bluffs.” Project architects added everything possible has been done to minimize view impacts from the new building noting the goal is to “make it (building) disappear.” Subcommittee planner Chris Olson suggested more needs to be done, aesthetically and practically, to enhance the entryway from Law Street down to the beach and the new tower. He pointed out this spot is at the end of the boardwalk and is heavily used by people in their cars, riding bikes or walking to the beach. “That entrance is not very inviting,” Olson said. “We could maybe put in some benches, lighting or interpretive signage.” PBPG chair and subcommittee member Brian Curry concurred. “I like the idea of making the entrance as visible as possible,” Curry said. From the audience, one longtime neighbor commented, “I don’t think it’s necessary to make this giant place to park vehicles.” It was suggested that story poles be put up on the new station site so that people can actually see how much the view will be affected. Other neighbors expressed their fear that the new tower would bring traffic congestion and more problems with parking. One woman said she felt that anticipated sea level rise from global warming hadn’t been accounted for in planning for the new beach structure. Chipman noted the California Coastal Commission and, ultimately, the San Diego City Council, will both have to sign-off on the location – and design – of the new North Pacific Beach lifeguard tower.
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    Historic Plunge pool building to be razed and then rebuilt at Belmont Park
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Jul 27, 2015 | 993 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    This artist’s rendering of the new pool building shows the retractible roof.
    This artist’s rendering of the new pool building shows the retractible roof.
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    Built in the '20s, the deteriorating historic Plunge pool and building in Belmont Park is to be torn down and completely rebuilt with all-new, modern materials. That’s what Dan Hayden, director of engineering for Belmont Park’s developers, Pacifica Enterprises Inc. told Mission Beach Precise Planning Board (MBPPB) in July. Hayden clued the community in on Pacifica’s vision for redeveloping the Plunge pool, which has been closed for repairs since March 2014. “The city owns both the pool itself and the building,” said Hayden, noting the pool has been closed four times in the past 90-plus years. Hayden told the MBPPB, which makes recommendations to the city on land-use and other beachfront issues, that the pool building is structurally unfit and had to be replaced. He noted the situation was so bad, that at one point “temporary measures had to be taken to prevent (ceiling) debris from falling into the pool.” The Plunge eventually had to be closed “for safety reasons,” said Hayden, adding, "it was unsafe.” Hayden showed artist’s renderings of the new pool, which is to have a retractible roof and is to be built with modern technology and materials. He added the Wyland mural, which adorned one of the walls of the old pool structure will be reconstituted in the new one. “The pool has had to endure a marine environment on the outside, and a humid environment on the inside,” said Hayden noting neither condition was favorable to the conventional materials used in the old building, which he said were literally “disintegrating.” The idea in redesigning the Plunge for the modern era is “not to repeat the mistakes of the past,” said Hayden, who added the new structure, and its retractable roof, will be made of glass like you typically see in YMCA facilities.” Hayden said the new facility will have a more open-air look and feel. He said the new structure will be aluminum, which he said is much more corrosion-resistant than steel. He added the retractable roof will provide better air flow into and out of the pool building, which will prevent moisture from getting into air cavities in the structure of the building and deteriorating it. Hayden said there is an 18-month timeline for rebuilding the Plunge. “We want to get the Plunge back in order, and reopened, so you folks can enjoy it as quickly as possible,” he said. MBPPB voted unanimously to write a letter of support endorsing Pacifica’s conceptual plans for building an all-new historic Plunge pool structure.
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    Top female surfers compete at Supergirl Pro competition
    Jul 27, 2015 | 2090 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Alessa Quizon won her heat against Lakey Peterson on Sunday. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Alessa Quizon won her heat against Lakey Peterson on Sunday. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Sage Erickson signs an autograph for a young fan after her heat on Sunday. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Sage Erickson signs an autograph for a young fan after her heat on Sunday. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Lakey Peterson competes in a heat on Sunday. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Lakey Peterson competes in a heat on Sunday. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Silvana Lima surfing in Heat 2 on Sunday in Oceanside. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Silvana Lima surfing in Heat 2 on Sunday in Oceanside. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Day three of The Paul Mitchell Supergirl Pro – the largest all-women’s surf contest in the world and the only WSL Women’s QS6000 event in the continental U.S. – wrapped on Sunday with record-breaking attendance and fierce competition as three former Supergirl Pro finalists advanced through the Round of 16 to the semifinals. Sunday’s action at the iconic Oceanside pier sealed the top three spots with Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) taking first and Courtney Conlogue (USA) runner up, with Sage Erickson (USA) and Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) tying for third. The finals came down to a battle of Supergirl podium vets when Conlogue, the 2009 champion, faced Weston-Webb, who took second place at last year’s Supergirl Pro. Weston-Webb wowed the judges to capture the coveted pink Supergirl cape and earn critical points toward her QS ranking, putting her 1,600 points ahead of Van Dijk. “Finally!” the 19-year-old Weston-Webb shouted as she was swarmed by fans after being named the winner. “Last year really made me want to win this year! Courtney is amazing, and for me to be here means the world to me. Now I have a lot of confidence going into the rest of this year.” Weston-Webb took a quick lead with a 4.33-scored wave then trailed Conlogue, who posted a 3.00 and 7.50. She answered back with a 7.87 to Conlogue’s 6.03 in an exchange. Needing a 5.66, Weston-Webb put up a 6.60 within the final five minutes to seal the win.  Erickson fell just short of defending her title despite a valiant effort against Conlogue. Holding onto the highest heat total of the event with a 17.43, Erickson can walk away from this event with plenty of positives. “Making it to the semifinals is a great result in the larger picture of getting back on tour next year,” Erickson said. “I’ve had two quarters and two semifinals on the QS so far. I wanted to be in that final so bad, especially since this is my favorite event and really like no other.” The Paul Mitchell Supergirl Pro is the only WSL QS6000 female competition in the continental U.S. The event will be broadcast on FOX Sports One this fall. “We couldn’t have asked for a better event,” said Rick Bratman, CEO of ASA Entertainment, the event’s producer. “In addition to the phenomenal world-class surfing, we tripled the event footprint and the crowds were huge. Everyone at the event seemed to have an amazing experience.” Beyond the surf competition, the event also featured four live concerts, meet-and-greets with top pros, giveaways, the Supergirl Skate Pro skateboarding competition presented by Active Rideshop, a Celebrity Surf Contest, the Kona Beer Garden, a Surf Film Festival, complimentary hair styling by Paul Mitchell, more than 50 booth spaces from partnering brands and more. For more information on the event, visit www.supergirlpro.com. ROUND OF 16 RESULTS Heat 1: Sage Erickson (USA) 10.34, Johanne Defay (FRA) 6.13 Heat 2: Chelsea Tuach (BRB) 10.23, Silvana Lima (BRA) 10.16 Heat 3: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 15.23, Justine Dupont (FRA) 13.47 Heat 4: Malia Manuel (HAW) 12.16, Laura Enever (AUS) 8.66 Heat 5: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 11.47, Isabella Nichols (AUS) 7.60 Heat 6: Alessa Quizon (HAW) 13.34, Lakey Peterson (USA) 11.93 Heat 7: Coco Ho (HAW) 13.00, Philippa Anderson (AUS) 10.67 Heat 8: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 13.54, Dimity Stoyle (AUS) 11.83  QUARTERFINALS RESULTS Heat 1: Sage Erickson (USA) 14.27, Chelsea Tuach (BRB) 10.90 Heat 2: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 10.07, Malia Manuel (HAW) 9.70 Heat 3: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 15.00, Alessa Quizon (HAW) 13.34 Heat 4: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 15.17, Coco Ho (HAW) 7.93 SEMIFINALS RESULTS Heat 1: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 11.60, Sage Erickson (USA) 10.50 Heat 2: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 12.84, Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 8.33 FINALS RESULTS Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 14.47, Courtney Conlogue (USA) 13.53
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    San Diego Junior Lifeguard Foundation promotes aquatic safety; Willie Calabrese Memorial Run in Mission Beach on Aug. 7
    Jul 24, 2015 | 5347 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    The Junior Lifeguard's first Ocean Beach Pier jump was earlier this month. / Photo by Kathy Miller Gray
    The Junior Lifeguard's first Ocean Beach Pier jump was earlier this month. / Photo by Kathy Miller Gray
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    On Friday, Aug. 7 at 4:30 p.m. the San Diego Junior Lifeguard Ocean Festival - Willie Calabrese Memorial Run will take place at 699 Ventura Place in Mission Beach. This event showcases the essential skills of endurance and open ocean swimming that Southern California beach lifeguards, watermen and water-women are renowned for across the globe.  The run portions of the race take place on the sand between the main lifeguard tower in Mission Beach near Ventura place and the historic Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach at the end of Garnet Avenue. Competitors will run along the sand to the pier, swim a marked course around it and return along the sand back to the finish line at the main lifeguard tower. The race will be chip-timed with categories to include age divisions for both men and women.  The Junior Lifeguard's second Ocean Beach Pier jump will take place Aug. 17, and Hawaii Day will be on Aug. 19. According to the Center for Disease Control, drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death for those 14 and under, and you can multiple that by four for children of color. The San Diego Junior Lifeguard Foundation believes drowning is preventable. The foundation’s Water Proofing San Diego Program reached more than 15,000 people last year though its three-pronged approach to aquatic safety, with free aquatic safety lectures, free swim lessons and a day at the beach for under-served youth.   The San Diego Junior Lifeguard Foundation also supports the City of San Diego's Junior Lifeguard (JG) program with fund-raising, scholarships and equipment. One of the ways it does this is by providing a SCUBA experience for the older age group JGs (14 to 17 years old, aka "A" group). At the Boys and Girls Club swimming pool in Clairemont, on Friday, June 26, more than 100 San Diego Junior Lifeguards participated in a PADI Discover Scuba Diving Program hosted by the San Diego Junior Lifeguard Foundation. Instructors from Ocean Enterprises took the students through an introductory course in SCUBA. Afterwards, students were introduced to the work of the San Diego Lifeguard Dive Team by lifeguard Brittany Rowe. There will be a second event on July 31 at the same location. San Diego Junior Lifeguard Foundation’s mission is to promote aquatic safety education and drowning prevention in San Diego. For more information, visit www.sdjgfoundation.org.
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    News
    Junior Lifeguard Foundation proposes building in Mission Beach
    Lifeguards, aspiring lifeguards and their parents turned out at Mission Beach Precise Planning Board’s (MBPPB’s) July 21 meeting to support presentation of conceptual renderings of a proposed Junio...
    Jul 27, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
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    Sports
    MLB and Padres unveil official logo for 2016 All-Star Game
    Major League Baseball, the San Diego Padres and Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer Friday, July 17, unveiled the official logo of the 2016 All-Star Game, which will be played at Petco Park on Tuesday, July 1...
    Jul 17, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend
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    Opinion
    PB groups opposed to DecoBike sites on boardwalk
    The Pacific Beach Town Council, PB Planning Group and DiscoverPB have worked more than a year with Decobike to minimize the impact of DecoBike stations in Pacific Beach. Several of the stations are...
    Jul 17, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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    Arts & Entertainment
    Local guitarist Mike Ruggirello teaching the next generation
    There are many places to take music lessons in San Diego, but nothing comes close to Rock and Roll San Diego. Located next to the Valley View Casino Center (aka the Sports Arena), it’s a full-servi...
    Jul 27, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
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    Business
    All the freedom of owning a boat, but without the hassle
    An entrepreneur has started a boat club for locals that’s being billed as “all the joys of boating with none of the hassles.” Florida transplant Dan Hasbrouck opened Freedom Boat Club at 2630 Ingra...
    Jul 16, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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    Obituaries
    Sally Thornton, 81; philanthropist funded UCSD teaching hospital
    San Diego philanthropist Sally Bullard Thornton, 81, died June 12 at UCSD Medical Center. Thornton reportedly became ill a month ago and had been in a coma since then. A San Diego native, Thornton ...
    Jun 15, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend
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