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    Point Loma High grad sailing to Rio as an Olympian
    by LAINIE FRASER
    Jul 19, 2016 | 23169 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Briana Provancha (right) will be representing the United States and San Diego while sailing in the 2016 Summer Olympic games in Brazil with her long time teammate and friend Annie Haeger. / Photo by Onne van der Wal
    Briana Provancha (right) will be representing the United States and San Diego while sailing in the 2016 Summer Olympic games in Brazil with her long time teammate and friend Annie Haeger. / Photo by Onne van der Wal
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    Briana Provancha (left) with her long time teammate and friend Annie Haeger. / Photo by Will Ricketson
    Briana Provancha (left) with her long time teammate and friend Annie Haeger. / Photo by Will Ricketson
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    Team Haeger Provancha is bringing a little Point Loma to Rio de Janeiro for the Olympic Games this summer. Briana Provancha will be representing the United States and San Diego while sailing in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil with her long time teammate and friend Annie Haeger. Provancha started sailing at the age of 8 when a family friend introduced her to the sport, an opportunity she says she is forever thankful for. “My dad, my sister and I went to the Mission Bay Yacht Club a lot with a family friend,” Provancha said. “They had bay races every Sunday and one day the crew didn’t show up. They asked if I would race and then asked me back every Sunday after that.” Born and raised in San Diego, Provancha sailed competitively through high school at the Southwestern Yacht Club in Point Loma. According to Provancha, the more time she spent involved in the sport the deeper her love for it grew. “When sailing there is this feeling of being in control of your own destiny,” she said. “Very few 8-year-olds get that awesome feeling.” While attending Point Loma High, Provancha started to make a name for herself in the competitive sailing world. She won four national high school sailing championships and qualified for the ISAF Youth World team in 2005, 2006 and 2007. By the time she was 16, Provancha had successfully competed in races around the world. The Point Loma High graduate then went on to Boston College where she sailed for five years and officially partnered with her current teammate Haeger. At Boston College, team Haeger Provancha proved to be a force to be reckoned with. “When sailing with a teammate, communication is everything and that comes with its challenges but it has been wonderful sharing this experience with someone,” said Provancha. “I am so thankful for Annie.” Provancha lead the Boston College sailing team to seven national titles and she received numerous awards from the school including Women’s MVP and Outstanding Senior. “There were people at BC that believed in me from the moment my freshman year started,” Provancha said. “I and they believed this was my path and we made sure I was prepared for the Olympic process.” In 2012, Provancha graduated from Boston College with a bachelor of science in marketing and the Olympics in her sights. In April, she and Haeger qualified for the Summer Games, a reality Provancha said she doesn’t think she will ever get used to. “Every kid watches the opening ceremonies and wonders what that experience must be like,” Provancha said. “I can’t wait to walk in next to Annie and I am excited to share this moment with those in my life who have made sacrifices, particularly my family.” Team Haeger Provancha will sail for gold in August. They both can be easily spotted by the white zinc they wear on their faces. “My dad was a stickler for sunscreen growing up, but after a while you can’t tell if it’s still on,” she said, “When you spend three to six hours out on the water you need to be protected and zinc works perfectly because you can see it. Now it is just part of our routine and you’ll definitely see it in Rio.” Provancha is excited for what the United States team as a whole has to offer at this year’s games and said the vibe across the board is great. “It’s all about the path and where you come from,” Provancha said. “San Diego is one of the best sailing communities and one of the best overall communities and I am honored to represent the United States and San Diego in the games. It would be great to bring a medal home.”
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    Free, fun and early workouts inspire November Project SD
    by JENNY WERTH
    Jul 18, 2016 | 6845 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    One of the recent locations November Project SD worked out at was Sunset Cliffs.
    One of the recent locations November Project SD worked out at was Sunset Cliffs.
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    November Project SD tribe members workout near Sunset Cliffs.
    November Project SD tribe members workout near Sunset Cliffs.
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    As the sun rises across the United States the tribes of the November Project can be found greeting the day with sweat, smiles and silliness. This is not your typical workout group. First off, locating a consistently free (yes, free) guided workout is next to impossible; finding one that meets with a reliability that parallels that of a military boot-camp is remarkable. Enter November Project to alter the culture of working out and the entire concept behind it. The November Project guarantees that at 6:29 a.m. an enthusiastic tribe (group) of extremely motivated people will be geared up and ready to follow one of their tribe member’s lead to the next hour-long class (rain or shine). In San Diego, one of the three leaders is Ashleigh Voychick. This is a woman who could easily be cast in a reality show such as “American Ninja Warrior” or even “Survivor,” but for now, she is one of the leaders along with Eugene Kim and Angelo Neroni. Voychick, a Pacific Beach resident, said she never knew how being a tribe leader would dramatically influence her life. “It blows my mind that all I am doing is dishing out a gnarly workout, acting crazy and having a great time, but somehow making a world of a difference to so many people in my community.” Really, this kind of “buzz” about the November Project is a common theme among enthusiasts nationwide – just read their blogs. Co-founder of November Project and current La Jolla resident Brogan Graham said the movement’s success only confirmed his belief that “the world needs more kindness and more free outdoor classes. It’s not surprising (to me). The better we get on our smartphones, the worse we get at communication.” Although the free fitness movement started in Boston, it has already traveled to 20 other cities in the United States, seven in Canada and two in Europe. Voychick said many participants become part of an “extended family” and create lifelong friendships and even unexpected romances. “The people at November Project don’t come because it’s an obligation or because they feel guilty that they spent money on it. They come for the good vibes, the hugs, and the workout. So when you #justshowup and it is free for everyone, there is a different feel to it all.” However, just because there’s a bunch of active folks gathering at the crack of dawn to workout doesn’t mean one should feel intimidated to try out the group. It’s not just for people who are already in great shape or happen to be extroverts. It’s a group for everyone. And everyone, literally, from the 99-year-old to the baby (and even the dog), are invited. “It’s (for) adults who still want to play. There are two rules: (you) have to be kind and you have to work your butt out,” Graham explained. Voychick seconds Graham’s thoughts. “I would tell people not to feel nervous and to trust me – if they regret coming, I will buy them breakfast.” Plus, she added that the group “has been the most positive influence in my life and my family’s life.” In fact, it seems no one can say enough about the life-changing results found in the November Project. Everyone can just show up. It’s that simple. Arrive and be ready to go at 6:29 a.m. and plan to leave at 7:29 a.m. The group meets every Wednesday at Balboa Park at the Bea Evenson Fountain and on Mondays for the rest of July they’ll be meeting at the Ocean Beach Pier. In August, the group will meet on Mondays at Tourmaline Beach in Pacific Beach. The group changes their Monday locations every month, however Wednesdays are always in Balboa Park. Voychick is a trooper and Graham knows it. “The success of the November Project has to do with the leaders… look at Ashleigh… she’s a powerhouse person and no matter where she is, people gravitate to her.” Voychick has been with the San Diego tribe since its inception in September 2013. The tribe was among the first seven groups to form. Visit www.november-project.com for more information and to read their hilarious blogs.
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    Glamour, film and celebs to descend on La Jolla for International Fashion Film Festival
    by TERRI STANLEY
    Jul 18, 2016 | 2071 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    When the 2016 La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival gets rolling in a few weeks it promises to be the most glamorous, well attended, artistic, and important edition of the annual gathering to date. Filmmakers, media and film festival jurors will fly in from across the globe for the three-day event, which runs from July 28 through 30, to meet and connect in this burgeoning art genre called the “fashion film.” The festival shows only short films, usually less than five minutes in length, in which fashion plays an important part or has some significance and are meant to emotionally connect the viewer to the fashion brand that creates the film. Several of the films that will screen this year will be world premieres and the first time the public will be able to see them. Known as the “Cannes of the fashion film world,” the festival has two films that previewed at Cannes this year, highlighting the creativity and talent this festival attracts. Because the LJIFFF has completed its seventh year, it is now eligible to become an Academy Award-qualifying film festival, which means more recognition for the filmmakers and more importantly, if they win one of the International Fashion Film Awards, known as the IFFA’s, at the festival, those films are then eligible for an Academy Award nomination and possible Oscar. The brainchild of Fred Sweet, a longtime La Jolla resident and owner of San Diego Model Management, the largest SAG/AFTRA model and talent agency south of LA, the LJIFFF will feature many events that include screenings, seminars and a Red Carpet award night at the Museum of Contemporary Art on Prospect Street. “It’s a world-class festival and our people are fabulous,” says Sweet. “La Jolla is an exotic location with great energy and I am very proud of it. People come from all over the world to meet and there are many collaborations that have resulted over the years, which is extremely satisfying to me.” Installations created by artists from Mexico, Paris, New York and Italy will be on display at the ultra-sophisticated restaurant The Lot, which will also host the after-parties. Sweet describes the drive that fueled the project from the beginning as something bordering on obsession, but in reality he has taken the LJIFFF from an insider industry celebration of editorial fashion shoots brought to life through video online to the recognized premier fashion film festival in the world. When asked about the surging popularity of this budding art genre among filmmakers, Sweet explains the rise and importance of the fashion film. “As power in Hollywood has swung to the creative class, the demand for quality content has exploded,” he said. “Most fashion films are sponsored by fashion brands, however many are made to showcase the creative and production skills of their directors. “La Jolla has emerged as the proving ground for cutting-edge creatives worldwide to have their work seen by the new global content distributors. It is a wide-open industry at the beginning of its life.” With more than 11,000 submissions this year, the jurors narrowed the field down to 100 short films vying for 19 coveted awards. The LJIFFF is a global event and artists and filmmakers from Russia, China, South America, Sweden, New York and Hollywood will be among the several representing their work and vying to leave with an IFFA. Two screenings will be held at the Museum of Contemporary Art and are free and open to the public, as well as a red carpet event prior to Saturday night’s award ceremony, which is invitation only. The communities of La Jolla and San Diego are invited to attend the red carpet event and meet the directors, actors, artists and industry people who will be available to discuss their work. Sweet describes the red carpet as more beautiful than most and one that can rival any red carpet in Hollywood on any given night. “We’re not at the stage where you’re going to see Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt but we like to say we’re the red carpet for everyone else,” says Sweet. “We attract so many people from all over the world who deserve recognition for their amazing work.” While all of the nominated submissions are undoubtedly artistic, visionary and inspirational, a few of them stand out for their originality and sheer beauty. Nominated for eight awards, Dutch director Ester Dorhaut Mees’ film “Nubivagant” brings stunning imagery through movement to the screen using animalistic illusion as silhouettes. The film “Sulpher” by award-winning Hollywood director Michael Sanchez provides a vivid stylistic contrast as his film explores a forbidden virtual love story between two avatars as they escape their own reality into the next. The fusion of art and fashion lends itself to provocative, sensual images combined with a creative narrative that should appeal to anyone with an interest in art, film and fashion. The LJIFFF is unique in that it is privately funded by a small group Sweet put together as well as a few anonymous donors in the community, who appreciate what he and his team are doing. He says he is acutely aware of the authenticity and purity of the LJIFFF and at this point is not entertaining the idea of bringing sponsors on board to absorb some of the costs and potentially profit on the event, though he has been approached many times. Sweet’s emphasis is on maintaining its credibility and is most interested in the quality of the people attending. “Everyone gets one go-round in their life and I wanted to create a festival that is unique in the world and uncommercialized,” Sweet says, “but who knows what the future holds? Our goal is to support independent, creative professionals around the globe and if a potential sponsor is aligned with those core values then I would say sure, let’s talk.” Many elements of the festival are free and open to the public. For a full event schedule go to www.ljfff.com/interactive-event-schedule-ljifff-2016/.
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    Retail roundup: Remodel ongoing at PB Bar & Grill, new eatery planned for former crab shack
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Jul 15, 2016 | 5305 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    The former Joe’s Crab Shack, at 4325 Ocean Blvd., has been gutted and will become a new restaurant. / PHOTO BY LAINIE FRASER
    The former Joe’s Crab Shack, at 4325 Ocean Blvd., has been gutted and will become a new restaurant. / PHOTO BY LAINIE FRASER
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    It's summer, the tourists are here, and the livin' is easy. But business activity is still buzzing in the beach communities. Pacific Beach Bar & Grill This popular eatery at 860 Garnet Ave., closed since April 15, 2015, has been undergoing an extensive remodel by new owners Eric Lingenfelder and Mark Cirillo of the Verant Group and David Cohen (formerly of West Coast Tavern and co-owner of Uptown Tavern), who purchased the building and the business. Cirillo, Joe Vaught and Lingenfelder are the founders and principals of Verant Group, and are now in the process of taking the company to the next level. The trio collectively possess years of hospitality and restaurant experience as they each started out in the industry as servers, door security or dishwashers, before working their way up in the industry. Responsible for developing and successfully managing many of San Diego’s top establishments such as Barleymash, Sandbar, Tavern at the Beach, West Coast Tavern, Uptown Tavern, and True North, Verant has created inviting spaces that are well received by locals and visitors alike. The design and architecture are being headed up by Bluemotif Architecture, which has designed restaurants such as Prep Kitchen, Kettner Exchange and Juniper and Ivy. A summer opening was anticipated, but the property is still under major construction. Joe's Crab Shack Closed since Sept. 21, 2015, the former Joe's Crab Shack, at 4325 Ocean Blvd. adjacent to the Pacific Beach Shore Club on the boardwalk, is being renovated. The restaurant opted to move on after its 15-year lease ran out last year. Rumors are that the Verant Group and Todd Brown, owner of Bub's Dive Bar and a partner at Good Times Design, were joining forces here on a new bar/restaurant concept. Three Joe's Crab Shack locations remain in San Diego in Oceanside, Hazard Center and another near Seaport Village.  Pueblo The opening of a new Baja-themed restaurant under construction on the site of the former China Inn site at 877 Hornblend St. has been delayed. “A couple protesting our liquor license transfer from China Inn to Pueblo, will delay our opening by about a six weeks,” said Mark Oliver, Pueblo's co-owner. “I would estimate that opening date for Pueblo will come during the second week of August.” China Inn closed in April 2014 after 25 years. The property was sold to a group of local investors including Oliver, a San Diego native. Oliver has more than 30 years experience in the local restaurant trade including a 20-year partnership at George's at the Cove, as well as his involvement in Randy Jones All American Sports Grill in Mission Valley, which closed in June 2014. The restaurateur said delaying Pueblo's is going to be expensive. “That is going to take about $200,000 in wages, per month, out of the PB economy, and impact a lot of people who live paycheck to paycheck in our neighborhood,” Oliver said, noting his view that “the reason for the protest is not about what Pueblo is doing, but rather it is with this couple's frustration with the noisy 'irresponsible' operator of a bar near their home, and their perceived lack of support from the ABC and the SDPD to correct the situation that has them angry.” China Inn was opened by Judy and Andy Kim in 1988, and remained an eatery in Pacific Beach due to its authentic cuisine, tiki bar, cocktails and interesting atmosphere. Previous tenants on the site were Waibel’s restaurant that opened in 1954, and Copper Skillett, which took over in 1975. Oliver has been remodeling the space to offer outdoor dining and a modern ambiance.  Previously, Oliver said the new restaurant’s layout “will try to seamlessly blend the indoors and the outdoors, with much of the seating being in an open courtyard.” Oliver said his more-upscale eatery's exterior design will “display elements of the Pueblo architecture, but in a contemporary way.” He added the new menu will “lean favorably toward seafood and consequently offer lighter, healthier and fresher options than found in a typical Mexican restaurant … honoring the essence of Baja cuisine in some way – like the product utilized or the use of a specific cooking method. Guests will probably come to identify us as being a seafood restaurant as much as a Mexican restaurant.” New Crown Point eatery? Rumor has it that plans are in the works to turn the former Jade Dragon Yoga Shala space at 3453 Ingraham St. into a new restaurant concept. An unconfirmed report has it that the retail space has been purchased by The Patio Group of restaurants, founded by Gina Champion-Cain, who has plans to turn it into a new bar/restaurant concept. The Patio Restaurant Group is billed as San Diego's favorite neighborhood-focused, pet friendly and sustainable restaurant group. The group recently opened The Patio in Left Field, near Padres' Petco Park downtown. Now in her 50s and established in her career, Champion-Cain no longer elicits doubts about the potential success of her projects, which focus increasingly on interrelated businesses in the hospitality industry. All resulted from her adaptability in pivoting when the economy tanked, her ability in recognizing a gap in the market and her agility in filling that niche. The Patio Group owns The Patio on Lamont in Pacific Beach and two other locations in Mission Hills and Liberty Station. The group also acquired Saska's in Mission Beach when the founding owners retired. Champion-Cain has a network of about 10 pet-friendly up-scale Mission Beach vacation rentals. She also has a stake in two Luv Surf apparel companies, The Swell, a coffee company, Andrea's Truffles, her handmade chocolatier, and Luxury Farms, two specialty gourmet markets in Mission Hills and Coronado.

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    City Council approves plan to enhance Mission Bay, Balboa parks
    Jul 12, 2016 | 18375 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    A woman runs on the path around Mission Bay in Pacific Beach. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    A woman runs on the path around Mission Bay in Pacific Beach. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    With the goal of enhancing and preserving San Diego’s regional parks for generations to come, July 12 the City Council unanimously approved Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer’s plan for a grand restoration of the city’s major parks that would make available hundreds of millions of more dollars for Mission Bay Park and regional parks, including Balboa Park. The measure for the November 2016 ballot would extend 2008’s Proposition C – co-authored by then-Councilmember Faulconer – to direct a portion of Mission Bay lease revenue toward capital investment in Mission Bay Park and regional parks for an additional 30 years. This will result in continued annual revenue for Mission Bay Park and regional parks, including funds that can be used to revitalize historic buildings and structures in Balboa Park. The measure also expedites high-priority infrastructure projects for Mission Bay Park, such as lighting, bicycle trails, public restrooms and playgrounds. “The money generated in our parks should be used to improve our parks,” Faulconer said. “This measure will help us invest hundreds of millions of dollars in Mission Bay Park, Balboa Park and other regional parks, leaving our generation’s mark on San Diego’s historic and recreational treasures to ensure their preservation for future San Diegans.”  The ballot measure needs a simple majority of voters for approval.
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    News
    Accused homeless killer makes court appearance
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    Jul 20, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend
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    Sports
    MBHS needs volleyball coaches
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    Jul 18, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend
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    Opinion
    Missing out on future discoveries
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    Jul 15, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend
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    Arts & Entertainment
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    Jul 20, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend
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    Business
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    Jul 20, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend
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    Obituaries
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    Jun 24, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend
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