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    Shane Hardin continues the family tradition at Hodad’s
    by TERRY RATNER
    Sep 02, 2015 | 3885 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Shane Hardin helps some Italian tourists find their way while standing just outside Hodad’s in Ocean Beach. / Photo by Terry Ratner
    Shane Hardin helps some Italian tourists find their way while standing just outside Hodad’s in Ocean Beach. / Photo by Terry Ratner
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    In early August, I spot a young man in a wheelchair outside Hodad’s in Ocean Beach. A California license plate on the front tray reads “Ricky.” He’s wearing a black button-down shirt with “Hodad’s” embroidered over the left pocket, a Padres hat and a Bluetooth headset. A yellow burger wrapper sits on his tray table next to a soft drink and a Gumby. I ask him if he comes here a lot, and with a wide smile, he says, “I volunteer at Hodad’s.” I’d never entered Hodad’s before my interview with restaurant owner Shane Hardin, the late Mike (Bossman) Hardin’s 24-year-old son, who is now Hodad’s third-generation restaurateur. This is not a situation Hardin anticipated – it’s just the way things happened. Hardin meets me at the entrance and introduces himself with a smile. He’s low-key: respectful, self-assured, with a hint of shyness. A full beard gives his young face a modicum of maturity. His shoulder-length strawberry-blonde hair shows off his blue eyes. He’s dressed in casual attire with a sleeve of tats on his left arm he calls “a work in progress.” In the adjacent parking lot, I stare at a piece of street art – a purple, black and white VW with six feet of cabin cut out of its middle. It’s a Newport Avenue icon, covered with stickers, rust holes, a Hodad’s logo (People’s Republic of OB) on a side window, religious pamphlets stuck under the wipers and gnarly surfboards strapped on top. While I snap photos of Hardin, four bikini-clad Italian Gidgets gather around him as if he is a rock star. He blushes and tells them the legend of Hodad’s. While they exchange contacts, he says, “Join me later for burgers and shakes. It’s on me.” Hardin and I slither our way through a block-long line of hungry people. Stepping into the interior, a hodgepodge of boards from forgotten surfers, vanity plates, decals, bicycle wheels, lifeguard rescue cans and the front-end of a Volkswagen (booth for three) keeps patrons entertained – reminders of a life missed. The Rivieras, the Ventures and Dick Dale play loudly, but nobody seems to mind – not the gremmies or the old carps. Jeremy Diem, general manager for the past 12 years, joins us at a table for four. All around me, people are chomping down on juicy, humongous burgers. By this time, I’m jonesing for a Hodad and a phat shake. He insists I order anything I want. Diem talks about his growing bond with Hardin and how he’s changed since the death of his dad. “Taking over the responsibilities of the guy who pretty much invented the job for himself isn’t easy,” he says, “Shane’s been around from the start. He now walks a little taller and greets everyone with his father’s demeanor and smile. He’s learning the biz.” “It’s exactly six months to the day since my dad died,” Hardin says. He talks about his transition from son to boss, overseeing more than 90 employees. “I take it one day at a time. My goal is to move forward; the customers don’t want to feel like something is missing. I follow dad’s motto, ‘Hodad’s is my livelihood, not my life.’” I can’t help but notice a shell tattoo on Hardin’s right wrist. He tells me it represents his trip to Spain – walking the Camino de Santiago (just under 500 miles). “The scalloped shell symbolizes St. James. It’s a reminder of my spiritual journey.” Hardin talks about another recent trip to Japan and how it helped him with the business: “Mostly, it’s the work mindset that I bring back. The Japanese go to work, thinking it’s all about the team. The only difference is we’re family. Employees are our biggest assets.” Samantha, a blonde waitress dressed in a cropped T-shirt and shorts, talks freely about working at Hodad’s. When asked about having Hardin for a boss, she smiles: “He’s amazing, a chip off the old block. Every time he sees you, he gives you a big hug.” Before leaving, I ask Hardin what he loves to do besides running the restaurants. “I’m bassman in a band called Los Seafinks. Love music, beaches, cliffs and caves. October is my favorite month because I get to relax and be myself – tourist season is over.” “Are you the next Bossman?” “I’m not out on the beach selling shark repellant to tourists, like my grandfather, and I’m not the gregarious unofficial mayor of OB, like my dad.” He looks down and says, “My feet are way too small to fit the Bossman’s shoes. I’m just me.”
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    Cliff jumpers head over heels in Ocean Beach
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Sep 01, 2015 | 3778 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    A jumper takes the plunge at Sunset Cliffs. / Photo by Jim Grant
    A jumper takes the plunge at Sunset Cliffs. / Photo by Jim Grant
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    Huge crowds have been jumping at the arches this summer. / Photo by Jim Grant
    Huge crowds have been jumping at the arches this summer. / Photo by Jim Grant
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    A San Diego police officer speaks with a group of people at the arches. / Photo by Jim Grant
    A San Diego police officer speaks with a group of people at the arches. / Photo by Jim Grant
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    On any summer day, a group of people mostly in their teens and 20s will be making the 30-foot leap from the Arch at Sunset Cliffs in Ocean Beach into the waters below, which vary in depth according to the tide and season. That was the case on Friday, Aug. 28, with youth doing what for some has become a rite of passage: cliff jumping. What’s it like? “Thrilling,” answered one woman, who requested anonymity. She was among several school-age people at Sunset Cliffs recently to check out the view – and the drop – which is top-rated on Yelp as offering “the best cliff jumping in San Diego.” La Jolla Cove and “the Clam,” further north up the coast, is ranked second. Another “jumper” on Aug. 28 noted the experience was “worth it. “At first when you jump, you get an empty feeling,” he said. “But right when you hit, it’s a sense of relief.” How deep was the water that day? “Deep enough,” responded one jumper. “I’d say about nine feet,” replied another. Asked if they’d been approached by police or lifeguards while jumping off the arches, those present said that they hadn’t seen either. How many jumped? “Thirty or 40 in the last hour,” said one person as another did a back-flip off the cliffs to cheers from their comrades urging them on. Obviously, cliff jumping is thrilling, but it's also potentially dangerous, say lifeguards. Lifeguard Lt. James Gartland oversees the Ocean Beach and Sunset Cliffs area. He said cliff jumping at the “Arch” is not only dangerous – it’s illegal. “Any jump into the Pacific Ocean that is more than five feet is illegal according to the San Diego Municipal Code,” said Gartland, adding that prohibition has been on the books at least 20 years. “We do cite people,” Garland said, admitting the act has to be witnessed by a police officer or a lifeguard. That can be difficult, he added, given staff limitations and the busy summer season. As far back as June of 1996, the San Diego City Council enacted legislation fining cliff jumpers up to $280. Minors cited are required to appear with a parent in court. As of 2009, the fine had been increased to $500, which doesn’t include the cost of emergency service, which could cost upwards of $1,000 if a diver should be injured and require emergency care. Noting Sunset Cliffs and the Arch are “unguarded areas,” Gartland added, “We’ve been getting hundreds of people on the weekend,” driven there, apparently, by social media and local mainstream media coverage. Estimating Ocean Beach’s arches to be between 30 and 35 feet tall, Gartland pointed out that, depending on the tide, the depth of water being jumped into could be “as little as four or five feet.” “Some people will be jumping all day,” said Garland, warning, “but they may not notice that the tide has gone out and that they’re jumping into five feet or less of water. That’s when the injuries occur. People don’t jump in just the right place, and they land on the reef and hit the rocks, or they hit the (ocean) bottom.” Lifeguards do have a boat patrol in the area, said Garland, noting cliff jumpers will be warned – or cited – if they’re witnessed jumping. Gartland said he’s personally responded to injuries from cliff jumping, adding, “It’s a very dangerous and illegal activity. “We need people to be safe at the beach,” said Gartland, pointing out, “That means they have to act reasonably and within the law.” And that is not happening presently at the Arch.
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    Pacific Beach bike theft drives local man into action and recovery
    Aug 27, 2015 | 8596 views | 1 1 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Bikes locked up on the boardwalk at Pacific Beach Drive on a sunny and busy Sunday in summer. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Bikes locked up on the boardwalk at Pacific Beach Drive on a sunny and busy Sunday in summer. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Browse NextDoor social media any given day along the beachfront and, next to mentions of lost dogs and cats, you’ll find notices posted about stolen bicycles. In recent months, the number of purloined bikes along the coast has gone from commonplace to alarming. And the San Diego Police Department, presently at historically low staffing levels even with seasonally enhanced summer beach patrols, is having trouble keeping up, which has led some frustrated residents in especially hard-hit areas for bike theft, like Pacific and Mission beaches, to take matters into their own hands in attempting to reclaim their stolen bikes. Such was the case recently with PB resident Brad Wickliffe. A former bouncer, Wickliffe had his bike locked up along the beachfront while participating in a yacht-racing event from San Diego to Mission Bay. Afterward, he returned to find his cable-locked bike had been stolen “in broad daylight.” The thieves even took his lock. A common-enough story, it typically ends with the victim(s) filing a police report or chalking it up to experience and bad luck. But Wickliffe took his recovery efforts one drastic step further. He immediately began searching for his stolen bike on Craigslist, where he eventually tracked down the perpetrator, who was reselling his stolen property. “My bike was stolen on Sunday morning, and I was checking Craigslist every day until I saw it there Tuesday morning,” Wickliffe said, noting his bike was distinctively customized. This made its thumbnail description “jump out at you.” So Wickliffe set up a face-to-face meeting in National City with the alleged perpetrator, whom he said “gave me a big BS story about owning (the bike) for a year. There was no doubt it was my bike.” When the time came for Wickliffe to purchase his own stolen bicycle, he managed to sneak up behind the alleged thief and render him unconscious before calling police and turning him in. “The guy even had a backpack full of lock-picking tools,” Wickliffe said, adding the man he incapacitated “clearly had needle-track marks on his arms.” Wickliffe said police took him into custody after a background check revealed he had prior warrants out for his arrest. “The whole NextDoor neighbor thing is really good because the more people know your bike’s been stolen, the more likely you are to get it back,” reflected Wickliffe. He added the incident has caused him to seriously reconsider GPS-enabling his bike so its whereabouts can be more easily tracked. Wickliffe realizes his personal success story in having successfully recovered his own stolen bike was just a drop in the bucket considering all the bikes never recovered by their owners. “These guys (thieves) don’t have much to lose,” said Wickliffe. “I’m just hoping incidents like mine will help them to move on.” For himself, Wickliffe said of the experience, “I enjoyed the vigilante thing. It was less paperwork – more fun.” “We don’t advise people to confront criminals, because you never know whether or not they’re armed,” said San Diego Police officer Dan Neifer of Northern Division’s beach team, which is involved with the department’s bait bicycle program. Neifer noted deterring bike theft is extremely difficult for a variety of reasons. “There is a very small window of time involved with bike theft,” Neifer said. “Within 10 minutes of being stolen, that bike can be in two or three pieces and in a car – or a house.” Neifer noted crooks can repaint stolen vehicles, “chop and change them out,” do any number of things to alter and disguise them. And unlike Wickliffe’s case, many bike thieves are smart enough to store stolen bikes for a period of weeks or months before attempting to resell them on Craigslist or elsewhere. But the bike bait program the police employ has some proven results. Neifer explained how it works. “We put GPS on a bait bike that’s locked up in plain view in a public bike parking area,” he said. “When that bike is removed, it sends a text message alerting police.” Neifer said there’s generally only a four- to eight-minute interval for police to arrive and interdict the suspected thief. But fortunately for those whose bikes have been stolen, that’s time enough. What can people do to prevent their bikes from being taken? Unfortunately, Neifer said, he’s unaware of an absolutely pick- or cut-proof bike lock. He also advised against locking bikes in public bike stalls overnight, even well-lighted ones out in the open, noting that “after hours once the bars close there are only cops, cats and crooks out on the streets, which are desolate.” Neifer said the safest place for a bike, especially an expensive one, is inside your home or locked up on your property. GPS is helpful to have. And it’s always important to record your bike’s serial number to help police track it should it ever be stolen. Above all else, report a bike theft to police. Neifer added it's also extremely helpful to have a good photograph of your bike to accompany a detailed description of it, noting any individual markings or details to help distinguish it.
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    ManchesterLight
    |
    August 31, 2015
    Interesting that SDPD is the only city that condones "rendering people unconscious"

    We reported a bike thief at 4pm while he spent 25 minutes attempting to pull a bike lock loose

    we are still waiting for the police to arrest him

    its been 2 months & SDPD hasnt shown yet !

    City releases initial new regulations for short-term vacation rentals
    by By LISA HALVERSTADT - Voice of San Diego
    Aug 26, 2015 | 8370 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Signs like this one are posted throughout Crown Point and Pacific Beach. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Signs like this one are posted throughout Crown Point and Pacific Beach. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Short-term vacation rentals may soon be legal – and regulated – in San Diego. City staffers released a memo on Aug. 12 that lays out a potential framework for traditional vacation rentals and for those that have proliferated through sites like Airbnb and VRBO, which connect hosts and visitors. A proposed ordinance drafted by the city's Development Services Department would allow up to two paying visitors to stay in a room within a home and full-home rental stays of fewer than 30 days. Hosts who book more than two visitors or multiple rooms at a time would be considered bed and breakfast operators, which would come with more requirements. Renting entire space The draft proposes these be generally allowed for less than a month in most residential areas. Hosts would be required to share and enforce a rental agreement with visitors and designate a local contact to respond within an hour of any complaints about bad behavior at the property. City leaders will have to hash out how many guests and visits are allowed per month. Home sharing The property owner is required to remain in the home while the visitor stays for fewer than 30 days. No more than two lodgers are allowed, and an arrangement is allowed for only one room or with one party. At least one parking space must be provided. City leaders will decide how often visits are allowed. Bed and breakfasts Homeowners who host more than two visitors or coordinate more than two stays at once would be classified as bed and breakfast operators. This label wouldn’t necessarily mean meals are provided but would require that the property owner to stick around during the visit. Depending on where the home is located, operators could need to get a neighborhood use permit or a conditional use permit, which can take more than a year to obtain. These hosts would also need to have a parking space for the operator and additional spaces for the guest rooms. There are additional regulations and parking requirements depending on the zone the home is in. Still, the rules probably don’t quell some bitter disagreements over the issues that have flared during months of public hearings, heated debates and even legal threats. Bob Vacchi, the city’s Development Services director, said the tension put pressure on the city. “It’s been extremely difficult for us to put (the draft rules) together because there’s really no consensus,” Vacchi added. Even with the draft ordinance, the city remains a house divided on short-term rentals. While the city’s collecting bed taxes from short-term rentals, a Burlingame woman last week was saddled with a nearly $25,000 fine for operating what city staffers referred to as a bed and breakfast out of her historic craftsman home. The 70-year-old says she simply hosted visitors through Airbnb and didn’t operate a commercial enterprise. The citation followed months of confusion about the rules – or lack thereof – for vacation rental hosts to follow and city demands that they pay bed taxes long imposed on hoteliers. Those disagreements also contributed to foot-dragging by the city. City Councilwoman Lorie Zapf, who represents beach communities, called an April City Council subcommittee hearing on short-term rental issues. The gathering was so packed the committee held a second meeting on May 29. That day, members of the smart growth and land use committee – which Zapf chairs – asked city staffers to work on an ordinance. The initial draft was finished by early July and shared with City Council members, according to emails obtained by Voice of San Diego. But the emails indicate the mayor’s office delayed the release when it discovered continued infighting over some of the specifics. Brian Pepin, Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s director of council affairs, wrote in a July 10 email that the mayor’s office had met with some City Council members to get their take on the measure and found continued disagreement over the number of rentals allowed per month or year. “Unfortunately, the councilmembers were unable to reach consensus on the appropriate frequency to move forward with,” Pepin wrote in an email to a Development Services staffer who worked on the draft ordinance. “The result of the meeting was to request that you return to the smart growth committee at its next possible meeting in order to get clear direction on frequency.” The next subcommittee meeting isn’t until Sept. 23. There were other issues, too. At the May 29 meeting and in other settings, City Council members have disagreed on the number of visitors that should be allowed in a full-home vacation rental. They also haven’t given clear consensus on whether hosts should be allowed to rent granny flats, or other spaces on residential lots, on a short-term basis. Officials say conflicts delayed at least one other discussion on the issue. Joe LaCava chairs the citywide Community Planners Committee, a group that had been set to review the draft short-term rental ordinance at its July meeting. He said he was told the draft rules would be released June 30 and cleared his group’s July agenda to allow for a heated debate. That didn’t happen. “I heard those regulations were being held back by the mayor’s office,” LaCava said. He was surprised when the proposed regulations weren’t released in the weeks afterward, either. “Everybody knows there’s draft language just sitting out there. Everybody’s just waiting for that draft language to drop and then start the conversation,” LaCava said Aug. 12, before the memo was released. “I think everybody’s just sort of in a waiting period right now.” Vacchi said the delays were a result of a lack of consensus among councilmembers, not any intention by the mayor’s office to delay the discussion. A mayor’s office spokesman couldn’t immediately comment. That debate appears likely to pick up again soon, shortly after an administrative law judge decided the Burlingame Airbnb host should be sanctioned. Amanda Lee, the Development Services manager who drafted the proposed rules, said Zapf’s office will decide next steps for the ordinance. Lisa Halverstadt is a reporter at Voice of San Diego. Know of something she should check out? You can contact her directly at lisa@vosd.org or (619) 325-0528.
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    Champion-Cain on a mission in Mission Beach, celebration at Luv Surf
    by JENNIFER GREEN
    Aug 26, 2015 | 1677 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Pamela Corey, the retail manager, in the doorway of Luv Surf Boutique on Mission Boulevard, with Jackson. / Photo by Jennifer Green
    Pamela Corey, the retail manager, in the doorway of Luv Surf Boutique on Mission Boulevard, with Jackson. / Photo by Jennifer Green
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    Mission Beach and Pacific Beach vacationers, residents and their pets are getting some TLC and lots of love, or “luv,” from Gina Champion-Cain. She’s the architect of and facilitator for many of Mission Beach and Pacific Beach’s newest and most popular clothing, eating and drinking establishments. Champion-Cain is the owner of Luv Surf, which started in Mission Beach in 2011 with Luv Surf Vacation Rentals, a pet-friendly, beach-friendly business. Since then, she’s been steadily growing her brand and her mission to make Mission Beach more beautiful while staying eclectic and funky, just the way she likes it. Why choose Mission Beach to make her mark? “I love that it’s so eclectic. You can be young, old, rich, poor or right in the middle and enjoy Mission Beach,” says Champion-Cain. She moved to San Diego in 1987 and has had a love affair with Mission Beach ever since. “Everyone is in a melting pot, all together [in Mission Beach]. I love that.” After successfully launching her vacation rental business, Champion-Cain expanded her brainchild to include a Mission Beach clothing retail shop that capitalizes on the Luv Surf brand. Since the flagship store’s grand opening in 2012, she has opened two additional apparel stores in Mission and Pacific beaches. These stores are focused on selling locally sourced items in a beach-chic setting. Chris Kramer, director of Luv Surf, says, “The company team is known for creating beautiful spaces that are design focused.” He regularly receives rave reviews from the retail shops’ neighbors and patrons who pick up on their inclusive attitude, or “party-wave mentality,” as Kramer likes to call it. Champion-Cain rounded the vacationer/staycationer experience when she launched The Patio Group, which includes The Patio restaurants in Pacific Beach, downtown and Mission Hills along with Fireside, opening soon in Liberty Station. She even co-owns Swell Cafe in Mission Beach. As if that weren’t enough, Champion-Cain is so committed to the neighborhood that she is launching a community benefits district with Swell co-owner John Valas called Beautiful Mission Beach. Champion-Cain says that tourists and residents, unlike the inland areas of San Diego, frequent the beaches every day. Champion-Cain says the city has “fallen down” on its commitment to provide resources for maintaining clean communities. Champion-Cain and Valas hope to present a grassroots plan to San Diego City Council in early 2016. Luv Surf party The Luv Surf brand is celebrating three years in Mission Beach at its flagship retail store 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 30 at Luv Surf Boutique, 3816 Mission Blvd.
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    News
    Woman hit by truck and killed in PB
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    Sep 01, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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    Sports
    Surfers compete in Ocean Beach at Revolt Summer Surf Series
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    Aug 20, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend
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    Opinion
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    Aug 31, 2015 | 7 7 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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    Arts & Entertainment
    San Diego Film Festival announces festival lineup
    The San Diego Film Festival (SDFF), produced by the nonprofit San Diego Film Foundation, announced on Sept. 1 its Gala, Competition, Spotlight and Short Film sections. Now in its 14th year, the fiv...
    Sep 01, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend
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    Business
    Pirate Sno-Balls are a refreshing treat for your mouth
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    Aug 26, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
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    Obituaries
    Charles (Chuck) D. Cromar – 12-time world champion of Over The Line
    Charles Douglas Cromar, (Chuck), was a life-long resident of Pacific Beach, San Diego, Calif. He was born in La Jolla on Sept. 11, 1955 to Charles and Hannah Cromar, Scottish immigrants, who came t...
    Aug 19, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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