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    From the Stranger Than Fiction Department: Mother's Day founder was once arrested for disturbing the peace
    by MARTIN JONES WESTLIN
    May 02, 2016 | 6261 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Anna Jarvis, acknowledged founder of Mother's Day, about flipped when she saw the post office's 1934 holiday tribute. She thought its carnations amounted to a shameless capitalist plug for the floral industry.
    Anna Jarvis, acknowledged founder of Mother's Day, about flipped when she saw the post office's 1934 holiday tribute. She thought its carnations amounted to a shameless capitalist plug for the floral industry.
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    The nation's heart was probably in the right place, but one interested party couldn't find a pulse. The year was 1934, and the U.S. Post Office had just issued a pretty carnation-laden stamp in honor of Mother's Day, 20 years after President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation establishing the recognition of mothers and motherhood. So far, so good – but one person suspiciously close to the issue wasn't having it. Anna Jarvis, the holiday's acknowledged founder, let fly at the sight of the flowers, recalling her brushes with the law over the exact same subject: money. In New York in 1925, she'd crashed an American War Mothers gathering wherein white carnations – the flower most associated with Mother's Day – were being sold to raise funds. She was arrested for disturbing the peace, a hair's breadth away from jail. Florists were Beelzebub on wheels, she'd declare amid the capitalistic degradation of the sentiment behind her lifelong project. Card manufacturers and chocolatiers and vintners weren't any better, she'd sizz, sitting atop a mountain of process papers and lawsuit records in defiance of the enemy and its devotion to the evil behind the American dollar bill. The country's fabled vast right-wing conspiracy had come to call a few decades before its time, and it wasn't going away. Jarvis, who in 1948 died blind and penniless at 84 in a Philadelphia-area sanitarium, spent half her life fighting to abolish the holiday she'd started solely on the strength of her love for her mom. If she were alive today, she'd be cut to the quick to learn that Mother's Day commands around $22 billion in spending every year, the most of any nonwinter holiday. More than that, the day is celebrated in more than 60 countries, meaning that America by no means has a corner on the floral, card or chocolate markets. Nevertheless, Anna needed to get out more and kick up her heels. While Mother's Day price tags are clearly obscene, the thought behind them surely is not. To draw a parallel between the two is like saying the cashiers at the gas station are a bunch of greedy bozos because their prices are so high. For better or worse, there are innumerable forces at work inside the American economy, and there's plenty of blame to go around amid its pesky inertia and wholesale inequalities. Anna could have rested easy on her efforts at launching the holiday in 1908 and letting the chips fall the way they did. Thanks to her, we have a Mother's Day at all; anything less, even at sky-high prices, would have meant a serious blow to the cultural landscape. (Full disclosure: Anna's final sanitarium expenses were paid by a group of Philadelphia florists.)
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    Pacific Beach Tennis Club courts Mission Bay planners
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Apr 22, 2016 | 8544 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    One of the many stakeholders in the three-year, city-led process of planning regional park improvements is the Pacific Beach Tennis Club (PBTC).
    One of the many stakeholders in the three-year, city-led process of planning regional park improvements is the Pacific Beach Tennis Club (PBTC).
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    The next community workshop on the De Anza Revitalization Plan, a reimagining of what Mission Bay Park's approximately 4,000 acres of beaches, parklands, SeaWorld and more could become, will take place 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 27 at Mission Bay High School, 2475 Grand Ave. One of the many stakeholders in the three-year, city-led process of planning regional park improvements is the Pacific Beach Tennis Club (PBTC). The club is lobbying to ensure its place in the new order of things will be assured. “We want to make sure people appreciate the benefits of having the tennis club, which develops junior tennis and athletics and has been open to the public since the 1960s,” said David Fogel, president of PBTC, located adjacent to the Mission Bay Golf Course. PBTC has eight well-lighted courts, a ball machine that can be rented out, a small clubhouse that offers racquet string services, a pro shop and a dressing room. “We want to make sure that the people making the recommendations see the value of what we have here,” added Fogel. PBTC began in 1961, when a group headed by Dr. James Grant raised funds to construct six courts on land the city of San Diego provided. Subsequently, a small clubhouse and two additional courts were added as well as the present lighting system. The nonprofit club's funds are used to pay supervision, maintenance, tennis activities and capital improvement expenditures. Of PBTC's fate, city park designer Craig Hooker said, “Currently, all options are on the table in terms of existing and proposed uses within the De Anza plan area. We encourage tennis enthusiasts and club members to continue their participation in the plan process.” The plan is part of an ongoing amendment to the Mission Bay Park master plan, which guides usage of the popular regional park. Mission Bay is one of San Diego's premiere tourist and recreational destinations. The 120-acre project area embraces more than just Mission Bay Golf Course. It includes the De Anza Special Study Area (mobile home and RV park), De Anza Cove Park and the surrounding uses, including Mission Bay Boat & Ski Club and Bob McEvoy Athletic Field as well as Mission Bay Tennis Club. In anticipation of the closure of the De Anza Mobile Home Park, the city has initiated the planning process for the special study that will result in a development plan. This revitalization plan is needed to implement the Mission Bay Park Master Plan and to lay out a design and use program for the reuse and redevelopment of the site. Fogel wants to ensure that whatever “reimagining” is done at De Anza doesn't omit PBTC. “It's important for our kids and grownups, from age 1 to 92, to have a nice place to go,” he said. “We realize the De Anza area is valuable real estate for the city. We want to make sure we (PBTC) have a place in that future.” The first ad hoc subcommittee meeting on the De Anza Revitalization Plan was held Dec. 9. Paul Robinson, chair of the 11-member ad hoc committee, said then that the task is to work with the city and consultants on developing a vision and guiding principles for a De Anza revitalization plan to amend the existing Mission Bay Park Master Plan. The effort to redevelop the regional park was delayed by a decadelong court battle between the city and residents of the 500-unit De Anza Cove Resort mobile home park, a 75-acre park on prime real estate jutting into the water in Mission Bay Park west of I-5. Ultimately, the city reached a $3.6 million settlement agreement on one of three lawsuits involving current and former mobile home park residents allowing them to relocate. For more information, visit deanzarevitalizationplan.com/. Community workshop What: Workshop on the De Anza Revitalization Plan. When: 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 27. Where: Mission Bay High School, 2475 Grand Ave.
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    Photographer highlights humanity of homeless in Pacific Beach
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Apr 22, 2016 | 7177 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Photographer Lisa Kanemoto of Bird Rock has been documenting and getting to know Pacific Beach’s homeless population.
    Photographer Lisa Kanemoto of Bird Rock has been documenting and getting to know Pacific Beach’s homeless population.
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    Photographer Lisa Kanemoto has been documenting and getting to know Pacific Beach’s homeless population.
    Photographer Lisa Kanemoto has been documenting and getting to know Pacific Beach’s homeless population.
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    Photographer Lisa Kanemoto has been documenting and getting to know Pacific Beach’s homeless population.
    Photographer Lisa Kanemoto has been documenting and getting to know Pacific Beach’s homeless population.
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    The face of homelessness in Pacific Beach is coming more sharply into focus these days thanks to the photographic work of Lisa Kanemoto of Bird Rock. As she's done previously, Kanemoto has used her camera lens to expose social ills and injustice. In a photographic book titled “We Are,” she documented the gay revolution in San Francisco in the 1980s. In “Dark Mirror,'” a self-analytical work, Kanemoto explores her personal demons, touching on the horrors of her childhood in Germany during World War II and concealing her partial Jewish ancestry, the death of her father on the Russian front and, later, her son's schizophrenia as well as her own account of surviving a mastectomy. Now, she's trained her shutter onto another fringe group: Pacific Beach's homeless population. “I'm changing my whole outlook on life,” said Kanemoto of her new photographic passion, chronicling the lives of people living in the shadows on the streets of PB. “Every single one of these people, I've fallen in love with all of them.” The photographer of 40 years talked about that “first” encounter with a homeless person about five years ago. “I took a walk every morning at the boardwalk, and one day I found a man, Tommy, from Chicago, sitting there crying like a baby,” she said, noting that getting to know him was an eye-opening and transformative experience. “He was so heavy into drugs that, at age 17, he'd killed somebody and was put into prison,” she said. “After he got out on good behavior… that's when the heavy drinking started. I talked to him, and he introduced me to others.” Tommy's story is a sad and tragic one, said Kanemoto, noting “as many as 85 percent of the people out on the streets are mentally ill, with some coming from terrible homes where both parents took drugs.” Thumbing through a portfolio of her most recent work capturing the plight – and indomitable spirit – of the beach homeless, one can't help but be moved by the insight and clarity of Kanemoto's vision. “I've gotten initiated – and I'm proud of it,” the photographer said of her entry into PB homeless society, where she is affectionately known as Grandmother by many. “I feel very motherly,” she said. “This is my gang.” Thumbing through her portfolio, her finger stops on Birdman and then on a gentleman who was once a pastor and is now going through alcohol rehab. Kanemoto said it's surprising how much the homeless, even those who are mentally ill, can respond to expressions of openness and warmth. “I've taken their pictures and talked with them about their families,” said Kanemoto, noting one of her newfound friends, a man, “has 11 kids.” Another homeless woman Kanemoto knows smiles even though she no longer has any teeth. “I find that so endearing,” she noted. Kanemoto spoke of another homeless friend's account of how he became a street person. “He said one day he prayed to God for guidance, and God told him, 'Sell all your belongings, give up your studio and follow Me,’ which he did. He sold everything he owned, joined the homeless and became homeless himself.” Today, Kanemoto said that same man can be seen preaching Sunday nights in a local church. “It's inspiring to me,” she said. “It changes my outlook on things.” In the introduction to her blog, which can be found at homelessofpacificbeach.wordpress.com/, Kanemoto writes, “I feel the responsibility to help those who are rejected by society. With this documentary, I created a portrait of people who are feared and ignored. I'm trying to shed light on their shadowy world as an observer, a friend and participant in the drama of their lives. I focus on the individual with the intent to show the dignity and goodness inherent in every human being and give thought to what brought my new friends into their present situation. I dedicate this to all my homeless friends.”
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    Survivor finds 'there’s beauty after breast cancer'
    by HANNA LAUKKANEN
    Apr 19, 2016 | 3355 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Photographer Erena Shimoda photographed Juanita Williams underwater in San Diego.
    Photographer Erena Shimoda photographed Juanita Williams underwater in San Diego.
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    San Diego resident Juanita Williams is one of the cancer survivors Erena Shimoda photographed underwater March 13. Shimoda had seen Juanita’s tattoo photographs and contacted her. For Juanita the experience was healing, and there was peace in the water. “The photographs,” Juanita says, “are more for the people who have been through some kind of tragedy, any kind of breast cancer. The photographs bring peace back into their soul.” Juanita had breast cancer the first time in 1987, when she was 25 and pregnant. The doctors thought it was just a problem with her milk ducts, because she was pregnant for the third time. After they did a biopsy, they found out it was cancer. Juanita had to go through mastectomy when she was seven months pregnant, but all the lymph nodes were clean, so she didn’t have to go through chemo. Twenty-four years later, in 2010, cancer came back on her right breast. “When I found a tumor in my right breast, I did have to go through chemo, and it really took me down,” Juanita says. “I survived. I just thank God I’m still here to raise my grandson.” In 2003, doctors made her a new breast out of her back muscle. After the surgery, she felt terrible about being a woman having her breast look unnatural. Two years ago, Juanita found a tattoo shop in Pacific Beach, Garnet Tattoo, which does mastectomy and nipple tattoos. Last year in March, she got her tattoos done at the shop and wanted to show people there’s beauty after breast cancer. “I felt so proud to wear this tattoo; it makes me feel better as a woman to cover all those scars I had. I have no problem showing my tattoo, because it’s so beautiful,” she says. After two cancers, Juanita appreciates life more and doesn’t take things for granted. She wants people to make sure they make their mammogram appointments, that they do they monthly check-ups and that they make sure they do their physicals. Juanita notes that when girls are young, their breasts are firm, so it’s hard to detect cell changes with mammograms, but sonograms are more likely to pick up what mammogram won’t. “Our body is like a car,” Juanita says. “You have to get tuned up every once in a while. Only you can take care of yourself and make sure everything is okay with your body.” To cancer survivors and patients, she says: “Keep on surviving, stay strong, stay positive and don’t give up the fight.”
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    Pacific Beach seen in watercolor with nostalgia
    by HANNA LAUKKANEN
    Apr 19, 2016 | 7221 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    San Diego artist Michaela Jean Upp has created 15 original watercolor and mixed media works on paper commemorating iconic Pacific and Mission Beach locations.
    San Diego artist Michaela Jean Upp has created 15 original watercolor and mixed media works on paper commemorating iconic Pacific and Mission Beach locations.
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    San Diego resident Michaela Jean Upp has launched an exhibit of watercolor paintings of Pacific Beach and Mission Beach, hoping she can capture those places that have changed just a bit despite the influx of tourism and the city’s urban growth. In “Pacific Beach Paperworks,” Upp has invested a lot of nostalgia, particularly in relation to architecture and space. She has painted 15 mixed media drawings of the beach area, such as catamarans on the sand, that continuously illustrate both neighborhoods' vibes. After moving away for schooling and other opportunities, Upp noticed the changes made to her home each time she returned to PB. There were a lot of new businesses along Garnet Avenue, and even the side streets seemed to continually sport condominiums in place of old single-family homes. Pacific Beach and Mission Beach, unlike European neighborhoods, have only minimally preserved their historical authenticity. Upp essentially attempts to stop change and time. Upp thinks that fixtures like the Crystal Pier or the Giant Dipper serve as the only implication of the vibrant community that surrounds them and are therefore just as likely to represent the city in 1970 as they are today. Through lines, perspectives and colors, the structures and spaces take on their own personas that reflect their purpose and unique aesthetic. “I intentionally simplify the atmosphere to accurately represent the most common weather patterns seen in the beach community,” Upp says, “but even more importantly to accentuate the beauty of the manmade structure in focus, which can be so easily overlooked when compared to the natural beauty of the communities’ beaches, estuaries, forests of palms, sunsets and mountainous backdrops.” Info - San Diego artist Michaela Jean Upp has created 15 original watercolor and mixed media works on paper commemorating iconic Pacific and Mission Beach locations. - “Pacific Beach Paperworks” pay tribute to the jewels of Pacific and Mission Beach that served as the literal building blocks - Paintings are available for purchase at www.michaelajeanart.com - More info: www.michaelajeanart.com
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