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    Wildlife photographer Mangelsen has seen it all; now you can too
    Dec 11, 2014 | 16026 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Renowned wildlife photographer Thomas Mangelsen says man-versus-lion shoots are “cool.” PHOTO BY THOMAS D. MANGELSEN
    Renowned wildlife photographer Thomas Mangelsen says man-versus-lion shoots are “cool.” PHOTO BY THOMAS D. MANGELSEN
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    He's taken some four million photographs of animals in their natural states – and wildlife photographer Thomas Mangelsen’s new book, “The Last Great Wild Places,” is a compendium of the finest work from one of the most prolific and award-winning nature photographers of our time. “It’s a 40-year retrospective,” said Mangelsen, 69, who was in town recently at his Images of Nature Gallery at 7916 Girard Ave., one of eight Mangelsen galleries nationwide. “It includes all my classic images from the beginning to very recently.” The Grand Island, Neb.-born photographer, the son of a 5-and-dime store owner, grew up on the American plains hunting and observing wildlife. His hands-on approach in part explains his uncanny ability to capture candid wildlife photographs. “I rely heavily on my experience to put me in the right place at the right time and watch for the right moment,” he said. Like the picture on Eastern Africa's Serengeti Plain of a pride of lions sauntering toward him on a dirt road. “I was in a Land Rover early in the morning, and lions, 20 or 30 of all different age groups, were coming out of the marsh towards the road,” he said. “I realized this was kind of a cool shoot because you could see all their legs coming right at us, the whole man-versus-lion thing.” Noting he didn’t get his first camera until he was 23 (extremely late for a photographer), Mangelsen added his avocation “just started out as fun and grew into a profession.” He's captured rare moments and vast panoramas during photographic shoots on all seven continents, from shots of Arctic polar bears to images from the deep jungles of South America to pictures of the tigers of India to shots revealing the diversity of wildlife in the American West. Mangelsen talked about his art, wildlife conservation, climate change and future destinations, saying there’s a method to his madness in choosing locales. “I try to choose new places every year and go back to old haunts I’ve become familiar with and fell in love with, like the Serengeti,” he said, adding he’ll be returning to the Serengeti in early 2015. “The more you go back to a place, the better you know it,” said Mangelsen, adding he also returns to spots he feels have great potential for getting shots he missed or would like to get. “The Earth is a big place. I’ll never live long enough to get to all of my bucket list,” he said, adding, “It keeps getting bigger.” But Mangelsen’s interest in wildlife extends well beyond photography. He’s become a passionate conservationist who’s befriended others campaigning for preservation of wildlife and their habitats, like Jane Goodall, who wrote a foreword to his new book. “Twenty-five thousand elephants a year are being poached, mostly for trinkets,” Mangelsen said, adding the same fate is befalling a thousand or more rhinoceri a year, slain for their horns, which are purported to have aphrodisiac qualities. Mangelsen pooh-pooh'd this as “just a stupid myth.” Global warming is something Mangelsen has observed firsthand. “I’ve seen city-block-long glaciers in Antarctica that are half the size they were five years ago,” he said, adding one of his favorite photographic subjects – polar bears – are disappearing from much of their current habitat in the Arctic because ice is disappearing. “They (bears) have to have ice to hunt seals who haul out, who are 90 percent of their diet,” Mangelsen said. “If the ice is gone, seals are gone, the polar bears are gone. It’s very simple.” Speaking of polar bears, Mangelsen spoke of a wildlife shoot he was on with the late Spence Wilson, who operated the downtown theater The Cove, which many La Jollans of today remember. “Spence saved our lives,” he concluded, noting Wilson’s observational skills as he stood watch with the Navy for enemy subs during World War II. “I was with a National Geographic crew photographing a polar bear mother and her cubs, and a whiteout snowstorm just came up out of nowhere,” Mangelsen said. “I didn’t see them. Spence did and waived his arms (to warn us). There was a polar bear coming, stalking us very intently, and we grabbed our gear and pulled the (truck) ladder up just before the polar bear got there.” Asked when — or even if — he’ll retire, Mangelsen, who lives near Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, answered, “Just when I die,” adding, “I’d like to die in the field.” To order Mangelsen’s new book, or for more information about him or his galleries, visit www.mangelsen.com.
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    HOME IS WHERE THE HEARTH IS
    Dec 11, 2014 | 674 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    The 57th annual La Jolla Christmas Parade & Holiday Festival is history, and its numbers reflect its success. 30,000 attended the parade, which featured 2,000 marchers and performers and about 100 float entries; Jack McGrory and Bill Kellogg were instrumental in helping raise funds, and the parade chairs have everyone's undying gratitude. Parade director Mike Carlin and his family made sure there were no injuries among animals and people, all of whom enjoyed glorious skies and 80-degree temps. Please look for more images in next week's La Jolla Village News, which publishes Tuesday, Dec. 23. Meanwhile, very few days of the year let neighborhoods reflect the true spirit of the holiday involved – but Christmas, with its cavalcade of colored traditional lights and ornate interiors, is one of them. Shown here is one of the neighborhood's more daring facades, the walkway at the Mormon Temple and an interior that evokes the holiday's charm and meaning. COURTESY PHOTO
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    'Tis the season
    Dec 11, 2014 | 535 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    The Village marked Sunday, Dec. 7 with the 57th installment of the biggest event of the season – the La Jolla Christmas Parade & Holiday Festival. Under the banner 'Spirit of Christmas – Peace on Earth,' this year's gala attracted hundreds along Girard Avenue and at points in every directions as marching bands played, horses rode, antique cars putted along and parade entrants strutted their holiday stuff. The event was a perfect beginning to the holiday bustle – and for more holiday images, please see pages 18 and 19. PHOTOS BY DON BALCH
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    Friends of Children's Pool launches suit amid pupping closure
    Dec 11, 2014 | 722 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Add one more flap over The Children's Pool at La Jolla Cove
    Add one more flap over The Children's Pool at La Jolla Cove
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    Friends of Children's Pool, which retains unofficial oversight surrounding the city's approach to La Jolla Children's Pool, has filed suit challenging the city's decision to close the area from Dec. 15 to mid-May, pupping season for the seals. The group maintains that the closure violates rights of public access set out in California's Constitution and the state's Costal Act. The pool has been the target of controversy for decades amid ongoing pollution and access issues. Located off Coast Boulevard near Jenner Street, the pool is regularly used for recreation by divers, swimmers, fishermen and families.
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    At 100, La Jolla's fabled rec center is looking just fine
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Dec 11, 2014 | 617 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Ellen Browning Scripps, center, receives a nod for meritorious service from San Diego Mayor E.M. Capps in 1915.  COURTESY PHOTO
    Ellen Browning Scripps, center, receives a nod for meritorious service from San Diego Mayor E.M. Capps in 1915. COURTESY PHOTO
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    By DAVE SCHWAB In 1915, La Jolla philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps made one of several donations to her community: the La Jolla Recreation Center. A century later, the facility has become exactly what Scripps intended: a community hub for all of La Jolla. Throughout its storied existence, the rec center has served people of all ages, from toddlers to seniors, offering a broad array of recreational services as well as hosting public meetings of virtually every important community group in town, including the La Jolla Town Council and the La Jolla Community Planning Group, which makes land-use recommendations to the City. “For 100 years, the rec center has served its major purpose — community life,” said Carol Olten of the La Jolla Historical Society. “Through many years, thousands of families, children and sports enthusiasts have enjoyed its facilities ranging from toddlers to serious tennis professionals.” Olten said the rec center has become all things to all people. “(Public) meetings are held there,” she said. “Yoga is practiced there. Basketball, tennis and soccer are played there. Swings and slides and other funny tots stuff are played upon there." But perhaps the most important function the rec center serves in the community is as its sounding board. “Disputes over parking, signs, sidewalks are resolved – and not resolved – there,” Olten said, adding that “If the rec center walls could talk, they would probably say, ‘Please, La Jollans, after 100 years, we’ve had enough.'” La Jolla Rec Center director Nicole Otjens noted that the facility provides recreational amenities, including grass playing fields and basketball courts, for everyone. “We’re a hub of recreation for people of all ages,” said Otjens, noting the center features three playgrounds for kids and outdoor basketball courts and a weight room for adults. “We have yoga and fitness classes and a youth flag football team, the La Jolla Sharks,” she added. Otjens pointed out the La Jolla Recreation Council, which supports the center, raises funds to purchase “hours,” allowing it to be kept open longer to serve patrons. But providing recreation is only one of the center's functions. “We do 10 to 12 community events a year,” Otjens said, “including an egg hunt, a children’s Halloween costume judging and the December holiday celebration.” The La Jolla Recreation Center was formally dedicated on July 3, 1915. It was the product of the combined vision of philanthropist Scripps and progressive young architects Irving and Louis Gill. Together, they conceived of the “La Jolla Community House and Playground.” In her bequest of the center as a gift to the city, Scripps was adamant about the building being open to any person regardless of race, creed or opinions. That was stipulated as a “condition” in the deed turning the property over to the city for public use. The center and numerous buildings surrounding it, including the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, the earliest buildings at The Bishop’s School and the La Jolla Woman’s Club, together form the historical cornerstone of La Jolla Village. Four years after the Rec Center opened, Archibald Talbot, a young man from Iowa who came to California to study law, took what he thought would be a temporary job as director of the rec center. He held that position until his retirement in 1952. While rec center director, Talbot and his wife Agnes developed a vigorous program of sports, including basketball and tennis tournaments. Among the prime achievements of the Tallboys was creation of the annual La Jolla Tennis Tournament. In 1968, Mr. Talbot was honored as La Jolla’s “Mr. Tennis.” “The Tallboys took the lead in carrying out Ellen Browning Scripps’ ideas of making the rec center a true Community House — a gathering place for the creation of strong minds and bodies,” said Olten. “Their spirits linger on as one of our keepsakes: the La Jolla Recreation Center.”
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