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    Summer fun with Bianca @ Cabrillo National Monument
    by BIANCA WEINSTEIN
    Apr 24, 2015 | 4634 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Bianca Weinstein at the whale watch at the Cabrillo National Monument on Point Loma.
    Bianca Weinstein at the whale watch at the Cabrillo National Monument on Point Loma.
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    Bianca Weinstein takes in the view from Cabrillo National Monument.
    Bianca Weinstein takes in the view from Cabrillo National Monument.
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    Bianca Weinstein at the tide pools at Cabrillo National Monument.
    Bianca Weinstein at the tide pools at Cabrillo National Monument.
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    Bianca Weinstein at the entrance to Cabrillo National Monument.
    Bianca Weinstein at the entrance to Cabrillo National Monument.
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    It’s a sunny day in San Diego and I want to go out and explore, so I end up at the Cabrillo National Monument in Point Loma. There are many different things to do – visit the Old Point Loma Lighthouse, marine life at the tide pools, walk along trails that overlook the bayside, watch for gray whales, and visit Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo’s monument that overlooks the San Diego bay. For only a $5 parking fee, you have something to do for the entire day; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the exception of the tide pools closing at 4:30 p.m. With so much history in one spot, it’s hard to determine just where to begin my adventures. I started at the tide pools where I watched the waves come crashing against the rocky cliffs. There, I was able to take a look at the ocean's ecosystem that lies along the San Diego coast. During low tide, you’re able to see the creatures of the ocean that get pushed ashore into the rocky depressions. I then ventured along the bayside trails that follow an old U.S. Army roadway through the coastal Mediterranean ecotype. After visiting the tide pools and taking a walk on the bayside trails, I went to view the Old Point Loma Lighthouse where I felt as if I was walking into the mid-1800s. This lighthouse was home to Robert Israel and wife Maria, Cabrillo’s lighthouse keeper for more than 20 years. There’s a narrow spiral staircase that allows you take a look at the different rooms inside, and all the way to the lantern at the top. While I did not see any gray whales during my visit, gray whales pass Point Loma on their yearly round-trip migration of 12,000 miles. During the spring whales head north and then return to Baja California Sur bays in the fall to mate. The best time to view these gray whales is during January and February (but the ocean view is always a pleasurable sight). Finally, I visited the Cabrillo monument, which has one of the best views of San Diego bay and Coronado. Cabrillo was the first European to set food on the West Coast when he came to the Americas in 1510: and it’s no wonder why he chose to settle in San Diego bay; it’s the heart of the town. “Summer Fun” Cabrillo National Monument and tide pools Where: 1800 Cabrillo Memorial Drive Contact: www.nps.gov/cabr or (619) 557-5450 Bianca Weinstein is the social media reporter for sdnews.com. This spring and summer she will be exploring places on the coast and trying out fun things to do for locals and visitors. Contact her at bbp@sdnews.com.
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    University City construction boom: Can traffic be far behind?
    by SANDY LIPPE
    Apr 24, 2015 | 963 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Traffic lines are the only things missing from this University City panorama – just wait'll the construction picks up.
    Traffic lines are the only things missing from this University City panorama – just wait'll the construction picks up.
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    North University City is exploding with construction projects like the Mid-Coast Trolley and Westfield UTC. The April 8 University City Community Association meeting crowd heard from two speakers: John Haggarty, of Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project, and John Alderson, who represented the Westfield expansion efforts. Haggarty said the 11-mile extension of the Trolley Blue Line will go from Old Town to Westfield parallel to I-5 for most of the ride. The nine new stations will include an elevated Nobel Drive station, a V.A. hospital station and two stations on the UCSD campus – Pepper Canyon and Voigt Drive. Executive Drive will have an aerial station too, and five of the stations will have parking. According to Haggarty, 21,000 trolley boardings a day will occur. Voters approved the $2 billion trolley project in 2004. The federal government is underwriting $1 billion. Who will ride the trolley when it opens in 2019? Looking at today's riders, folks going from home to work or school often use the trolley already. More than 53 percent use boarding passes. Full construction will commence in 2016, and operational hours (4:30 a.m. to 1 a.m.) should meet most people's needs in 2019. If you want to follow progress, check out sandag.org/midcoast. Westfield project manager Alderson painted a beautiful picture of the future Westfield Shopping Center at UTC, where the transit station will be housed. The new and huge Nordstrom will be on Genesee Avenue and feature a restaurant and coffee bar as well as retail. There will be 2,000 new parking spaces and two hours' free parking. Seven to ten restaurants with farm-to-table quality will be added. The community room will adjoin a 13,000-square-foot patio. Construction dates run from next month to June of 2017. Alderson requested only this of the audience: “I ask for your patience.” Sears and 24-Hour Fitness will stay open during the construction. The parking structure on Genesee will expand from Macy's to the pedestrian bridge. The buzz around South University City is about Imagine UC 2020. A second meeting drew a large crowd eager to hear about what could possibly be the dream of the neighborhood – a joint-use project around Standley Park between the school district and the city. With Mayor Kevin Faulconer's emphasis on "safe and livable" neighborhoods, locals listened to ideas presented at an earlier meeting. Facilities manager Lee Dulgeroff talk about current and future projects at University City High School, Standley Middle School and Spreckels, Curie and Doyle Elementary. Afterward, people broke into small groups to talk about a proposed aquatic center serving schools and community, a pavilion for school and community performances, a jogging path around the perimeter of Standley Park and calming traffic suggestions to make the area inviting and safe. University City is alive with activity that will improve the neighborhood, but the potential for traffic congestion is not to be denied. The possibility of stationing a "fast response" team, part of the fire department, in South UC is good news as traffic increases the next couple of years. City priorities for fiscal year 2016 almost reads like the Pledge of Allegiance. City priorities include repairing streets,, investing in infrastructure, safe and livable neighborhoods, economic prosperity and opportunity in every community, excellent customer service  and open government. In May, the public will be invited to weigh in on budget priorities at public hearings in front of City Council. UC should be well represented.
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    Terry's Travels at Ocean Beach Farmers Market
    Apr 23, 2015 | 3200 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Ocean Beach Farmers Market.
    Ocean Beach Farmers Market.
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    Local writer, producer, director Terry Wilson is traveling around the coastal areas profiling interesting people, places and events for sdnews.com this year. This week, Terry travels to the Ocean Beach Farmers Market.
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    THE BIG DAY, MINUS ONE
    Apr 23, 2015 | 1905 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Just in time for Mother’s Day, the La Jolla Garden Club’s annual Gardeners Market is being held Saturday, May 9, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., on the patio at Chase Bank, 7777 Girard Ave. Potted plants, baked goods and garden-oriented gifts are tied up with bows, ready to give to mom; proceeds support horticulture scholarships for local students. For more on the event call (858) 454-6227 or see lajollagardenclub.org.
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    San Diego and its post-bombing sympathies were well-represented at Boston Marathon
    by TERRI STANLEY
    Apr 21, 2015 | 10861 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    San Diego's Eric Marenburg smiles through the pain and the weather as he nears teh finish line at the 119th Boston Marathon. PHOTOS BY TERRI STANLEY
    San Diego's Eric Marenburg smiles through the pain and the weather as he nears teh finish line at the 119th Boston Marathon. PHOTOS BY TERRI STANLEY
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    BOSTON – Boston is coming off its worst winter on record; accordingly, training for the 119th Boston Marathon, run Monday, April 20, had been no small feat for many East Coast runners. But here from the West were several marathoners who trained in some of the best weather in the country. Sunny and warm but not too hot, and with much less humidity, San Diego presents an ideal climate – and with all those miles under their belts, four San Diegans were pretty confident they’d finish the race and hit their time goals (in related matters, San Diegan Meb Keflezighi was unable to defend his 2014 title, and a race to the finish in the women’s division ended with Kenyan Caroline Rotich eking out a win over Ethiopian Mare Dibaba). But this is the Boston Marathon, and anything can happen here, as the world witnessed two years ago. The already storied event has risen to a new prominence since the bombings that led to four deaths and the injuries to hundreds during the race in 2013. And in a twist that rivals that of a novel, the surviving bomber is awaiting sentencing after being convicted of all 30 counts of murder and conspiracy on April 8 in a Boston federal court. San Diego was one of many cities that rallied behind Boston after the tragedy, raising funds and awareness. Events like The Boston Strong San Diego run, organized by Vavi, the San Diego running club (where thousands of runners came out to show their support for The Last Run To Boston, organized by boom RUNNING owner Mike Daly), were commonplace. Jenni Ceglowski, who completed this year's half-marathon at 01.39.38, grew up in Arizona and has been a San Diego transplant for about five years. Her husband got her into running about a year after moving to San Diego as a way to explore, meet people and enjoy the legendary good weather. “It was really incredible to see the community come together here in San Diego after the Boston bombings,” Ceglowski said before the race. “I attended various events and runs, and the sense of support was unreal — just about everyone had a connection to the Boston Marathon. People came together to support their homes, friends and families, remember their pasts, defend their dreams and honor their country in what we did best — run. The Boston Marathon has come to symbolize our strength as a community and as a nation, our ability to stand up and push on, our empathy to reach out and support those around us, our drive, our courage and our determination to put one foot in front of the other even when we are faced with obstacles.” For most of the runners, there are competitive and emotional reasons for running Boston. San Diego has a large running community, and there are many people with ties to Boston. A Road Runner Sports marketing manager who has been running for 20 years, Garrett Sheehan, originally from Kingston, R.I., has lived in San Diego for 10 years. He finished with a time of 03.03.03, remarking that Bostonians “bleed passion for this race, just like they do for their sports teams. “I think people around the world will tell you it’s ‘the’ marathon, the one that you have to do, a box you have to check as a runner,” said Sheehan, 32. “There are amazing runners out here, and the Boston Marathon is a goal for everybody. We’re 3,000 miles away, but for people training for marathons, Boston is on the top of the list.” Sheehan said there is an added importance to running Boston this year. “I qualified last year, and I’ve been training the last six months to get ready for this. I’ve been working my butt off… and with the bomber trial happening, I think all runners took that personally, so I am excited to get out there, be a part of it, embrace it and take it back.” Lauren Padula, finishing at 03.19.54, is a running coach who received a doctorate in physical therapy from Northeastern University and has been living — and training — in the San Diego warmth for the last six years. “I ran Boston in 2007,” Padula said, “and actually went to school at Northeastern. I honestly think that the large number of people who live out here are connected to Boston. So many of us either went to college in Boston or are from the East Coast or have run Boston before, so it really affected us too when the bombings happened. It was on my college bucket list to run Boston. After the bombings, I said I want to run Boston again, I need to run Boston again.” Runners often talk about the electric energy to this race and that it is unlike any other marathon, with the possible exception of the New York City Marathon, that traverses that city every fall. Eric Marenburg, born and raised in Peabody, Mass., can say as much. He's a competitive runner, running cross-country and track and field in high school. He went on to run competitively at the University of Maryland as a walk-on and has completed six marathons, including Boston three times. His personal best was 02:39:53, and he expected to finish this year at about 02:45 – but he had a rough day, struggling with foot pains and the inclement weather as he came in at 03.24. “During the last three miles, when I wanted to walk all the way in,” he said, “I came across a girl in tears as she was chugging along. When I asked what was wrong, all she could say was she was so cold. We understood that runner bond and that we were both struggling but [that] if we can do this together we can finish. Thanks to her, I was able to run all the way to the finish, hurting foot (and hips by that point) and all.” But the race is more than tears and weather and aching bodies. “As a runner,” Marenburg said, “the best thing about Boston is you don’t have to know anyone to be cheered on because it’s such a celebration — you feel like a rock star running down the street, especially Boylston (site of the bombings). In some ways, the Boston experience ruins you, because once you do that, nothing rivals the energy.” He too, cited the added inspiration of running the Boston Marathon this year. “My motivation to be here this year were the events in 2013. It was certainly a huge influence in wanting to qualify so I could get back out there. Since the bombings happened, a lot of the people who are running it this year were motivated by this.” Terri Stanley, former editor of Boston Common magazine, is a writer, television program developer and producer who saw her "styleboston" magazine-format program win two regional Emmy Awards, including in the Outstanding Magazine Program category in 2013.
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