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    Mt. Soledad group seeks help for memorial and office
    Sep 03, 2014 | 24587 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    The Mt. Soledad Memorial Association is seeking volunteers in its La Jolla office and docents at the Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial atop Mt. Soledad. A variety of volunteer opportunities are available, including but not limited to memorial plaque designers, plaque salespersons, website support personnel, veteran event activities workers, social media coordinators and general administrative office workers. Volunteer docents at the site answer questions about the Memorial and conduct tours upon request. Each of the above opportunities calls for approximately three hours of service a week. Training programs are in place to orient new volunteers. “The Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial stands as a beautiful symbol and reminder of those who have served our country since the military was established in 1775,” said Bruce Bailey, president and CEO of the memorial association. “It is only through the support of our docents and volunteers that we can continue our work in honoring and recognizing those men and women.” Senior chief Wilfred (Bill) Sturgeon has been an association volunteer and memorial docent for the past four years. He served in the Navy and retired after 24 years of military service. He served onboard seven different destroyers in the Korean and Vietnam wars. “I am one of seven docents,” Sturgeon said, “each of us helping visitors better understand the significance of this extraordinary veterans tribute, which recognizes the major contributions of those who have helped preserve the freedoms we enjoy as Americans. It’s an ideal opportunity for both veterans and nonveterans to show their patriotism while honoring those who have served our country.” Sturgeon's canine visitors are a highlight of each of his bi-weekly shifts. “Dog owners throughout San Diego regularly take their dogs up to Soledad Natural Park on daily walks,” Sturgeon said. “As the dogs near the top of the site, they break into quickstep knowing that I am working my docent shift, with pockets brimming with tasty dog biscuits. It’s a highlight for me to see the dogs but to also converse and share the association’s story with those who live right here in our own backyard.” In addition to answering questions and assisting the more than 60,000 visitors who pass through the memorial each year, Sturgeon completes weekly reports on the number of domestic and foreign visitors, visitor questions, plaque locator requests, group pictures and new plaque inquiries. This year, he initiated a program with volunteers to help maintain the appearance of the Memorial Walls and veteran plaques. He also oversees and supervises an induction program for new Navy chief petty officer selectees to help with general maintenance work at the memorial. He developed a detailed self-guided tour of the memorial and a U.S. Presidents and Medal of Honor Tour, which shows visitors where each of these distinguished veteran plaques are located on the Memorial Walls. "We are grateful,” Bailey added, “to the existing and future volunteers and docents who are willing to give their time and energy to preserving the spirit and commitment of the association. We hope to get the word out about our need for more volunteers and docents who bring the same energy and enthusiasm for our mission, as Bill has for so many years. He is truly an asset to our organization and to our community.” The Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial is the only veterans memorial in the United States that honors veterans, living and deceased, from the Revolutionary War to the current conflicts in the Middle East. It is administered through a volunteer board of trustees and volunteers working directly with executive director Joanie Miyashiro-Brennan and her assistant Denise Larkins. The association offices are located at 6437 Caminito Blythefield, Suite B, in La Jolla. For additional information, call (858) 459-2314 or visit soledadmemorial.com.
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    A KEY MOMENT IN MUSIC HISTORY
    Sep 03, 2014 | 389 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Today is the 102nd birthday of renegade pianist John Cage, who in 1948 wrote an acclaimed and surprisingly moving piece called “Suite for Toy Piano.” Cage died in 1992, so he can't attend UCSD's 14th annual Toy Piano Festival at noon in the school's Geisel Library, but it's a cinch his piece is on the agenda, as are several other serious works for the strange, diminutive instrument. UCSD carilloneur and soundscape artist Scott Paulson, shown here preparing for a past event, says there's usually some kind of exhibit on campus devoted to the toy piano, especially throughout September, Cage's birthday month. Judging from the size of the crowd, that makes sense. COURTESY PHOTO
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    Council backs hosting of 35th America's Cup in San Diego
    by Staff and contribution
    Aug 21, 2014 | 27598 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Sailor competitors turn about during a run in San Diego on an America’s Cup practice day in 2011.     PHOTO BY SFGATE.COM
    Sailor competitors turn about during a run in San Diego on an America’s Cup practice day in 2011. PHOTO BY SFGATE.COM
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    City Council on Aug. 7 passed a resolution brought forward by District 2 Councilman Ed Harris in support of San Diego hosting the 35th America’s Cup to be held in the summer of 2017. The Unified Port District of San Diego submitted a proposal to the America’s Cup Event Authority to host the race, and on July 8, San Diego achieved finalist status. San Diego, in the running against Bermuda for the host city selection, hosted the America’s Cup in 1988, 1992 and 1995. A final decision on the venue is expected before the end of the year. “San Diego already has the infrastructure in place for the America’s Cup, and we know what it takes to host this event,” Harris said. “This breathtaking spectator sport would be a boost to our economy, and we could once again showcase America’s Finest City to the world at this international sporting event.” “The City of San Diego’s support and partnership are essential as we pursue the opportunity to host the 35th America’s Cup,” said Unified Port District of San Diego chairman Bob Nelson. “San Diego is a ‘can do’ region, with a sailing tradition as strong as anywhere you can find, and we have unrivaled experience in coming together to host major special events. Our collaborative regional approach gives our destination a strong advantage in this competitive process.” Mayor Kevin Faulconer, who represented City Council District 2 for nearly two full terms before being elected mayor, agreed. “San Diego hasn’t hosted an America’s Cup in nearly 20 years, and bringing it back to San Diego could be great for our city,” he said. “This would be a phenomenal opportunity to showcase San Diego to the rest of the world.” The America’s Cup is the oldest trophy in international sport and is the pinnacle of the sport of sailing. The port district’s proposal calls for sailing in north San Diego Bay, unlike previous America’s Cup races held off the coast of San Diego.
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    Three local facilities play crucial role in Ebola fight
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Aug 21, 2014 | 1296 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    The fruit bat is said to be a common carrier of the Ebola virus.
    The fruit bat is said to be a common carrier of the Ebola virus.
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    The consensus among local scientists and scholars who recently weighed in on experimental drug use in the treatment of two Ebola-infected Americans is that, under the circumstances, it was morally the right call. “In this case, what’s unusual is that the proper treatment is a new one, had not been tried on humans in any way,” said Michael Kalichman, a professor and director of the UCSD Research Ethics Program, who noted extensive drug trials with animals is standard practice in first combating disease outbreaks like those from Ebola. Kalichman pointed out that the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which protects public health through regulation of food and drugs including vaccines and biopharmaceuticals, has an “escape clause” when it comes to using experimental drugs on humans. “It’s FDA’s compassionate use policy,” he said, “which states that an (untested) drug can jump over hurdles and be used sooner in people on the assumption that trying it couldn’t make the patient any worse.” Kalichman said the moral dilemma of using experimental drugs on Americans is that, if it makes them worse or is fatal, the decision to use it at all will be challenged. “Our goal is to try and choose the least bad, and that’s not always easy,” he said, adding, “This is a tough situation ethically precisely because the choices you have are all bad.” Kalichman said the international community will also question on whom the experimental vaccine was used. “They’ll be asking: Why were two of the first people to get the vaccine from the United States rather than from Africa?” he said. Ebola virus disease is an illness of humans and other primates fueled by an Ebolavirus. The disease, spread by contact with bodily fluids of infected people, is primarily prevalent in remote Central and West African villages. Symptoms of Ebola virus disease, also known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, include fever, severe headache, muscle pain, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain and lack of appetite. Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure, though 8 to 10 days is most likely. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that it suspected or confirmed 2,240 cases as of Aug. 19, with 1,229 fatalities. An Ebola virus disease epidemic is ongoing in West Africa, notably Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. It is the most severe Ebola outbreak in terms of the number of human cases and fatalities since the discovery of the virus in 1976. Typical outbreaks are reportedly 90 percent fatal; the current outbreak has resulted in a fatality rate of 60 percent. Missionaries Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, the only two Americans known to be stricken with Ebola, were reportedly infected while caring for Ebola patients in Monrovia. Brantly was released from Emory University Hospital in Atlanta on Aug. 21 after a course of experimental drug treatment; Writebol was released from the facility on Aug. 19. Mapp Biopharmaceutical, a Sorrento Valley biotech firm, manufactures ZMapp, the experimental drug administered to the two. Shipments of the drug and an untested vaccine are reportedly on the way to Liberia. Earlier this year, Mapp became part of a consortium working to create a "cocktail" of drugs to treat Ebola. The group of 15 institutions, lead by the Scripps Research Institute, was funded for $28 million over five years by the National Institutes of Health. Erica Ollman Saphire, professor of the Department of Immunology and Microbial Science at Scripps, said using an experimental drug to fight Ebola may have been the only logical choice. “You might be willing to take a chance on putting it into people infected with the Ebola virus if it has some minor side effects,” she said, adding, “What else are you going to do if they are infected with the Ebola virus other than give them fluids and Tylenol and hope for the best?” Ollman Saphire said an even broader ethical question with treating Ebola victims with experimental drugs might be: Whom do you choose to give them to if there’s not enough to go around? Ollman Saphire, who is researching the role proteins play in the fight against Ebola, said Mapp's antibody cocktail “works well in animal models.” Noting Ebola is still “not under control,” she said she is nonetheless encouraged that the battle against it will succeed. She noted that, unlike HIV, the Ebola virus does not remain in the victim's genome after infection. She also noted that Ebola symptoms appear much more rapidly than those of HIV, which can incubate for 10 to 20 years. “Once you’re cleared of the disease,” she said,” you’re clean.” “There may be some good news here in the long term,” Kalichman concluded, “that [ZMapp] may be a treatment that will be useful, though in the short term it’s been a challenge and stressful to figure out what to do. It’s easy to say they made the right decision if it worked out well. But if it doesn’t work out well — you can’t know that in advance.”
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    5-year ban on Children's Pool access during pupping season endorsed
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Aug 16, 2014 | 11273 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    La Jolla's Children's Pool figures in the relationship between marine life and recreational users – again. COURTESY PHOTO
    La Jolla's Children's Pool figures in the relationship between marine life and recreational users – again. COURTESY PHOTO
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    Overriding objections by beach-access proponents, the California Coastal Commission Aug. 14 unanimously endorsed a five-year ban on people accessing La Jolla’s Children’s Pool from Dec. 15 to May 15 to afford greater protection to harbor seals during their pupping season. It was the latest twist in a series of back-and-forth developments over several years defining the relationship between seals and human recreational users — swimmers, fisherman, divers, et cetera — who access the ocean via the protected pocket beach. Paid for by La Jolla philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps and created as a safe wading area for children, the pool was deeded to the city in 1931. During the 1990s, the manmade breakwater became increasingly overrun by seals, who turned the pool into a haul-out site and a rookery. In 1997, the pool was closed to human contact by the county health department because of high bacteria counts from seal waste buildup in its shallow waters. Signs there continue to warn that water contact could pose a serious health risk. In rendering their decision, coastal commissioners argued the city of San Diego’s shared-use policy allowing both species year-round access at the pool has failed. “It hasn’t worked out in terms of what we’ve seen in the videos and the testimony (of seal harassment) we’ve heard,” said Commissioner Dayna Bochco, who added, “If more people acted reasonably, we wouldn’t be here again today.” Noting she couldn’t imagine Scripps being happy with seal harassment at her pool, Bochco said “this isn’t a permanent closure of a beach, just five months out of the year.” Bochco added some might misinterpret the commission’s mission to promote “maximum” beach access as promoting “absolute” access. “We are not mandated to do that,” Bochco said. “We’re allowed to control the access to the beach in a reasonable way.” First District Councilwoman and Council president pro tem Sherri Lightner spoke out against Children’s Pool's seasonal closure. “The community has never supported a seasonal beach closure and is not in favor of this one,” said Lightner, adding, “It’s premature to permanently close this beach.” Pointing out seals are not “threatened or endangered,” Lightner characterized seasonally closing Children’s Pool as “a very dangerous and unusual precedent.” The councilwoman said the ideal solution “is one of shared use, with no unnecessary restrictions placed on the beach or ocean users.” Describing the proposed seasonal beach closure as “regulation overkill,” and declaring that arguments in favor of beach closure were not “fact-based” or “data-driven,” Lightner concluded, “There’s been no consideration for what long-term, unintended consequences might result from this proposal.” Spokespersons for groups on both sides of the issue offered testimony for and against seasonal beach closure. “A civilization is judged by the way it treats its animals,” testified former County Supervisor Pam Slater-Price, who previously represented La Jolla, quoting Indian nationalist leader Mohandas Gandhi. She added a five-month restriction on human contact at the beach “isn’t going to be too impactful, reduces seal harassment and maintains the viewing experience for locals and tourists alike.” Others saw the seasonal beach closure as an infringement on rights guaranteed by the state Constitution. “The city’s been a bad steward for the Children’s Pool, breaking their promises to the people of San Diego in letting this pool go to ruin,” argued Ken Hunrichs of Friends of the Children’s Pool. “A (public) trust and a coastal resource has been ruined in the name of so-called wildlife protection.” Hunrichs said shared use at the pool hasn’t worked “because it is not being allowed to work.” Describing the pool as “a children’s playground,” Hunrichs argued that Children’s Pool beach “ought to remain open year-round.” Free-diver Ryan Sweeney characterized the decadelong battle over shared use at Children’s Pool as a “long and tortured soap opera.” Insisting that the Marine Life Protection Act has closed 70 percent of La Jolla to fishing, Sweeney said the pool is “smack-dab in the middle of the remaining 30 percent left open. “Why isn’t there a pinniped management plan?” Sweeney asked. “When will this problem end? When will the city take responsibility and do something about it?” In its unanimously passed motion, coastal commissioners attached conditions to seasonal beach closure. When the measure sunsets in five years, the city of San Diego was directed to return with updates on the feasibility of providing Americans With Disabilities (ADA) access at the pool's beach and the evaluation of possible methods for cleansing the pool’s seal waste-contaminated sand and water.
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    News
    Merchants set elections, social event as 16 candidates issue statements
    La Jolla Village Merchants Association, the nonprofit group that creates economic development policies and programs to enhance business in La Jolla, will hold its board of directors elections Wedne...
    Sep 12, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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    Sports
    Race officials revving up for San Diego Bayfair Festival
    San Diego Bayfair officials report it will take a workforce of 700 volunteers to put on this year’s popular hydroplane boat racing and entertainment festival, set for Friday, Sept. 12, through Sund...
    Aug 21, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend
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    Opinion
    Bird's Surf Scoop: assessing the value, demand for your board
    Quite often, I get requests to appraise a surfboard, either from a historical standpoint or a monetary one. Although just about all surfboards are different in a wide variety of ways, the same basi...
    Aug 06, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend
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    Arts & Entertainment
    CCdd at La Jolla Playhouse: How about a show set on Mars in 2044?
    Some of the best, most innovative theatrical work is produced by San Diego’s small theaters. Many are “homeless,” or “gypsy,” companies, with no regular venue. Recognizing that, La Jolla Playhouse ...
    Aug 26, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
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    Business
    Brigantine to sell Azul, fueling Donovan's relocation
    The Brigantine, Inc., operator of 12 restaurants in San Diego County, has announced it has reached an agreement to sell The Steakhouse at Azul La Jolla to Donovan's Prime Steakhouse Restaurants. Az...
    Sep 09, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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    Obituaries
    James Freeman Gilbert, Scripps geophysics researcher, 83
    James Freeman Gilbert, Scripps geophysics researcher, 83 James Freeman Gilbert, a renowned professor emeritus of geophysics in the Cecil H. and Ida M. Green Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Ph...
    Aug 21, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend
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