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    Amid the drought, artificial turf concept holds water
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    May 26, 2015 | 3003 views | 1 1 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Synthetic grass has its drawbacks, but sales are growing 10 to 15 percent a year nationwide.
    Synthetic grass has its drawbacks, but sales are growing 10 to 15 percent a year nationwide.
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    *** (This is the first in a series of articles on energy sustainability and what homeowners can do in response to the continuing drought.) *** With rainfall levels diminishing and water rates increasing, San Diegans are searching for ways to save water, energy and money in these continuing times of drought. Which is leading more than just a few to consider turning in their water-guzzling, high-maintenance grass lawns for synthetic turf. It’s a trade-off, with pluses and minuses to keeping natural lawns, as opposed to trading them in for an artificial surface with a large upfront cost that pays off on the back end with huge savings in time and maintenance. The fact is, turf grass is one of the most water-intensive plants a landscape can have. High-water demand and frequent maintenance make it a time-consuming and expensive yard option. At a minimum, grass lawns need to be mowed during the summer months. However, a lush lawn typically requires periodic fertilization as well as irrigation during dry weather. Insecticide may also be required if grubs, fleas or other insect pests are present. Artificial lawns are much easier to care for than real grass, requiring no mowing, fertilizing or irrigation. They also do not attract insect pests. Synthetic grass that gets dirty can simply be hosed off. Artificial grass may also make the inside of your home a bit easier to care for, with no dirt or mud tracked in. Coastal resident Victor Grigorian made the switch from natural grass to artificial turf and is glad he did. “I did my front yard in 2009, and then a year later I put it in my backyard,” he said, adding there were three main reasons for making the change. “I had retired and I wanted to make my life easier and not have to deal with the responsibility of maintaining a yard,” Grigorian said. “I was also conscious about water concerns, and they (turf installers) were offering a rebate.” Grigorian’s “very satisfied” with the end result, adding, “It looks good. What I lose in it not looking like real grass, I made up for in not having to mow it once a week and fertilize it a couple times a year.” Although artificial turf may be easier to care for than the real thing, artificial turf does not feel exactly the same as real grass. Many homeowners also struggle with the sound of artificial turf, which makes a soft rustling when walked on. Also, while the feel of artificial grass may not be quite the same as the real thing, the look of a high-end synthetic can easily fool your friends and neighbors. Grigorian said he can live with his synthetic grass not always looking like the real item. “I will challenge you to tell me it (synthetic turf) doesn’t look like real grass at certain times of the day,” he said, “especially if you’re driving by (from a distance).” On the negative side, artificial turf installation costs significantly more than traditional sod. Statistics show that synthetic grass for landscaping and recreation is growing 10 to 15 percent a year nationwide, which means more and more homeowners are using fakes for lawns, dog runs, play areas, pool surrounds, rooftops, putting greens and decorative borders between patio pavers. It’s several times more expensive to install synthetic grass than to put in natural grass sod. Studies show it takes about seven years for maintenance-free artificial grass to recoup its initial cost. The pluses of artificial grass is that it saves water, is easy to maintain and can be environmentally friendly. On the down side, artificial grass is not completely maintenance free, it can’t absorb and break down pet urine, it heats up in direct sun, it can’t be recycled and it has been banned by some homeowners associations and municipalities. As part of its drought-response efforts, the San Diego County Water Authority has launched a pilot program designed to help bring down the cost of replacing water-intensive grass with artificial turf. More information is available at SoCalWater$mart.com.
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    HybridTurfOceanside
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    May 26, 2015
    I agree with almost everything in the article except the 7 years of ROI? In my experience and research I have found that Artificial Turf take 2-4 years for ROI. We have 15 year warranty so you recoup your cost and still have a warranty to back it up
    Getting there:: Merchants vote for plan to fund Cove waste clean-up
    May 26, 2015 | 360 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    The stench at La Jolla Cove -- the gift that keeps on giving.
    The stench at La Jolla Cove -- the gift that keeps on giving.
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    In May, La Jolla Village Merchants Association voted unanimously to endorse an attempt to use $400,000 in already-collected coastal access and parking funds to pay for a bird and marine mammal waste clean-up at La Jolla Cove. The merchants group also advocated requiring groups hosting community special events to provide extra trash cans to help with clean-up efforts. Association president CA Marengo said the vexing problem of stench at the Cove caused by waste build-up continues. He noted the association has recently met with representatives from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as well as Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins' office in attempts to get the odious problem addressed. Marengo held up T-shirts that call attention to the problem showing humans — and sea lions — with clothespins holding their noses shut. “It really affects businesses,” Marengo said. “Hopefully, we’ll find a solution soon.” Marengo pointed out there is an existing fund, derived from developer impact fees collected over the years, that could conceivably be diverted for use in cleaning up the Cove stench. Those funds are earmarked for coastal-access improvements. “Those coastal funds are kind of dead,” Marengo said, “because they’re supposed to provide coastal access in the form of a shuttle, which would be exhausted very quickly if we did that. But those funds could be used to clean up the rocks (where sea lions haul out).” Marengo noted there’s at least one major hurdle to be overcome: convincing the California Coastal Commission that using the funds for coastal clean-up would qualify as a coastal-access improvement. In his president’s report, Marengo also asked the board to endorse his writing a letter on behalf of the group, which would make a change in requirements for clean-up after special events by hosting groups. “We’ve noticed lots of trash around after special events,” he said, “overflow that isn’t picked up until Mondays, two days after special events. We’d like to write a letter to the city’s special events department asking that permits require that extra trash cans be placed throughout the Village to handle the overflow. We just want to make sure it’s part of the permit process.” The group voted in favor of a motion to support requiring more trash cans for special events. In other action: • Sarah Fields introduced herself as state Sen. Marty Block’s new La Jolla representative. Her email is sarah.fields@sen.ca.gov. • Association board member Nancy Warwick announced that the next La Jolla Town Council special forum on art and culture in La Jolla will be held Thursday, June 4 from 6:45 to 8:30 p.m. at Warwick’s Bookstore, at 7812 Girard Ave. The program will include guest speakers representing La Jolla Music Society, La Jolla Symphony & Chorus, La Jolla Playhouse, The Stuart Collection, the La Jolla Historical Society, Athenaeum Music & Arts Library, UCSD's ArtPower! and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. • Marengo gave kudos to City Council President Sherri Lightner for removing foliage along Torrey Pines Road heading into town, saying this has significantly opened up ocean views and has had one other positive unexpected side effect. “I’ve noticed that cars have slowed down to look at the view, which is a reminder that they’re close to the Village,” he said.
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    Summer fun with Bianca – Playing at Dog Beach in Ocean Beach and then a bath for Shila
    by BIANCA WEINSTEIN
    May 23, 2015 | 21470 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Bianca and Shila at the Dog Beach in Ocean Beach.
    Bianca and Shila at the Dog Beach in Ocean Beach.
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    Bianca and Shila at Dog Beach Dog Wash in Ocean Beach.
    Bianca and Shila at Dog Beach Dog Wash in Ocean Beach.
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    Shila getting a bath from Bianca at Dog Beach Dog Wash in Ocean Beach.
    Shila getting a bath from Bianca at Dog Beach Dog Wash in Ocean Beach.
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    Bianca and Shila play at Ocean Beach's Dog Beach.
    Bianca and Shila play at Ocean Beach's Dog Beach.
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    Shila meets some friends at the Dog Beach.
    Shila meets some friends at the Dog Beach.
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    The other day, I was playing with my boxer Shila, and I thought it would be a great idea to take her to Ocean Beach's Dog Beach. I packed up the car and headed out to let her run around and play. Dog Beach is an off-leash beach located at the north end of Ocean Beach, and it is the only 24-hour dog beach in the San Diego area. Before we even got out of the car, Shila was already excited and wagging her little tail. Once her paws hit the sand, Shila was off running around, meeting the other dogs. She became instant friends with some golden retrievers and was having the time of her life running and chasing a ball into the water. After meeting all the friendly dogs, Shila was worn out and ready to take a nap. Before Shila could go home, I took her to Dog Beach Dog Wash to give her a bath. The dog wash is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., with the last dog wash 30 minutes prior to closing. The dog wash includes warm water, shampoo, a grooming mitt, washcloths, an apron, towels and a brush, all for just $14. For an additional $2.50, you can use a specialty shampoo, such as hypoallergenic, flea and tick (pyrethrin or neem), coat brightening (black, bronze or whitener), moisturizing shampoo and a few more choices depending on your dog's needs. If you want your dog's coat conditioned, you can use conditioners such as aloe vera, chamomile and oatmeal for an additional $2.50 and aloe remoisturizer for $3.50. After considering the shampoo choices and conditioners, I opted for the regular dog wash and began bathing Shila with the shampoo provided with the wash. Though she is a little baby when it comes to bath time, she was feeling much softer and looking very clean afterward. Dog Beach Dog Wash also offers other services for after the bath, such as a $3.50 blow dry or fluff-box dry, grooming table/Clipper-Vac ($5 per every 15 minutes) and nail trimming for $13. There are also toys and treats available for purchase in the store ranging from $1 up. Remember to always pick up after your pet and to keep Dog Beach clean. Dog Beach Dog Wash Where: 4933 Voltaire St. Contact: (619) 523-1700 or dogwash.com
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    Surfrider chair discusses San Diego chapter's role in maintaining beaches and bays
    by THOMAS MELVILLE
    May 20, 2015 | 12184 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Surfrider Foundation San Diego County Chapter chair Mark West says, “That’s why we’re here.”
    Surfrider Foundation San Diego County Chapter chair Mark West says, “That’s why we’re here.”
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    About two weeks ago on the deck at Paradise Point Resort, just as the sun started to set over Mission Bay, Surfrider Foundation San Diego County Chapter chair Mark West looked over his right shoulder to see the golden hour glow growing. “See that? That's what it's all about,” he said, as he waved his arms toward the bay. “That's why we're here.” “Here” was at the Surfrider Foundation San Diego County Chapter’s 15th annual Art Gala, which raised $34,000 to help protect the region's coastline and directly benefit the organization’s education, outreach and advocacy directed at protecting local beaches. The event, which was held Friday, May 8, celebrated ocean advocacy while showcasing local artists and raising funds. “It was a thrill to see so many enthusiastic activists and supporters gathered for the event,” said new San Diego Chapter manager Mandy Sackett. While the activists and supporters bid on artwork, nibbled on orange chicken and drank Stone IPA, West was working the room making and re-establishing connections for the nonprofit. Right before sunset, the Beach & Bay Press caught up with him to discuss Surfrider and the role it plays in maintaining the area's coastal areas. BBP: How would you describe the Surfrider Foundation? Mark West: I would say that the Surfrider Foundation is all about making sure that each person can go to the beach, enjoy their day at the beach, spend their time in the ocean, spend their time in the waves, and have a great experience. This is a California treasure that so many people take for granted, but we don’t. We work to protect our oceans, waves, and beaches so everyone can use them. BBP: Why is the Surfrider Foundation important? MW: Our mission is to protect the ocean, waves, and beaches through a powerful activist network. What we do is we actually take all people who are passionate about our ocean, our beaches, our bays, and get together and really work toward cleaning them up, preventing pollution from getting into them. We even do stuff like ocean-friendly gardens where we’re thinking about the drought and how we can plant ocean-friendly gardens out there that are really California specific; they require no water, and they actually have less run-off as well. BBP: What does Surfrider do for the bays? MW: This bay (Mission Bay) has beaches all around it. We actually hold clean-ups right here in Mission Bay that are cleaning the beaches of litter before it gets into the bay. This is a large ecosystem that flows into our ocean, and if we can clean it here, then it cleans it out in our ocean, and we’ve worked really hard to make sure that we are removing pollution from this area. BBP: Do some people think Surfrider is just about surfers? MW: It’s funny, I don’t think people know that this is more than just surfers. I was a 24-year U.S. naval officer before I became the chair of Surfrider. We have all different kinds of people who are working for this because we are all very passionate about our ocean, waves, and beaches. It’s a group effort. I’ve got moms. I’ve got hipsters. I’ve got people who are all really into this group, and it’s all about people. BBP: How many members in the San Diego chapter? MW: We have about 5,000 active members, but in our email distribution list we have about 10,000 activists who are applying or involved in some form or another. Not everyone is cleaning the beaches. We have some doing web development. We have some people designing T-shirts. Everybody who has something that they’re passionate about, oceans, waves, and beaches, can come out and play a particular role in it. You don’t have to clean the beaches. Do other things. It’s all for the same good. BBP: What is the annual art gala? MW: The 15th annual art gala at Paradise Point in Mission Bay was a fantastic event. This event is our largest fundraiser that we have each year, so it’s really our biggest event that we hold, and we get all the people from all over San Diego to come out and talk about Surfrider. BBP: The funds you raise go where? MW: Right back into the protection of oceans, waves, and beaches. Every penny that we have goes right back into it. We do have a staff of two people, which for this group is nothing, but we have to make sure that we pay for the T-shirts, that we get the beach clean-up supplies. We have all these different things. This event really drives our entire year budget. So that’s why it’s so important for people come and help us out. BBP: Surfrider holds clean-ups and also has a specific program about getting the “butt” out? MW: We do beach clean-ups. San Diego is one of the largest chapters in Surfrider. We have 70 miles of beaches, which stretch from the border all the way up to San Clemente. Believe it or not, that’s part of our group. We take care of those 70 miles with programs such as “rise above plastics,” which is trying to reduce plastic that gets washed onto your beaches and carried to our beaches; and we have our “hold onto our butts” program. Cigarette butt pollution is the largest polluter of our beaches in our entire world. We get rid of those, we recycle them and turn them into money. BBP: How do you turn it (cigarette butts) into money? MW: There’s actually a company, out of Maryland, that is recycling the butts, and they either take them and turn them into furniture or certain things, and then they actually pay per pound. It’s not a ton of money, but they’re actually turning it into profits we can market back to our mission. BBP: What are some of the organizations Surfrider partners with? MW: We partner with a lot of local organizations including Wild Out Coast, which is down in the Imperial Beach area. We work with them on our No Border Sewage campaign, which is eliminating transborder pollution that is flowing from Mexico into our Imperial Beach area. We work with San Diego Coastkeeper, in fact the waterkeeper at Coastkeepers is on the board at Surfrider San Diego. So we have people all over that are in different organizations. We’re with I Love a Clean San Diego. A multitude of organizations. Really, it’s all about having people, all working toward a central goal. BBP: And that central goal is? MW: Protection of the ocean, waves, and beaches. BBP: What has Surfrider done to make a beachgoers experience more special? MW: Let me tell you about a story. Imperial Beac, where I live. In the 1970s one of the first real environment success stories of San Diego Surfrider happened. There was a proposal to build a mile long jetty at Imperial Beach. Literally rocks all the way down. We worked through our local governments to make sure that didn’t happen. I mean they were really taking the rocks out there. The majority of people, you go to the beach, you're just a normal ocean goer, we're protecting that by cleaning the beaches constantly. We have a huge network of people who go out and really work toward cleaning those beaches. So, you can take it for granted, but were gonna take care of it for you anyway. For more information, visit sandiego.surfrider.org or contact Chapter manager Mandy Sackett at mandy@surfridersd.org or (440) 749-6845.
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    CSAG unveils funding plan for new multi-use Chargers stadium
    May 18, 2015 | 7884 views | 1 1 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Included in CSAG’s plan is a $950 million proposed stadium designed by MEIS, a New York-based stadium design firm, that would take advantage of San Diego’s sunny and mild year-round climate.
    Included in CSAG’s plan is a $950 million proposed stadium designed by MEIS, a New York-based stadium design firm, that would take advantage of San Diego’s sunny and mild year-round climate.
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    Citizens' Stadium Advisory Group (CSAG) released its “Site Selection and Financing Plan for New Multi-Use Stadium in San Diego” on Monday, May 18. CSAG concluded a new multi-use stadium in Mission Valley is the most viable option, and would cost approximately $1.1 billion, excluding land. To pay for the facility, CSAG outlined more than $1.4 billion in revenue streams without increasing taxes. “Despite so many dramatic changes and potential distractions, both here and elsewhere over the last four months, our community rallied and kept moving forward,” said Mayor Faulconer. “San Diego now has a framework to build a new stadium that’s tangible, that’s achievable and that won’t raise taxes.” To pay for the proposed stadium, parking, stadium-related infrastructure and operations and maintenance, CSAG’s financing plan includes 60 acres of land from the City of San Diego valued at $180 million, and more than a dozen funding sources that exceed $1.4 billion, including: $300 million from the Chargers $173 million in bondable construction capital from the team’s rent. $200 million from the NFL. $121 million from the County of San Diego. $121 million from the City of San Diego. $225 million from the sale of 75 acres of land. More than $100 million from fans, who would contribute through the purchase of personal seat licenses (PSLs), and ticket and parking surcharges. “CSAG’s plan is the first chance the community has had to solve a problem that has existed since I first arrived in 2001. I hope the city, county and the Chargers use this plan as a basis to retain the team in the community it belongs,” said former Charger LaDainian Tomlinson. Included in CSAG’s plan is a $950 million proposed stadium designed by MEIS, a New York-based stadium design firm, that would take advantage of San Diego’s sunny and mild year-round climate. Stadium design veteran Dan Meis is the founder and managing principal at MEIS. He was the lead designer for the Staples Center in Los Angeles and two existing NFL stadiums – Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati and Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. MEIS currently is working on renovations at Paul Brown Stadium and designing a new 60,000-seat soccer stadium in Rome, Italy called Stadio Della Roma that includes a mixed-use entertainment village similar to LA Live at Staples Center. "Unlike major league baseball that has been so successful in developing stadiums that are well integrated and evocative of their locations – Camden Yards in Baltimore, AT&T Park in San Francisco – NFL stadiums have been, for the most part, fairly generic architecturally,” Meis said. “We believe the design we created for the proposed stadium in San Diego will alter that trend by presenting a venue that truly embodies the city's landscape and spirit." In addition to the stadium, CSAG’s research led it to estimate that parking and stadium-related infrastructure would cost $204 million. The state-of-the-art venue would be home to the Chargers, San Diego State Aztecs, the Holiday and Poinsettia Bowls, and numerous other events – from corporate events to rodeos – that would help pay for operations and maintenance. CSAG released its financing plan at a news conference at the San Diego County Operations Center/Campus Center Chambers. As for the site selection, CSAG’s report says without Mission Valley a clear path to a stadium would not exist in San Diego. "Given the accelerated timeline the NFL and the Chargers established, the Mission Valley site emerged as the only option that leads to a ribbon cutting ceremony at a new stadium before the end of the decade," CSAG's report says. The city and the City’s Water Department own the land, valued at $180 million, and the 166-acre site has tremendous potential. CSAG also examined a downtown location, which proved to be unworkable for a variety of reasons outlined in the report. “From the beginning of this process you could tell this time was different, and CSAG’s plan confirms that,” said Rafael Alvarez, who heads Bolt Pride and helps lead Save Our Bolts, which represent more than 20,000 Chargers' fans. Now it’s time for the Chargers, the city and the county to finish what CSAG started. The Chargers belong in San Diego." - See more at: http://www.apexstrat.com/newsroom/press-releases/csag-lays-out-a-clear-and-workable-path-to-a-new-multi-use-stadium.html#sthash.XYLWCMz8.dpuf
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    labeach
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    May 22, 2015
    Pro Sports are like a weird drug...
    News
    Bike to Work this Friday in San Diego
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    May 27, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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    Sports
    Playoff loss doesn't dampen spirits of Bishop's girls lacrosse
    Alex Flagg’s stove-popped popcorn with Tajin seasoning, which contains chile peppers, salt, and lime, must be the fuel that powers Bishop’s highly-ranked girls lacrosse team. Despite a recent playo...
    May 19, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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    Opinion
    THE RETIREMENT CONCIERGE: The courage to be wrong
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    May 27, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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    Arts & Entertainment
    Fresh ideas at Bernini's Bistro
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    May 26, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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    Business
    Dempsey completes facelift at La Plaza boutique mall
    Dempsey Construction has completed an extensive renovation of La Plaza, a three-story, 38,860-square-foot luxury boutique shopping center at the corner of Girard Avenue and Wall Street in La Jolla’...
    May 27, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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    Obituaries
    Hats off to civic icon Esther Viti, 1932-2015
    Esther Viti, La Jolla’s “Hat Lady,” was impossible to miss. The chapeau-clad, wheelchair-bound Viti was omnipresent in the Jewel. She hosted community clean-ups and attended civic functions. She to...
    Apr 23, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend
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