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    Annual Trolley Dances leap off the Blue Line
    Sep 23, 2016 | 2554 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    On Sept 2, San Diego Dance Theater presented a sneak peek performance of their Trolley Dances at Liberty Station. Dancers Wanda Tong, J.T. Magee, Minaqua McPherson and Trevor Polcyn performed their dance. / PHOTO BY MIKE McCARTHY
    On Sept 2, San Diego Dance Theater presented a sneak peek performance of their Trolley Dances at Liberty Station. Dancers Wanda Tong, J.T. Magee, Minaqua McPherson and Trevor Polcyn performed their dance. / PHOTO BY MIKE McCARTHY
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    The 18th annual presentation of the Trolley Dances takes to the rails the weekends of Sept. 24-25, and Oct. 1-2 along the MTA’s Blue Line. This year the taking off point will be the Continuing Education/César E. Chávez Campus at 1901 Main St. in Barrio Logan. The Trolley Dance guides will meet you there to guide you to the sites along the route of each new dance composition. Jean Isaacs, artistic director of the San Diego Dance Theater based in Liberty Station and founder of the Trolley Dances, has created two new dances for this season. Solo dancer Bill Shannon has a bilateral hip deformity and does contemporary performance art on crutches, sometimes adding skateboarding and breakdancing. He creates his own dance language. Monica Bill Barnes studied dance at UCSD and now is a fixture in the NYC dance scene. She returns often to choreograph for the Trolley Dances, and will work this year with the core dancers of The San Diego Dance Theater. Dance Magazine has noted her “playful slapstick charm” and she has also been called “the Tina Fey of Dance.” Jess Humphrey, who teaches dance at San Diego State University, is creating a multigenerational piece using young children, professional dancers, and seniors from the Aging Creatively program. Zaquia Mahler Salinas is a SDDT company dancer with a unique, youthful perspective who will create a new work, this time focusing on the culture of the Barrio and its importance to local Latino history. Ticketed guests may board the trolley at 10 a.m., 10:45 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:15 p.m., 1 p.m., or 1:45 p.m. Ticket prices are $40 general, $27.50 seniors and military, and $15 for students with ID. The project has been underwritten this year by the National Endowment for the Arts Challenge America program, the City and County of San Diego, and by the California Arts Council. Your Trolley Dance ticket is an all-day MTA transit pass. For further information, go to www.sandiegodancetheater.
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    KAABOO delights festivalgoers with 3-day ‘mix-perience’
    by NICK SPENCE
    Sep 21, 2016 | 13629 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    KAABOO festivalgoers watch Lenny Kravitz at the Sunset Cliffs stage on Saturday. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    KAABOO festivalgoers watch Lenny Kravitz at the Sunset Cliffs stage on Saturday. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Ally and Tina from Pacific Beach have fun listening to Third Eye Blind on Saturday at KAABOO. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Ally and Tina from Pacific Beach have fun listening to Third Eye Blind on Saturday at KAABOO. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Lenny Kravitz performs 'Let Love Rule' during his set at KAABOO on Saturday. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Lenny Kravitz performs 'Let Love Rule' during his set at KAABOO on Saturday. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Fans start to gather around the Trestles stage in the paddock for the Goo Goo Dolls concert at KAABOO on Saturday. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Fans start to gather around the Trestles stage in the paddock for the Goo Goo Dolls concert at KAABOO on Saturday. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Situated in the heart of the Del Mar Fairgrounds, the second-coming of KAABOO came and went this past weekend, providing festivalgoers with a cornucopia of live music, interactive art, contemporary food, and comedy performances. This year’s KAABOO featured more than 100 musical and comedy acts during a three-day weekend, including Jimmy Buffet, Aerosmith, Lenny Kravitz, Goo Goo Dolls, Third-Eye Blind, Jack Johnson, Steel Pulse, The Chainsmokers and Steve Aoki, as well as comedy acts such as Dana Carvey, Sarah Silverman, and Cheech and Chong. The massive music festival is quickly becoming a staple of the eclectic San Diego entertainment scene. “I came to the event because I wanted to see some great music and comedy,” said La Jolla resident Nicole Nestojko, who was taking a break from the music and enjoying a cold brew with her husband on Saturday. “And we are also sampling some great craft beer.” The festival, which seeks to redefine the music and arts festival experience, also served up an impressive lineup of nonmusical VIP amenities like swimming pools and viewing stands, as well as infusing a combination of San Diego traditions like local craft beer, upscale dining, and a beach-life atmosphere that KAABOO dubbed its “mix-perience.” The artwork experience showcased an array of contemporary art, including dozens of international, national and regional artists, with art installations and live mural paintings during the weekend. In terms of food, KAABOO offered a slew of local and regional dishes paired with drinks from wineries, craft distilleries and local craft breweries. “It gives you something to do in your downtime,” said San Diegan Dove Kirby. “Instead of just walking around you have somewhere to go.” Although KAABOO hasn’t released official attendee numbers, sources say that on Saturday the event hosted more people than the first KAABOO received during all three days last year. Tickets for KAABOO 2017 have already gone on sale, as event organizers look to take next year’s festivities to new heights.
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    Veterans take flight and get dunked in Mission Bay
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Sep 20, 2016 | 2030 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    On Sept. 14, Warrior Passion teamed with Jetpack America to treat returned vets to their own customized flight lesson in Mission Bay. / Photo by Dave Schwab
    On Sept. 14, Warrior Passion teamed with Jetpack America to treat returned vets to their own customized flight lesson in Mission Bay. / Photo by Dave Schwab
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    Military support was the order of the day as returned veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan got a lesson in hydroflight recently on Mission Bay thanks to the nonprofit Warrior Passion. The so-called first “anti-gravity sport,” hydroflight involves pumping water from a hose channeled through a jet ski to propel a jetpack-clad user into the air. Warrior Passion is a nonprofit group devoted exclusively to helping returned veterans transitioning back to civilian life. On Sept. 14, Warrior Passion teamed with Jetpack America to treat returned vets to their own customized flight lesson. “Every day of the year we're here at Mission Bay Sportscenter doing our flights,” said Dean O'Malley, president of Jetpack, which has two other locations in Newport Beach and Las Vegas. “Warrior Passion is here with us today, and it is a giving-back-to-the-community day for us.” Of hydroflight, O'Malley noted, “This is a recreational, safe activity. You don't have to be any type of special athlete or risk-taker to take this out and do it.” “We want to be a part of starting to give these guys something to be more passionate about in life again, that camaraderie they had in the military,” said Joe (Chik) Porrazzo, Warrior Passion's founder/president, a veteran and pilot who served in both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.”It's a healing process. And we're part of that process.” Porrazzo added it “feels wonderful to put a smile on these guys faces.” He noted Warrior Passion is “100 percent veteran owned and operated,” adding, it's amazing to see how shared activities, like recreational sporting in this instance, can help bring vets together and give them a renewed sense of purpose. “We've brought down veterans from the Marines, Army infantry and sailors and, guess what? When they met, they all called each other brothers right from the get-go,” Porrazzo said. “That's what it's all about.” About noon on a late-summer sunny day out on Mission Bay, soldiers tried their luck at hydroflight. An experienced hand went first, climbing 10 to 20 feet into the air, swerving and performing deft movements as if it were second nature making it look easy. Uninitiated vets, some of whom came down for the day from as far aways as Temecula, then tried their luck with decidedly less-impressive results. One initiate struggled repeatedly to get six inches off the water before losing control and deep-sixing into the bay. But it was all part of the fun — and the cause. “A veteran coming back trying to get back to a normal life is trying to figure out what is a normal life,” noted Porrazzo. “It gives you a different perspective.” But Porrazzo added that with TLC and a little fun and camaraderie, the task of reintegrating returned vets back into society is doable. “It's going to take a full effort to really get these guys back on the road to recovery,” he said. “It's a puzzle that's going to take time. We're a piece of that puzzle.” For more information, visit www.warriorpassion.org.
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    Jimmy Buffet, Jack Johnson and Aerosmith headline KAABOO
    by BART MENDOZA
    Sep 08, 2016 | 29214 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    KAABOO is taking place on the weekend of Sept. 16-18 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.
    KAABOO is taking place on the weekend of Sept. 16-18 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.
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    San Diego is fortunate to having many incredible music events on the annual calendar, but nothing compares with KAABOO, which is taking place on the weekend of Sept. 16-18 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Now in its second year, KAABOO will brings together music, comedy, arts and food over its three days and nights, including headliners such as Aerosmith, in their only U.S. show this year, as well as Jack Johnson, Hall & Oates and Jimmy Buffet. There is also a great comedy lineup, which will feature the likes of Cheech & Chong, Dana Carvey and Natasha Leggero. While attendees see and hear a seamless entertainment experience, according to KAABOO spokesperson Emily Nugent, it takes nearly 2,000 people to bring the event together, with a the management team consisting of a smaller group that works year round on the strategy, site design, talent booking and general operations. “Preparing for KAABOO is a year round project,” said Nugent. “The physical build of the site starts as the Del Mar races are winding down and will go up until Thursday night when the AMPLIFY VIP Sneak Preview event starts, so about two weeks. It takes a similar amount of time to load out.” For those who attended last year, there are a few changes, including moving the Grandview Stage to the Racetrack infield. Meanwhile, the comedy performances will be in a larger hall than last year. The mix of music at KAABOO includes everything from hip-hop to classic rock, with diversity an important part of the planning. “Everything is on the table for consideration,” Nugent continued. “When booking talent for KAABOO, the team looks at the overall curation of the lineup and the experience that it will provide to our guests. It is our goal to have some iconic acts, some current chart-toppers and some up and coming acts that we project as being acts to watch for in the coming years.”  KAABOO also considers San Diego musicians for the event, with Steve Poltz, Nancarrow, The Verigolds, Bang Pow and Aquile amongst the artists performing this year. “Local talent is extremely important to KAABOO,” Nugent said. “There was the entire Discovery Tour that took place, which gave local bands a chance to win a spot performing at KAABOO on The Tourmaline stage! The Discovery Tour was a great way to spread the word about the amazing local talent out there and we are excited to welcome those winners to our stage.” Guitarist Graham Nancarrow notes an event like this is special. “I feel very proud and incredibly grateful to be on the lineup at KAABOO. This is the kind of stuff I’ve dreamed about doing since I was a kid.” Having attended last year, he is expecting a great, if brief time at the event. “I did attend one day last year,” he remarked. “It was epic! This year, I’m just looking forward to performing and putting on a fun show for the hometown. I wish I could stay and watch all the great acts but I only get to be there for a couple of hours because we’ve got to be in Half Moon Bay on Sunday morning for the Fish and Fleet Festival,” Nancarrow said. Nugent points out that visual artists at KAABOO are chosen in a similar fashion to the musical lineup. “Led by our creative director, Amandalynn, a committee of visual artists reviews the applications from the galleries and artists,” Nugent said. Amongst those taking part this year is former Jefferson Airplane front woman Grace Slick, now an acclaimed painter. “This year, our muralists come to us from all over the world, including Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and more.” As with any event of this scale, public transportation is recommended. “Guests have many options,” Nugent said. “There will be on-site parking for purchase, bike valets for safe keeping of your bicycle at both entrances, and public transportation will be available (with) a shuttle from the Solana Beach Coaster Station for $5 each way.” To be good neighbors to surrounding communities, it’s requested that guests do not park on side-streets in adjacent neighborhoods. While everyone is looking forward to this year’s edition of KAABOO, Nugent points out the behind the scenes team is already looking ahead. “We are thrilled to have Aerosmith joining us as their only U.S. show this year,” she said. “(But) our team is always scouting talent for future years, for all levels, from emerging acts to headliners. We can’t give any hints as to next year’s lineup yet, but we are already booking talent!”
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    Adventures with Helene: The Big Island of Hawai’i is amazing
    by HELENE GERASIMCHUK
    Sep 05, 2016 | 11684 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Helene Gerasimchuk backpacked across the Big Island of Hawai’i.
    Helene Gerasimchuk backpacked across the Big Island of Hawai’i.
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    Helene Gerasimchuk backpacks across the Big Island of Hawai’i.
    Helene Gerasimchuk backpacks across the Big Island of Hawai’i.
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    Each of the islands of Hawai’i is so sacred and divinely unique from the next. Over the course of three months, I backpacked around Hawai’i and got a first-hand feel for three of the major islands. The first stop on my journey was on the Big Island. The “Big I” is the youngest and largest island, lined with rugged cliffs and fresh lava streaming from Pele, the volcano goddess. Stories of Pele’s power and passion fueling the island are often heard and passed on by locals. Home to eight of 13 different climate zones in the world, this island is no stranger to extremes. From humid tropical to tundra, chaos and bliss, you can find whatever adventure you’re looking for here. The two major cities, Hilo on the east and Kona on the west, have their fair share of restaurants and typical tourist attractions. If you’re looking to explore the more natural scenes, the Pololu Valley lookout is the perfect place to catch a glimpse of the northwest side of the island, known as the Kohala coast. Opt to take in the incredible views from the top or take the steep path down to come face-to-face with the beautiful beaches. Enjoy your day on the black sand beach or continue to hike the line of valleys tucked away behind one another. One of the most spectacular views of the Big Island, and my personal favorite spot, is the northwest lookout of Waipio Valley. Waipio Valley has deep sacred history where it was once home to the ancient kings, the site of a historical raid and battle of the land, and the location of many significant temples. Do your research and be cautious before attempting to find the recently blockaded waterfalls at the back of the valley. Heading south along the east coast of the island, you’ll pass the big backpacker and hippie towns of Puna and Pahoa. With minimal cell phone service and a close community offering daily events, this is the perfect place for young travelers to get immersed into the culture. Ecstatic dances, yoga sessions, and potluck dinners are common here on any given day. For a picnic in the park or a blissfully refreshing swim, I recommend a stop in at Ahalanui Park for a dip in the “Warm Ponds,” supplied straight by the ocean. If you’re in need of relaxation and clarity, the Kingdom of Heaven saunas should be at the top of your list. Heated directly by the lava rocks upon which they were built, these steam rooms were once used to heal and prepare the Hawaiians before battle! If you’re in this area, make sure to indulge in the culture by trying out some local fruit and cleansing drinks at Uncle Robert’s Farmers Market every Wednesday night, packed with locals, travelers, and vendors galore. Another must-see is the Hawai’i Volcano National Park, where Mount Kilauea has been actively erupting since 1983. I recommend heading over around sunset and sticking around to view the magic when the sun goes down. The Big Island of Hawai’i is an amazing adventure hot-spot for anyone looking to venture off-the-radar. Helene Gerasimchuk backpacked through seven countries in 10 months on a tight budget following her intuition over an itinerary. She is embracing life in California while she anticipates her next adventure. Contact her at helenegerasimchuk@gmail.com for inquiries.
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