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    Adventures with Helene: Trying out AcroYoga in Ocean Beach
    by HELENE GERASIMCHUK
    Aug 03, 2015 | 1475 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Adam Hiner lifts up a friend while doing AcroYoga in Ocean Beach. / Photo by John Onelio
    Adam Hiner lifts up a friend while doing AcroYoga in Ocean Beach. / Photo by John Onelio
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    Jonathan Old-Rowe lifts up Helene Gerasimchuk while doing AcroYoga. / Photo by John Onelio
    Jonathan Old-Rowe lifts up Helene Gerasimchuk while doing AcroYoga. / Photo by John Onelio
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    Kindred Sheeler and Matt Wood do AcroYoga in Ocean Beach. / Photo by John Onelio
    Kindred Sheeler and Matt Wood do AcroYoga in Ocean Beach. / Photo by John Onelio
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    Helene Gerasimchuk gets parallel to the ground while doing AcroYoga. / Photo by John Onelio
    Helene Gerasimchuk gets parallel to the ground while doing AcroYoga. / Photo by John Onelio
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    Helene Gerasimchuk after AcroYoga. / Photo by John Onelio
    Helene Gerasimchuk after AcroYoga. / Photo by John Onelio
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    AcroYoga is a community-spirited practice that combines yoga and acrobatics. I was first intrigued by AcroYoga when I attended a beach yoga class on a Sunday morning in Ocean Beach. After the class ended, many of the participants began partnering up and playing with aerial poses. This partner practice requires cooperation and trust. There are three primary roles in AcroYoga: The base is the person who has the most contact with the ground, typically in a lying or standing position. The flyer is elevated off the ground by the base and moves into a series of positions. Especially in more advanced sequences, a spotter is needed to ensure the flyer lands safely and to give alignment suggestions. After watching all these people in awe, I was encouraged to give it a shot. Although I had never done an inversion in my own yoga practice, the possibilities are vast when working together with a partner. With the help of experienced instructors, I was up in the air and flying within a few moments. What a rewarding challenge it was to accomplish something with another person through concentration. My second experience with AcroYoga was very similar, where I showed up to the greens in Ocean Beach and was welcomed into an extremely open environment of people learning and growing together. In a world that’s heavily based on technology for communication, AcroYoga is a great way to connect with strangers. If you feel like trying something that will challenge you mentally and physically while supporting new friends, come join the fun on the OB greens on most evenings. You can also attend a donation-based beach yoga class on Saturday and Sundays, which is followed by AcroYoga play on the beach. Helene Gerasimchuk is a freelance writer and group fitness instructor. Contact her at healthcoachhelene@gmail.com. Donation-Based Beach Yoga Where: Tower 5 in Ocean Beach When: Saturdays and Sundays at 10:30 a.m. AcroYoga Where: Ocean Beach Park, or two blocks over at the intersection of Abbott Street and Santa Monica Avenue on the greens. When: No set schedule. Most Wednesday evenings and every weekend during the day.
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    Fireworks critics renew opposition about SeaWorld's nightly noisy show
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Jul 28, 2015 | 17438 views | 1 1 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    SeaWorld fireworks over Mission Bay. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    SeaWorld fireworks over Mission Bay. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Opponents of nightly summer fireworks at SeaWorld San Diego insisting the loud noise is harmful to animals and humans, have renewed a petition drive calling upon the marine mammal park to end their pyrotechnic displays and replace them with less less disruptive – and costly – laser shows. Petition organizers, who asked to remain anonymous citing previous harassment, said their objective is to see SeaWorld “have fireworks once a year on the 4th of July – if at all. At least everyone expects and can prepare properly for them, i.e. take animals and young children elsewhere, put protective sound tools in place,” on Independence Day. SeaWorld fireworks detractors say research shows “noise pollution from nightly fireworks causes harm to humans and other animals. … Effects of noise pollution to humans include (damage to the) physiological and psychological health of human beings: hypertension, annoyance, high stress levels, aggression, hearing loss, tinnitus, sleep disturbance, etc.” Fireworks opponents also claim fireworks, being composed of toxic combustible chemicals “will never be truly environmentally friendly,” adding “newer technology, such as laser light shows, illuminated night kite shows and holographic fireworks can make the use of fireworks obsolete.” Previously responding to the online petition drive, SeaWorld has said “Nightly fireworks during the summer have been a tradition for SeaWorld and San Diego for nearly 30 years, and we continue to receive significant positive feedback from visitors and area residents.” The marine park noted it only uses small fireworks shells in its displays on 66 nights during the summer, adding, “It has long been our policy not to use any shells for the sole purpose to make noise.  All of our fireworks displays are conducted in accordance with city of San Diego policy.” Regarding the impact of noise from fireworks on animals, SeaWorld responded, “Our firework displays do not impact the animals in our park. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service filed a report relating to our animals and fireworks that states that ‘all animals were apparently healthy and there were no aberrant behavioral manifestations noted ... as result of firework activities in the evening during summer.’” Regarding the impact of its fireworks, SeaWorld noted, “More than 10 years of analysis consistently demonstrate that our fireworks are not having a detrimental impact on Mission Bay,” while pointing out “Our fireworks displays last only five minutes.” In their petition, fireworks organizers cite a “20-mile radius” as the significant distance within which animals and humans can be negatively impacted by noise from pyrotechnics. But they added this is a “conservative number. The reality is people from much further away claim they are significantly disturbed.” Petition organizers note that “Disney, and the City of Monterey have switched to laser shows, the cost of producing is less by hundreds of thousands of dollars (that should matter to a corporation with declining profits) and they are spectacular too. So it’s not an original idea or concept, and other civilized folks all over the world have already made the switch.” Concerning how SeaWorld’s fireworks policy could be changed, anti-fireworks petition organizers said, “The easiest process is for SeaWorld to take the high road and simply switch over to a less harmful entertainment and make it a positive by creating the best laser show in the west.” But petition organizers also suggested City Council action might be necessary to provide leverage to create change suggesting the city attorney “ought to read their lease and see what in that lease allows SeaWorld to negatively impact the community with a bombing of fireworks every night, an event that no other group or business could go to the council today and get permission to do such an activity.” 
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    StopWhiningSD
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    August 03, 2015
    Dave, stop giving a voice to all these nut jobs. There is no way that a majority of San Diego agrees with this. Aren't people tired of all the whining and crying getting some much coverage? Its really easy to be a better journalist; write about positive stories! And if it involves just one person bitching then it is not a good story.
    Top female surfers compete at Supergirl Pro competition
    Jul 27, 2015 | 3371 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Alessa Quizon won her heat against Lakey Peterson on Sunday. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Alessa Quizon won her heat against Lakey Peterson on Sunday. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Sage Erickson signs an autograph for a young fan after her heat on Sunday. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Sage Erickson signs an autograph for a young fan after her heat on Sunday. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Lakey Peterson competes in a heat on Sunday. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Lakey Peterson competes in a heat on Sunday. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Silvana Lima surfing in Heat 2 on Sunday in Oceanside. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Silvana Lima surfing in Heat 2 on Sunday in Oceanside. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Tatiana Weston-Webb won the Supergirl Pro competition on Sunday. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Tatiana Weston-Webb won the Supergirl Pro competition on Sunday. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Courtney Conlogue finished second at the Supergirl Pro competition. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Courtney Conlogue finished second at the Supergirl Pro competition. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Day three of The Paul Mitchell Supergirl Pro – the largest all-women’s surf contest in the world and the only WSL Women’s QS6000 event in the continental U.S. – wrapped on Sunday with record-breaking attendance and fierce competition as three former Supergirl Pro finalists advanced through the Round of 16 to the semifinals. Sunday’s action at the iconic Oceanside pier sealed the top three spots with Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) taking first and Courtney Conlogue (USA) runner up, with Sage Erickson (USA) and Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) tying for third. The finals came down to a battle of Supergirl podium vets when Conlogue, the 2009 champion, faced Weston-Webb, who took second place at last year’s Supergirl Pro. Weston-Webb wowed the judges to capture the coveted pink Supergirl cape and earn critical points toward her QS ranking, putting her 1,600 points ahead of Van Dijk. “Finally!” the 19-year-old Weston-Webb shouted as she was swarmed by fans after being named the winner. “Last year really made me want to win this year! Courtney is amazing, and for me to be here means the world to me. Now I have a lot of confidence going into the rest of this year.” Weston-Webb took a quick lead with a 4.33-scored wave then trailed Conlogue, who posted a 3.00 and 7.50. She answered back with a 7.87 to Conlogue’s 6.03 in an exchange. Needing a 5.66, Weston-Webb put up a 6.60 within the final five minutes to seal the win.  Erickson fell just short of defending her title despite a valiant effort against Conlogue. Holding onto the highest heat total of the event with a 17.43, Erickson can walk away from this event with plenty of positives. “Making it to the semifinals is a great result in the larger picture of getting back on tour next year,” Erickson said. “I’ve had two quarters and two semifinals on the QS so far. I wanted to be in that final so bad, especially since this is my favorite event and really like no other.” The Paul Mitchell Supergirl Pro is the only WSL QS6000 female competition in the continental U.S. The event will be broadcast on FOX Sports One this fall. “We couldn’t have asked for a better event,” said Rick Bratman, CEO of ASA Entertainment, the event’s producer. “In addition to the phenomenal world-class surfing, we tripled the event footprint and the crowds were huge. Everyone at the event seemed to have an amazing experience.” Beyond the surf competition, the event also featured four live concerts, meet-and-greets with top pros, giveaways, the Supergirl Skate Pro skateboarding competition presented by Active Rideshop, a Celebrity Surf Contest, the Kona Beer Garden, a Surf Film Festival, complimentary hair styling by Paul Mitchell, more than 50 booth spaces from partnering brands and more. For more information on the event, visit www.supergirlpro.com. ROUND OF 16 RESULTS Heat 1: Sage Erickson (USA) 10.34, Johanne Defay (FRA) 6.13 Heat 2: Chelsea Tuach (BRB) 10.23, Silvana Lima (BRA) 10.16 Heat 3: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 15.23, Justine Dupont (FRA) 13.47 Heat 4: Malia Manuel (HAW) 12.16, Laura Enever (AUS) 8.66 Heat 5: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 11.47, Isabella Nichols (AUS) 7.60 Heat 6: Alessa Quizon (HAW) 13.34, Lakey Peterson (USA) 11.93 Heat 7: Coco Ho (HAW) 13.00, Philippa Anderson (AUS) 10.67 Heat 8: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 13.54, Dimity Stoyle (AUS) 11.83  QUARTERFINALS RESULTS Heat 1: Sage Erickson (USA) 14.27, Chelsea Tuach (BRB) 10.90 Heat 2: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 10.07, Malia Manuel (HAW) 9.70 Heat 3: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 15.00, Alessa Quizon (HAW) 13.34 Heat 4: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 15.17, Coco Ho (HAW) 7.93 SEMIFINALS RESULTS Heat 1: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 11.60, Sage Erickson (USA) 10.50 Heat 2: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 12.84, Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 8.33 FINALS RESULTS Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 14.47, Courtney Conlogue (USA) 13.53
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    San Diego Junior Lifeguard Foundation promotes aquatic safety; Willie Calabrese Memorial Run in Mission Beach on Aug. 7
    Jul 24, 2015 | 5775 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    The Junior Lifeguard's first Ocean Beach Pier jump was earlier this month. / Photo by Kathy Miller Gray
    The Junior Lifeguard's first Ocean Beach Pier jump was earlier this month. / Photo by Kathy Miller Gray
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    On Friday, Aug. 7 at 4:30 p.m. the San Diego Junior Lifeguard Ocean Festival - Willie Calabrese Memorial Run will take place at 699 Ventura Place in Mission Beach. This event showcases the essential skills of endurance and open ocean swimming that Southern California beach lifeguards, watermen and water-women are renowned for across the globe.  The run portions of the race take place on the sand between the main lifeguard tower in Mission Beach near Ventura place and the historic Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach at the end of Garnet Avenue. Competitors will run along the sand to the pier, swim a marked course around it and return along the sand back to the finish line at the main lifeguard tower. The race will be chip-timed with categories to include age divisions for both men and women.  The Junior Lifeguard's second Ocean Beach Pier jump will take place Aug. 17, and Hawaii Day will be on Aug. 19. According to the Center for Disease Control, drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death for those 14 and under, and you can multiple that by four for children of color. The San Diego Junior Lifeguard Foundation believes drowning is preventable. The foundation’s Water Proofing San Diego Program reached more than 15,000 people last year though its three-pronged approach to aquatic safety, with free aquatic safety lectures, free swim lessons and a day at the beach for under-served youth.   The San Diego Junior Lifeguard Foundation also supports the City of San Diego's Junior Lifeguard (JG) program with fund-raising, scholarships and equipment. One of the ways it does this is by providing a SCUBA experience for the older age group JGs (14 to 17 years old, aka "A" group). At the Boys and Girls Club swimming pool in Clairemont, on Friday, June 26, more than 100 San Diego Junior Lifeguards participated in a PADI Discover Scuba Diving Program hosted by the San Diego Junior Lifeguard Foundation. Instructors from Ocean Enterprises took the students through an introductory course in SCUBA. Afterwards, students were introduced to the work of the San Diego Lifeguard Dive Team by lifeguard Brittany Rowe. There will be a second event on July 31 at the same location. San Diego Junior Lifeguard Foundation’s mission is to promote aquatic safety education and drowning prevention in San Diego. For more information, visit www.sdjgfoundation.org.
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    Adventures with Helene: Exploring the coves and caves at Sunset Cliffs
    by HELENE GERASIMCHUK
    Jul 24, 2015 | 1050 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Helene takes a selfie after climbing down to explore a cave.
    Helene takes a selfie after climbing down to explore a cave.
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    Helene exploring one of the caves at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park on Point Loma. / Photo by John Onelio
    Helene exploring one of the caves at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park on Point Loma. / Photo by John Onelio
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    Helene at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park on Point Loma.
    Helene at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park on Point Loma.
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    Watching people jump off the cliffs at Sunset Cliffs.
    Watching people jump off the cliffs at Sunset Cliffs.
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    Helene wading out of the cave at Sunset Cliffs. / Photo by John Onelio
    Helene wading out of the cave at Sunset Cliffs. / Photo by John Onelio
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    There are so many amazing places in San Diego to explore. Sunset Cliffs is the perfect example of cliffs, caves, and incredible views right in my backyard. One Friday afternoon, my friend and I headed down to the cliffs to see what we could find. We started out walking along the coastline until we reached a big crowd of people cliff jumping. Although technically prohibited, people choose to jump at their own risk. Across the way at a much smaller jump, a girl was building up the courage to take her first leap into the water. Her friends encouraged her by chanting her name, which the crowd quickly picked up on, until she committed to the jump. Others were more experienced and showcased flips and twists. The next spot we checked out was the small beach area that had beachgoers down by the water. This isn’t a common beach spot, as there are no stairs to get down to the sand in a convenient fashion. We kept walking down the trail to a rocky area that led down to the water. The large rocks and low tide provided for a fairly simple climb. When we reached the bottom, we walked a bit along the coast and explored some large caves and cliffs carved out by the ocean. The sun shining down and warm water temperatures encouraged me to swim out to a large rock that was a short distance away. Once I climbed up to the top, I was rewarded with a grand view of the ocean. There are so many small nooks and coves to explore once you get down to the water. The following weekend, I took my mom to the cliffs for a more conservative version of the trail walk. We passed a wedding, an engagement photo shoot, and plenty of groups enjoying the sunset views. No matter the time of day, Sunset Cliffs will be sure to satisfy your adventure needs. Helene Gerasimchuk is a freelance writer and group fitness instructor. Contact her at healthcoachhelene@gmail.com.
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    News
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    Aug 03, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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    Sports
    Gulls new sweaters unveiled, arena upgrades continue
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    Opinion
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    Jun 29, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
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    Arts & Entertainment
    Dizzy’s keeps its commitment to feature local jazz musicians
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    Jul 30, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
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    Business
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    Obituaries
    Sally Thornton, 81; philanthropist funded UCSD teaching hospital
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    Jun 15, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend
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