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    Region's Prebys heart unit unveiled at open house
    Feb 26, 2015 | 12173 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    The new Prebys Cardiovascular Institute features six operating rooms for Scripps Health's 166 heart specialists. PHOTO FROM KPBS
    The new Prebys Cardiovascular Institute features six operating rooms for Scripps Health's 166 heart specialists. PHOTO FROM KPBS
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    Scripps Health, recognized as a leader in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease, held an open house March 1 at its newly opened Prebys Cardiovascular Institute on the campus of Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla. The $456 million facility, which formally opened Feb. 26, brings together researchers, physicians, staff and technologies in the largest heart program in the region. “We designed this institute,” said Scripps president and CEO Chris van Gorder at the Feb. 26 ceremonies, “to be centered around our patients and their needs, creating an innovative environment for collaboration among some of the nation’s most brilliant physicians, for ground-breaking research by world-class scientists and for the diagnosis and treatment of the most challenging heart conditions.” Scripps Hospital La Jolla is located at 9888 Genesee Avenue. Public tours were held Sunday at the open house. Scripps Health held a gala Saturday night to celebrate the center's opening.of the facility that will provide heart care for patients of Scripps Health and Kaiser Permanente. The open house was the only time the public will be allowed to tour the institute, according to Scripps. “As one of San Diego County’s largest employers and a top innovative health system in the country, Scripps has long provided opportunities to countless San Diegans,” said San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer. “With the Prebys Cardiovascular Institute, Scripps has taken it a step further by building the most sophisticated heart hospital on the West Coast – right here in San Diego.” The 383,000-square-foot tower of glass, brick and steel, rising seven stories above Genesee Avenue, is named for Conrad Prebys, a real estate developer, philanthropist and Scripps donor whose $45 million gift helped create an institution designed to foster medical breakthroughs for decades to come. The new tower features 108 inpatient beds in private rooms, 59 intensive care beds, six state-of-the-art operating rooms and three advanced technology cardiac catheterization labs, with space to add three more. Work also has begun on a state-of-the-art emergency department on the ground floor of the hospital. The emergency unit is scheduled to open in June of 2016. “In business, and in philanthropy, I want to be involved in projects that make me want to jump up and down with enthusiasm,” said local philanthropist Prebys, whose $45 million donation to the institute was the largest he has ever made and the largest ever received by Scripps. “I’m overwhelmingly enthusiastic about this building because it symbolizes the caliber of expertise, technological advancement and care that patients receive throughout the Scripps system.” Each year, more than 76,000 patients receive cardiovascular care from Scripps, making it San Diego County’s, and California’s, largest heart care provider. For more than 30 years, Kaiser Permanente cardiologists have partnered with Scripps cardiovascular surgeons to care for Kaiser Permanente heart patients. “Building on a long history of working together, Kaiser Permanente and Scripps cardiac specialists will continue to offer the best heart care available to patients throughout the region through the Prebys Cardiovascular Institute,” said Kaiser Permanente Senior Vice President and Executive Director Jane Finley. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, claiming about 600,000 lives each year and accounting for one in every four deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In San Diego County, nearly 4,000 people die of heart disease each year, according to the county Health and Human Services Agency. With 166 cardiovascular specialists, Scripps is the only heart care provider in the region consistently recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best in the country. In 2014, US News ranked Scripps 18 in the nation, the highest rated program in San Diego County.
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    New ice age begins as Gulls come back to roost in San Diego
    by SCOTT HOPKINS
    Feb 24, 2015 | 3641 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    More than 8,500 fans showed up at Valley View Casino Center on Sunday, Feb. 22, for the San Diego Gulls' HockeyFest. / Photo by Lori Neshovska
    More than 8,500 fans showed up at Valley View Casino Center on Sunday, Feb. 22, for the San Diego Gulls' HockeyFest. / Photo by Lori Neshovska
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    The new San Diego Gulls logo.
    The new San Diego Gulls logo.
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    If a recent HockeyFest at the Valley View Casino Center is any indication, the people of San Diego are passionate about the return of professional ice action after a nine-year absence. "We were thinking a turnout of 500 people would be good and 1,000 would be great," said Ari Segal, president of business operations for San Diego's new entry in the American Hockey League (AHL). The local team will serve as the top minor league team of the National Hockey League (NHL) Anaheim Mighty Ducks. But when people began lining up at 7 a.m., Segal and other Ducks' officials began to realize the extent of San Diego's excitement. By the time fans waiting in lines, which stretched around the Midway district arena and down a nearby street, were able to enter the building a 30-minute delay in the ceremony had been announced. An eventual crowd of 8,500 erupted in ear-splitting cheers as Mighty Ducks owners Henry and (observing) Susan Samueli and team CEO Michael Schulman, wielding sledgehammers, broke down an ice wall to reveal the name and familiar logo of the newest edition of the San Diego Gulls. As a mass of orange and blue streamers fell from arena rafters, fans saw the new logo features lettering in the Ducks' windswept style and subtle color additions that will reflect the team's new colors of black, orange and blue. The logo unveiling was such a well-kept secret that even fresh new team merchandise at stands was shielded from view until the two executives completed their task. The Samuelis realized the community's love for the Gulls name. “While we initially considered several options, it quickly became clear that the obvious affinity and affection the fans have for the Gulls name," the couple said in a release. "We enthusiastically embrace the history and tradition of hockey in this market and plan on adding to its legacy with a community-first organization and winning product.” That community-first approach will include expansion of the team's hugely successful High School Hockey League, which currently boasts two local teams and its "Learn to Play" program that provides free hockey equipment to put kids on the ice for lessons from Ducks players. "We plan to become more than just San Diego's hockey team, but rather a part of the city's DNA and fabric," Henry Samueli told the crowd. The Samuelis acknowledged that when discussions began three years ago about creating a Pacific Division of the AHL, they immediately focused on San Diego and its colorful hockey history. Another attraction is San Diego's proximity to the Honda Center in Anaheim, where the Mighty Ducks play, allowing players to be quickly moved between teams. "San Diego has been clamoring for professional hockey since it left nine years ago," Segal said recently. "We've been exploring ways to bring our affiliate here for seven years." That effort is already paying off, as over 1,500 deposits on season tickets were received before the HockeyFest event. HockeyFest marked the beginning of San Diego's newest "ice age." The sport first appeared locally at a downtown rink known as Glacier Gardens in 1941. Since that time, San Diego has been home to eight professional teams in at least nine different leagues. Most recently, the Gulls played from 2003-2006 in the East Coast Hockey League. On hand for the festivities were former Gulls Martin St. Amour, Brad Belland and hockey legend Willie O'Ree, a member of the Western Hockey League team when the Gulls name and sports arena both made 1966 debuts. O'Ree, who turns 80 in October, made sports history as the first black player in the NHL, and continues to serve the league as an ambassador. The 27-year resident of La Mesa was clearly the choice of autograph hounds. The event also served as a homecoming for the son of O'Ree's coach. David McNab, an original Ducks player and now senior vice president of hockey operations, is the son of Max McNab, who moved his young family from Vancouver, B.C. to Point Loma when he was named the first Gulls' head coach in 1966. The younger McNab recalled how his older brother, Peter, served as the original "Sandy Gull" team mascot who led the team onto the ice at each home game. Peter, a 1970 alumni of Point Loma High School, went on to a lengthy NHL career in which he scored 895 points on 405 goals and 490 assists. David, who was 8 years old when the family arrived, described his family's love for the area and what it was like to come back to the former San Diego Sports Arena. "I know my father would be proud to know hockey is back in San Diego," McNab told a cheering crowd. "For my family, these were the best years of our lives as far as hockey was concerned. Walking through the building today was like going back to 1973 in a time machine. This is fantastic!" Other California members of the Gulls' new Pacific Division (with parent clubs) are Stockton (Calgary Flames), Bakersfield (Edmonton Oilers), Ontario (Los Angeles Kings) and San Jose (San Jose Sharks). The 34-game home season begins in October. For season and individual game ticket prices, go to sandiegoahl.com.
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    More rain brings more bacteria warnings for San Diego beaches
    Feb 23, 2015 | 1752 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Surfers share a wave at the Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach on Monday, Feb. 23.
    Surfers share a wave at the Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach on Monday, Feb. 23.
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    The Department of Environmental Health has issued a general advisory for the coastal waters of San Diego County due to recent rainfall. This advisory includes Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, Ocean Beach, and all of Mission Bay and San Diego Bay. Swimmers, surfers, and other ocean users are warned that levels of bacteria can rise significantly in ocean and bay waters, especially near storm drains, creeks, rivers, and lagoon outlets that discharge urban runoff. Activities such as swimming, surfing and diving should be avoided in all coastal waters for 72 hours following rain. Elevated bacteria levels can persist after a rainstorm depending upon the intensity of the storm, volume of runoff, and ocean and current conditions. Urban runoff may contain large amounts of bacteria from a variety of sources such as animal waste, soil, and decomposing vegetation. While many coastal storm drains within San Diego County are permanently posted with white metal warning signs, additional temporary warning signs are not posted for general advisories. For updates on beach closure information, visit www.sdbeachinfo.com.
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    High school students learn the challenges of being wheelchair-bound
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Feb 20, 2015 | 8848 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    On Feb. 18 Point Loma High School students participated in “The Wheelchair Challenge” for the second consecutive year. The event is held to give students a greater appreciation for logistical problems associated with being disabled.
    On Feb. 18 Point Loma High School students participated in “The Wheelchair Challenge” for the second consecutive year. The event is held to give students a greater appreciation for logistical problems associated with being disabled.
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    Point Loma High School this week for the second consecutive year held “The Wheelchair Challenge” to give students a greater appreciation for logistical problems associated with being disabled. “Yes, we often see wheelchair users, but student Valerie Crisci, a junior and wheelchair user, challenges her classmates to do more than just look,” said Anthony Palmiotto, the event’s faculty advisor and a theater arts instructor. The disabled-awareness event was the brainchild of Crisci, who spoke of her motivation for starting the event. She said it was rudeness — and lack of understanding — about the problems involved with being wheelchair-bound that prompted her to come up with a way to educate her classmates on the subject. “At school during passing period, people would jump in front of me or merge right in front of me and then blame me for accidentally running into them,” she said. “In the bathrooms, someone would always be in the accessible stall when all the other ones were open.” Crisci noted it’s hard for the able-bodied to understand the difficulties involved in just simply getting around in a wheelchair, until they actually do it. “Navigation in classrooms is hard because of how close together teachers place desks, and in science classrooms participation in labs is nearly impossible because of the height of lab tables,” she said. “I thought, ‘What if there's a way for students to spend their whole schoolday in a wheelchair, and be aware of all this?’ And I made it happen.” The Point Loma High junior said that she wants those participating in The Wheelchair Challenge to experience “the differences and commonalities between people. There are a lot of different routes I have to take, and ways I have to think about doing activities, but I can still do them just like my peers. I want my peers to learn this and take away a sense of empathy, too.” Crisci added, “Even using a wheelchair for a single day will change the way you view wheelchair users forever.” The campus event is open to any student willing to take the challenge of using a wheelchair for an entire schoolday. The chairs and main-quad obstacle course used at the school for the special event were donated by event sponsor Harmony Home Medical and Remodeling (HarmonyHomeMedical.com). Harmony specializes in personal mobility equipment and home-access remodeling. A student assembly featuring a guest speaker was held during lunch period at the high school on Feb. 18. At the conclusion of the day’s event, participants convened to discuss their experiences and insights with other participants, selected staff, sponsors and media representatives. Dedicated in 1925, Point Loma High School is the third largest of 46 high schools in the San Diego Unified School District. The first graduating class consisted of just seven students, but today the enrollment has reached nearly 2,000, with a faculty of about 90. Point Loma includes grades nine through 12 and boasts a 73 percent participation rate in AP (Advanced Placement) classes. In 2014, the school was selected by U.S. News & World Report for their Gold List of Best High Schools. Notable graduates include “Happy Days” Marion Ross, and former city councilmembers Bill Cleator, Byron Wear and Bill Lowery, and Academy Award-winning editors Joe Hutshing (“JFK”) and Chris Innis (“The Hurt Locker”).
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    Robb Field Skate Park celebrates 15 years in Ocean Beach
    Feb 19, 2015 | 5085 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk takes a turn at Robb Field Skate Park in Ocean Beach after a ceremony honoring him last summer. - Photo by Jim Grant
    Legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk takes a turn at Robb Field Skate Park in Ocean Beach after a ceremony honoring him last summer. - Photo by Jim Grant
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    The Robb Field Skate Park in Ocean Beach turned 15 on Thursday, Feb. 19. A dedicated group of volunteers – local business owners, iconic skaters, residents and former Councilman Byron Wear and his staff – worked together to ensure the fundraising and development for the community's first skate park. On Feb. 19, 2000 the opening of the park was marked with a celebration with more than $25,000 in prize giveaways. The donations and corporate sponsorships were put together with the help of Kanten Russell and Andy MacDonald, local pro-skateboarders. "It was fun to work with local teenagers, business owners and professional skaters all to meet one goal – create a family friendly skate park in OB," said Julie Klein, owner of Julie Designs. Klein worked with the Ocean Beach MainStreet Association to develop Skateboardships for any skater who was unable to come up with the annual pass fee. At the time each skater was required to buy a $5 daily pass or purchase an annual pass for $30. The OBMA worked with the community to sponsor any skaters who found themselves in this position. Today the park is open and free to the public. "The first thing or rather person that comes to my mind is Mike Ryan,” said Josh Utley, who was a skateboarding teenager at the time and is now a successful Ocean Beach business owner. “That man should be recognized for his efforts. He was at the helm. Mike's shop, Just SK8, was broken into a couple times, which forced him out of business. Even with his shop gone he continued the multi-year struggle to get the local kids a safe place to skate by holding rallies at the elementary school and at Robb Field. “Mike taught us to pick up our skateboards around old people to ease their anxiety and to do good deeds while skateboarding like pick up trash and help a little old lady across the street,” Utley said. ”These are all lessons that shaped me as a person and I'm sure others. I still do these things even today." For more information on the skate park, contact San Diego Parks and Recreation Department at (619) 531-1563.
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    News
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    Mar 02, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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    Sports
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    Mar 02, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend
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    Feb 17, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
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    Feb 27, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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    Feb 24, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
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    Feb 16, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend
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