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    SeaWorld’s new dive coaster to be named Emperor
    Nov 21, 2019 | 411 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Artist's rendering of SeaWorld's new dive coaster Emperor scheduled to open in summer 2020.
    Artist's rendering of SeaWorld's new dive coaster Emperor scheduled to open in summer 2020.
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    SeaWorld has announced Emperor as the name of the park’s new dive coaster scheduled to open in summer 2020. This roller coaster will be the tallest, fastest and longest dive coaster in California, as well as the only floorless dive coaster in the state. Named for the world’s largest penguin, the new coaster will mimic this species’ amazing underwater diving ability. Emperor penguins can dive to a depth of 1,800 feet. Climbing to 153 feet with feet dangling in the air, riders on Emperor will be suspended on a 45-degree angle at the crown of the ride before plunging down a 143-foot facedown vertical drop accelerating to more than 60 miles per hour. Riders will also experience inversions, barrel roll, Immelmann loop, hammerhead turn, and flat spin as they race along the nearly 2,500 feet of track. Each of the floorless ride cars will hold 18 riders in three, six-person rows. This is the first seating configuration of its kind in North America. “There will be no other coaster experience like this in California,” said Marilyn Hannes, SeaWorld San Diego’s park president. “Emperor will both thrill our coaster enthusiasts and also serve as an attraction that educates guests about the importance of animal and conservation issues.” This attraction will highlight an important new animal-conservation partnership between SeaWorld and Penguins International that will focus on penguin awareness and the conservation needs of this aquatic bird. A portion of the proceeds from sales of penguin merchandise at the Emperor retail store will be donated to Penguins International to support their important conservation, education, and research efforts. “We are excited to enter into this partnership with SeaWorld,” said David Schutt, president of Penguins International. “It’s an amazing opportunity that will help advance our penguin conservation programs at several high-priority sites and our public awareness campaigns that highlight the threats penguins face in today’s world.” The new Emperor coaster will be located adjacent to Journey to Atlantis in the southeast corner of the park in an area that is currently a parking lot and will be built by Bolliger & Mabillard, based in Switzerland.
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    Susan G. Komen 3-Day raises funds to fight breast cancer
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Nov 20, 2019 | 7223 views | 1 1 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Susan G. Komen 3-Day participants walk the Mission Bay path at Crown Point Park. DAVE SCHWAB/PENINSULA BEACON
    Susan G. Komen 3-Day participants walk the Mission Bay path at Crown Point Park. DAVE SCHWAB/PENINSULA BEACON
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    Arriving at base camp in Crown Point at dusk on Friday, Nov. 15, Jim Hillmann from San Jose, in the midst of his Susan G. Komen 3-Day walk, reflected on why he returns year after year. “I’m here because my mom passed away from breast cancer in 2004,” Hillmann said, noting San Diego’s Komen Walk is the closest of the seven national regional walks he’s done every year for the past 12. Hillmann said the Komen walk is a transformative experience. “You come out here as a first-time walker, and it doesn’t take long before you realize, ‘I’m part of a bigger community, a community that is here to support each other,’ ” he said. “By the time you're done with three days and 60 miles, you’ve made connections, and now you start feeling the power of that community — and the synergy that comes from that.” The pink-themed, anti-breast cancer, three-day walk is no small feat, any way you look at it. “You’re required to raise $2,300 for every walk,” said Hillmann, adding, “And if you walk multiple cities, it’s $2,300 each walk, $16,100 for all seven.” Hillman hosts four fundraisers — a Bunko parlor game, collecting recyclables, an Oakland A’s baseball game and sales from a commemorative coin and pin —that collectively pay for all seven of his Komen walks. Hillman said, on day one of the Komen walk, which starts in Del Mar and ends in downtown San Diego three days later, that he saw a woman in tears whom he described as “overwhelmed.” “We were there to pick her up, talk with her and support her,” he added. Outfitted with a team shirt, badges, ribbons, buttons and all manner of Komen memorabilia, Hillman pointed out that it’s a real sense of accomplishment for him to walk 420 miles in seven cities over 21 days between August and the end of November. “Every time I walk, at the end, it is just as powerful as the time before,” noted Hillmann. “You’ve accomplished something. You’ve shared your story with new people; they’ve shared their stories. It never gets old for me.”  People have asked Hillman, “How can you do so many walks, and why do you keep coming back?”  To that, he responds, “Because there is so much that I can get out of it. There’s a difference you’ve made, an impact.” Should more people be doing the Komen walk? “Absolutely,” answered Hillmann. “When you see the impact you’re making you go, ‘Whoa, This is what it’s all about.’ By the end of day two, they’re ready to register. ‘Sign me up for year two.’ ” Concluded Hillman of the Komen walk experience: “It’s a life-changer.” Komen 3-Day raises $7 million This past weekend, more than 2,000 participants completed the journey of a lifetime at the Susan G. Komen San Diego 3-Day. Together, passionate women and men walked 60-miles over the course of three days in the fight for a world without breast cancer, raising $5.7 million. The Komen 3-Day is the longest distance one can go in the fight against breast cancer. These men and women each raised a minimum of $2,300 and walked 20 miles a day for three consecutive days, all while educating tens of thousands of people about breast health. The proceeds will support the mission of Susan G. Komen by funding breakthrough research and efforts to ensure all people receive the best health care they need. To date, $140.7 million has been raised in the area through the Komen San Diego 3-Day. “We cannot thank our amazing 3-Day family enough for their time and dedication to this cause,” said Carrie Stovall, Susan G. Komen vice president of events. “Every step they take and every dollar they raise gets us closer to our bold goal of reducing the current number of breast cancer deaths in the U.S. by 50 percent by 2026. San Diego has been so supportive of Susan G. Komen and it’s always an incredible experience to host the 3-Day in this city. San Diego, we thank you!” Participants of the 3-Day have trained and fundraised for several months in preparation for the event, which fosters lifelong friendships and memories while providing the community a moving opportunity to honor those who have battled and for those who continue to fight breast cancer. Participants spent the weekend walking through the San Diego area before concluding with a moving closing ceremony at Waterfront Park. “The 3-Day is all about raising money and spreading awareness,” said 12 ½ year survivor and nine-time walker Debbie Feinberg. “Even if you can’t complete the full 60 miles, you can walk one day for 20 miles or even walk portions of the weekend, it’s all worth it because, in the end, it’s the sense of community and inspiration for survivors, those battling and future generations.”
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    NIBBLES AND SIPS – Langostino lobsters return to Rubio’s, new Brazilian grill to open, Embargo Grill name change
    by FRANK SABATINI Jr.
    Nov 20, 2019 | 743 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Rubio’s langostino lobster tacos. / Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.
    Rubio’s langostino lobster tacos. / Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.
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    Drink at Mess Hall for a good cause. / Photo by Natalie Warr
    Drink at Mess Hall for a good cause. / Photo by Natalie Warr
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    Wings by Dirty Birds. / Photo from H2 Public Relations
    Wings by Dirty Birds. / Photo from H2 Public Relations
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    Rubio’s Coastal Grill Langostino lobsters have made their annual return at all locations of Rubio’s Coastal Grill, including those in Pacific Beach and Point Loma. The shellfish, which is technically related to hermit crabs, shows up as bite-size pieces in tacos, burritos, and bowls at this time of year. Trawled off the coast of Chile, the items are available through Jan. 2. The locally-based taco chain was founded in 1983 as a walk-up stand in Mission Bay and has been sourcing the langostino for more than 20 years. rubios.com. Little Cay Embargo Grill in Loma Portal is now called Little Cay. A manager said one of the two owners left the company, and that the remaining proprietor had to legally change the name because of it. The menu, however, remains exactly the same. Located in the Midway Towne Center plaza, the 16-year-old restaurant specializes in cuisine from Cuba, Jamaica and Puerto Rico and some South American countries. 3960 W. Point Loma Blvd., 619-786-7522, littlecayob.com. Dirty Birds A new location of Dirty Birds has flapped into Ocean Beach with its established menu of chicken wings available in nearly 40 flavors. Founded 11 years ago in Pacific Beach, the brand has since expanded into the College Area and Liberty Station as well. Situated in a newly built structure, the widowed space features indoor-outdoor seating, more than two dozen craft beers on tap, and multiple flat screens for viewing sports games. 1929 Cable St., 619-241-2922, dirtybirdsbarandgrill.com. Mess Hall Mess Hall in Point Loma has partnered with Wreaths Across America to pay tribute to the servicemen and women who served at this former naval base before it became Liberty Station. With the purchase of every spiced pear martini at Mess Hall, the establishment will sponsor a wreath to be laid on the grave of a fallen hero at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery. The effort continues through Dec. 14, which is when the wreaths will be placed at the cemetery. The special cocktail costs $20 and features pear-infused vodka, muddled pears, St. Germain, lemon juice and house-spiced syrup. 2820 Historic Decatur, 619-255-8360, bluebridgehospitality.com. Sabor de Vida Construction is underway for the impending Midway District arrival of Sabor de Vida Brazilian Grill, which took over the space previously occupied by Gaglione Brothers before that eatery moved into larger digs one door away last year. Sabor de Vida opened six years ago in Encinitas and remains a draw for Brazilian specialties such as pastries filled with meat and cheese (pastels), guava-braised beef, and grilled meats. The restaurant is expected to open in January at 3944 W. Point Loma Blvd. For updates, visit sabordevida.com. The Marine Room The late-fall “high tide breakfasts” at The Marine Room will be held from 7 to 11 a.m. Dec. 14 and 15. Executive chef Bernard Guillas presents an upscale buffet for the occasion, which features more than 15 sweet and savory dishes in addition to up-close views of the rising waters as they sometimes lap against the restaurant’s exterior. The cost is $60 per person. Check the web site for subsequent high-tide breakfasts that will be held through March. 2000 Spindrift Drive, 858-459-7222, marineroom.com. Blue Ocean Robata & Sushi Bar A grill fueled by hardwood charcoal sits at the heart of La Jolla’s new Blue Ocean Robata & Sushi Bar. The kitchen is headed by chef-owner James Pyo, a native of Korea who initially opened Love Boat Sushi in Oceanside as well as another Blue Ocean sushi house in Carlsbad. In addition to a number of crafty salads and sushi rolls, the menu extends to dishes cooked on the grill (robato) such as ribs, pork belly, wagyu beef meatballs, and eggplant. The new venture shares space with Harumama Noodles and Buns, which is also owned by Pyo. 1250 Prospect St., 858-999-0323, blueoceanrobatasushi.com.
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    Pacific Beach artist turns seasoned surfboards into precious paintings
    by VICTORIA DAVIS
    Nov 16, 2019 | 15259 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Pacific Beach native JohnMichael Becker is a surfboard street artist.
    Pacific Beach native JohnMichael Becker is a surfboard street artist.
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    The kitchen, an art studio. The street, a gallery. At least, that’s the case for JohnMichael (Mike) Becker, a Pacific Beach native, and surfboard street artist. “It’s a lot more intimate working outside where people can watch,” said Mike, who makes a business out of taking old, unusable surfboards and turning them into works of art. “People are more likely to come up to you and ask about what you’re working on and why.” While his most common workspace is on the north side, anyone cruising along La Jolla Cove will likely catch a glimpse of Mike hard at work, taking acrylic paints to board and creating scenes of sailboats in the sunset, sharks coasting near the shores and sea turtles gliding above coral reefs. Mike often takes requests on the spot from passerby-turned-customers, as well as lets his younger audiences help with painting the coral reefs. “I’ll let the kids grab the brush and dab a little on the reefs and they get super excited,” said Mike, who was also recruited last year to paint the mural on the side of Ohana Café on Pearl Street. “My nephews and nieces have done parts of my paintings as well.” Mike, who typically charges between $500 and $700 for his boards depending on size, has also been brought a handful of snapped boards. For one, he turned the board’s break into a massive shark bite. “The great whites have been out here since I was a kid,” said Mike. “They’re residents. That’s why I paint them as well.” Mike, age 59, also paints more abstract and unconventional scenes on boards, such as Eddie Van Halen with his Frankenstrat above an exploding a volcano. Mike’s artistic inspirations stem not only from growing up in Pacific Beach during the ’60s and ’70s – swimming with the bat rays in Mission Bay at Crown Point – but also derives from Mike and his wife Julie Becker living in the Hawaii countryside for 20 years, “embraced by the islands, the people and the ‘Aloha’ culture.” “He has always looked for different things to paint on, like shells and old picture frames,” said Julie. “When Mike started doing surfboards, that’s when things went crazy. Everyone wanted one. But I can’t say I’m surprised because he’s been an amazing artist from the beginning.” Mike, who has been “doodling in the books” since Crown Point Jr. Elementary, added, “I used to give everything I made away as gifts to people. It was Julie who inspired me to turn this into a business.” When Mike and Julie moved back to Pacific Beach four years ago to be closer to family, Mike was quick to turn his home on Pacific Beach Drive into both an art studio and a place friends, family and perfect strangers could come to purchase painted boards, shells, motorcycle helmets, and picture frames. Mike puts his painted surfboards out on the front lawn with a window sign that reads, ‘Surf art for sale.’” Anyone is also welcome to walk through the house and into the back yard where mike sands and primes the boards before painting. “We live right next to a stop sign and so people have to stop their cars anyway,” said Julie, an artist herself who creates leather purses made from cowboy boots and denim pockets, all hand-sewn with dental floss. “I’ve seen people just sitting in their cars looking over here. We’ve even gotten visits from park rangers who just want to watch Mike work.” Mike added, “If I can create a little window that people can look in for a few seconds a day, if not longer, and the painting eases whoever is looking at it, then I’m doing my job. If you look at my work and it makes your heart smile, I’m doing what I’m supposed to do here.”
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    Rickaroons are naturally delicious energy bars made in Pacific Beach
    by VICTORIA DAVIS
    Nov 15, 2019 | 7354 views | 1 1 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Chocolate Blonde, with dark chocolate and coconut, is Rickaroons’ bestseller.
    Chocolate Blonde, with dark chocolate and coconut, is Rickaroons’ bestseller.
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    Rickaroons were created by Rick LeBeau.
    Rickaroons were created by Rick LeBeau.
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    From whole-wheat to gluten-free, to totally flourless, Pacific Beach’s energy bar company Rickaroons has spent six years trying to perfect an all-natural macaroon recipe that still tastes all good. “You don’t have to convince someone to eat an apple because it’s gluten-free,” said Grant LeBeau, son of Rickaroons creator Rick LeBeau, and co-founder of the company. “It’s the same for us. Rickaroons have ingredients that happen to be gluten-free. “We’re not an imitation of another product. We didn’t try to reverse engineer bread by putting in 50 filler ingredients to get to a bread-like product. Rickaroons are just naturally gluten-free and naturally delicious.” Rickaroons officially began business in 2013 when Grant and Rick began selling their energy bars — made with shredded coconut, coconut palm nectar, cocoa beans, dark chocolate chips, sunflower lecithin, and blended almonds — at local farmers markets. But the original “Rickaroon” was created 12 years before when Rick set out to make a gluten-free cookie for his girlfriend, who at the time was battling multiple sclerosis. “This was back before we had all these gluten-free options and the doctor said she had to cut out gluten from her diet,” said Grant, who was in middle school at the time. “She told my dad, ‘If you love me, you’ll make me a chocolate chip cookie that I can eat.’” Rick — who was also a vegan triathlete — had a cookie business with his girlfriend called “Ultimate Naturals.” The two shared a love for baked goods and his girlfriend’s request for a wheatless cookie became the foundation of Rick’s Rickaroons. Though Ultimate Naturals was not able to be sustained through the 2008 recession, Rick says he, “never stopped improving the recipe for Rickaroons.” “I would make them as often as I would run out, which was usually every couple of weeks,” said Rick. “And I always had the intention of starting up the cookie company again.” In 2012, Rick and Grant joined forces after Grant graduated from college and collaborated with Grant’s sisters, Stevie and Christina Schweighart to help oversee sales, marketing, graphic design, and accounting. Rick, the team’s only baker, began coming up with new flavors like Megaroons, with chia seeds and cacao nibs, Mocha, with dark chocolate espresso, Peanut Butter Protein with peanut butter, pumpkin seed protein and dark chocolate, as well as Mint To Be. “That one’s my favorite,” said Grant. “It’s our answer to a Thin Mint Girl Scout cookie. But our Chocolate Blonde with dark chocolate and coconut, that’s been the best seller since day one.” “I love them all,” added Rick. “Whichever one I’m eating is my favorite.” The Chocolate Blonde, originally called “The Origaroon” was the prototype Rick gave to his girlfriend as her own, custom-made chocolate chip cookie. While she was able to see Rickaroons gain speed up until 2015, Rick’s girlfriend eventually passed away. Rick and Grant make sure Rickaroons stays connected to its roots, participating in fundraisers such as the Susan G. Koman: Race for the Cure, San Diego County Credit Union Walk MS, and Walk MS: San Diego. Rickaroons is also available at more locations than just on Amazon or the company website. Megaroons, Mint To Bes, and Mochas can all be found at Jimbo’s Naturally!, Ocean Beach People’s Organic Food Market, Juice Kaboose, and Cardiff Seaside Market. Each box of Rickaroons holds 12 cookies and is priced at $25. Currently, Rickaroons is also working on a nut-free and chocolate-free line of cookies. “It’s funny how there are so many different groups of people that end up gravitating naturally towards Rickaroons,” said Grant. “We’ve had women tell us that we were their food-of-choice during pregnancy and for breast-feeding because our cookies are higher in plant fat and lower in sugar. So, it’s fun hearing who we end up being supported by and who we end up working for.” Grant added: “Like it says on our site, this all starting for ‘love for a strong woman and a healthy lifestyle.’ We’re excited to continue to share our family’s recipe and mission to feed the world in a way that’s good for the planet, good for their bodies and good for their taste buds.” Are Rickaroons a dessert or a healthy snack? Both. Rickaroons were created by Rick LeBeau as a clean-burning energy food for pre or post workouts. Since LeBeau is both a lifelong health-conscious athlete and a lifelong dessert connoisseur, Rickaroons turned out to be a delicious dessert as well. So eat Rickaroons any time of day and feel good about the dietary choice you've made. For more information, visit rickaroons.com.
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    Catt Fields White
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    November 19, 2019
    We love picking up Rickaroons at the Little Italy Mercato farmers market every Saturday!

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