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    Adventures with Helene: Nourish your spirit at Trilogy Sanctuary
    by HELENE GERASIMCHUK
    Aug 27, 2015 | 2891 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Aerial silk yoga at Trilogy Sanctuary.
    Aerial silk yoga at Trilogy Sanctuary.
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    Amber Stadler assumes a lofty perch on Helene Gerasimchuk's shoulders at Trilogy Sanctuary's first birthday party. / Photo by Joshua Armstrong
    Amber Stadler assumes a lofty perch on Helene Gerasimchuk's shoulders at Trilogy Sanctuary's first birthday party. / Photo by Joshua Armstrong
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    Leila Dora, co-owner of Trilogy Sanctuary café, breaks out in a fire performance as part of a yoga regimen that strikes fear in the hearts of mortal men. / Photo by Joshua Armstrong
    Leila Dora, co-owner of Trilogy Sanctuary café, breaks out in a fire performance as part of a yoga regimen that strikes fear in the hearts of mortal men. / Photo by Joshua Armstrong
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    Trilogy Sanctuary is a beautiful rooftop café that offers an organic, vegan, gluten-free menu, a variety of yoga classes and services to nourish the spirit. I first heard of Trilogy from a friend of mine who invited me to a monthly open mic night. People of all ages gather to share their talents ranging from song and guitar to poetry, art, interpretive dance, comedy and much more. The moment I got off the elevator and stepped into this warm space, I was welcomed by the feel of community and an open atmosphere. I skipped over to the café, which offers super smoothies, amazing acai bowls and incredible entrée options. After ordering the chocoholic acai bowl, I found a spot on the ground near the small stage where the performances had already begun. My night was filled with laughter, amazement and thought-provoking reflection. Open mic night is just one of many events that go on at Trilogy Sanctuary, all of which are posted on the website (trilogysanctuary.com). Trilogy also offers a range of unique indoor and outdoor yoga classes, including aerial yoga. This style of yoga uses hammocks to deepen stretches and releases tension in the body that traditional yoga can’t accomplish on its own. Aerial yoga is a playful variation to switch up your typical practice. Owners Leila Dora and Joe Caldera recently celebrated Trilogy Sanctuary’s one-year birthday. Their magical creation continues to be a cherished space for likeminded people in this loving community and the perfect place to enjoy a nourishing meal or open your mind through a different style of yoga. Trilogy Sanctuary Where: 7650 Girard Ave. suite 400, La Jolla. Cafe hours: Mondays to Fridays 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Info: trilogysanctuary.com
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    Pacific Beach bike theft drives local man into action and recovery
    Aug 27, 2015 | 3078 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Bikes locked up on the boardwalk at Pacific Beach Drive on a sunny and busy Sunday in summer. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Bikes locked up on the boardwalk at Pacific Beach Drive on a sunny and busy Sunday in summer. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Browse NextDoor social media any given day along the beachfront and, next to mentions of lost dogs and cats, you’ll find notices posted about stolen bicycles. In recent months, the number of purloined bikes along the coast has gone from commonplace to alarming. And the San Diego Police Department, presently at historically low staffing levels even with seasonally enhanced summer beach patrols, is having trouble keeping up, which has led some frustrated residents in especially hard-hit areas for bike theft, like Pacific and Mission beaches, to take matters into their own hands in attempting to reclaim their stolen bikes. Such was the case recently with PB resident Brad Wickliffe. A former bouncer, Wickliffe had his bike locked up along the beachfront while participating in a yacht-racing event from San Diego to Mission Bay. Afterward, he returned to find his cable-locked bike had been stolen “in broad daylight.” The thieves even took his lock. A common-enough story, it typically ends with the victim(s) filing a police report or chalking it up to experience and bad luck. But Wickliffe took his recovery efforts one drastic step further. He immediately began searching for his stolen bike on Craigslist, where he eventually tracked down the perpetrator, who was reselling his stolen property. “My bike was stolen on Sunday morning, and I was checking Craigslist every day until I saw it there Tuesday morning,” Wickliffe said, noting his bike was distinctively customized. This made its thumbnail description “jump out at you.” So Wickliffe set up a face-to-face meeting in National City with the alleged perpetrator, whom he said “gave me a big BS story about owning (the bike) for a year. There was no doubt it was my bike.” When the time came for Wickliffe to purchase his own stolen bicycle, he managed to sneak up behind the alleged thief and render him unconscious before calling police and turning him in. “The guy even had a backpack full of lock-picking tools,” Wickliffe said, adding the man he incapacitated “clearly had needle-track marks on his arms.” Wickliffe said police took him into custody after a background check revealed he had prior warrants out for his arrest. “The whole NextDoor neighbor thing is really good because the more people know your bike’s been stolen, the more likely you are to get it back,” reflected Wickliffe. He added the incident has caused him to seriously reconsider GPS-enabling his bike so its whereabouts can be more easily tracked. Wickliffe realizes his personal success story in having successfully recovered his own stolen bike was just a drop in the bucket considering all the bikes never recovered by their owners. “These guys (thieves) don’t have much to lose,” said Wickliffe. “I’m just hoping incidents like mine will help them to move on.” For himself, Wickliffe said of the experience, “I enjoyed the vigilante thing. It was less paperwork – more fun.” “We don’t advise people to confront criminals, because you never know whether or not they’re armed,” said San Diego Police officer Dan Neifer of Northern Division’s beach team, which is involved with the department’s bait bicycle program. Neifer noted deterring bike theft is extremely difficult for a variety of reasons. “There is a very small window of time involved with bike theft,” Neifer said. “Within 10 minutes of being stolen, that bike can be in two or three pieces and in a car – or a house.” Neifer noted crooks can repaint stolen vehicles, “chop and change them out,” do any number of things to alter and disguise them. And unlike Wickliffe’s case, many bike thieves are smart enough to store stolen bikes for a period of weeks or months before attempting to resell them on Craigslist or elsewhere. But the bike bait program the police employ has some proven results. Neifer explained how it works. “We put GPS on a bait bike that’s locked up in plain view in a public bike parking area,” he said. “When that bike is removed, it sends a text message alerting police.” Neifer said there’s generally only a four- to eight-minute interval for police to arrive and interdict the suspected thief. But fortunately for those whose bikes have been stolen, that’s time enough. What can people do to prevent their bikes from being taken? Unfortunately, Neifer said, he’s unaware of an absolutely pick- or cut-proof bike lock. He also advised against locking bikes in public bike stalls overnight, even well-lighted ones out in the open, noting that “after hours once the bars close there are only cops, cats and crooks out on the streets, which are desolate.” Neifer said the safest place for a bike, especially an expensive one, is inside your home or locked up on your property. GPS is helpful to have. And it’s always important to record your bike’s serial number to help police track it should it ever be stolen. Above all else, report a bike theft to police. Neifer added it's also extremely helpful to have a good photograph of your bike to accompany a detailed description of it, noting any individual markings or details to help distinguish it.
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    City releases initial new regulations for short-term vacation rentals
    by By LISA HALVERSTADT - Voice of San Diego
    Aug 26, 2015 | 5027 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Signs like this one are posted throughout Crown Point and Pacific Beach. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Signs like this one are posted throughout Crown Point and Pacific Beach. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Short-term vacation rentals may soon be legal – and regulated – in San Diego. City staffers released a memo on Aug. 12 that lays out a potential framework for traditional vacation rentals and for those that have proliferated through sites like Airbnb and VRBO, which connect hosts and visitors. A proposed ordinance drafted by the city's Development Services Department would allow up to two paying visitors to stay in a room within a home and full-home rental stays of fewer than 30 days. Hosts who book more than two visitors or multiple rooms at a time would be considered bed and breakfast operators, which would come with more requirements. Renting entire space The draft proposes these be generally allowed for less than a month in most residential areas. Hosts would be required to share and enforce a rental agreement with visitors and designate a local contact to respond within an hour of any complaints about bad behavior at the property. City leaders will have to hash out how many guests and visits are allowed per month. Home sharing The property owner is required to remain in the home while the visitor stays for fewer than 30 days. No more than two lodgers are allowed, and an arrangement is allowed for only one room or with one party. At least one parking space must be provided. City leaders will decide how often visits are allowed. Bed and breakfasts Homeowners who host more than two visitors or coordinate more than two stays at once would be classified as bed and breakfast operators. This label wouldn’t necessarily mean meals are provided but would require that the property owner to stick around during the visit. Depending on where the home is located, operators could need to get a neighborhood use permit or a conditional use permit, which can take more than a year to obtain. These hosts would also need to have a parking space for the operator and additional spaces for the guest rooms. There are additional regulations and parking requirements depending on the zone the home is in. Still, the rules probably don’t quell some bitter disagreements over the issues that have flared during months of public hearings, heated debates and even legal threats. Bob Vacchi, the city’s Development Services director, said the tension put pressure on the city. “It’s been extremely difficult for us to put (the draft rules) together because there’s really no consensus,” Vacchi added. Even with the draft ordinance, the city remains a house divided on short-term rentals. While the city’s collecting bed taxes from short-term rentals, a Burlingame woman last week was saddled with a nearly $25,000 fine for operating what city staffers referred to as a bed and breakfast out of her historic craftsman home. The 70-year-old says she simply hosted visitors through Airbnb and didn’t operate a commercial enterprise. The citation followed months of confusion about the rules – or lack thereof – for vacation rental hosts to follow and city demands that they pay bed taxes long imposed on hoteliers. Those disagreements also contributed to foot-dragging by the city. City Councilwoman Lorie Zapf, who represents beach communities, called an April City Council subcommittee hearing on short-term rental issues. The gathering was so packed the committee held a second meeting on May 29. That day, members of the smart growth and land use committee – which Zapf chairs – asked city staffers to work on an ordinance. The initial draft was finished by early July and shared with City Council members, according to emails obtained by Voice of San Diego. But the emails indicate the mayor’s office delayed the release when it discovered continued infighting over some of the specifics. Brian Pepin, Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s director of council affairs, wrote in a July 10 email that the mayor’s office had met with some City Council members to get their take on the measure and found continued disagreement over the number of rentals allowed per month or year. “Unfortunately, the councilmembers were unable to reach consensus on the appropriate frequency to move forward with,” Pepin wrote in an email to a Development Services staffer who worked on the draft ordinance. “The result of the meeting was to request that you return to the smart growth committee at its next possible meeting in order to get clear direction on frequency.” The next subcommittee meeting isn’t until Sept. 23. There were other issues, too. At the May 29 meeting and in other settings, City Council members have disagreed on the number of visitors that should be allowed in a full-home vacation rental. They also haven’t given clear consensus on whether hosts should be allowed to rent granny flats, or other spaces on residential lots, on a short-term basis. Officials say conflicts delayed at least one other discussion on the issue. Joe LaCava chairs the citywide Community Planners Committee, a group that had been set to review the draft short-term rental ordinance at its July meeting. He said he was told the draft rules would be released June 30 and cleared his group’s July agenda to allow for a heated debate. That didn’t happen. “I heard those regulations were being held back by the mayor’s office,” LaCava said. He was surprised when the proposed regulations weren’t released in the weeks afterward, either. “Everybody knows there’s draft language just sitting out there. Everybody’s just waiting for that draft language to drop and then start the conversation,” LaCava said Aug. 12, before the memo was released. “I think everybody’s just sort of in a waiting period right now.” Vacchi said the delays were a result of a lack of consensus among councilmembers, not any intention by the mayor’s office to delay the discussion. A mayor’s office spokesman couldn’t immediately comment. That debate appears likely to pick up again soon, shortly after an administrative law judge decided the Burlingame Airbnb host should be sanctioned. Amanda Lee, the Development Services manager who drafted the proposed rules, said Zapf’s office will decide next steps for the ordinance. Lisa Halverstadt is a reporter at Voice of San Diego. Know of something she should check out? You can contact her directly at lisa@vosd.org or (619) 325-0528.
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    Beholder makes history at Pacific Classic
    by THOMAS MELVILLE
    Aug 25, 2015 | 5047 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Beholder, with Gary Stevens on board, breezes down the stretch to win the TVG Pacific Classic by 8 1/4 lengths. Check out the video screen behind them to see just how far in front she finished ahead of the field. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Beholder, with Gary Stevens on board, breezes down the stretch to win the TVG Pacific Classic by 8 1/4 lengths. Check out the video screen behind them to see just how far in front she finished ahead of the field. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Beholder and Gary Stevens head to the winner's circle. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Beholder and Gary Stevens head to the winner's circle. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens receives congratulations after riding Beholder to victory in the TVG Pacific Classic. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens receives congratulations after riding Beholder to victory in the TVG Pacific Classic. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Beholder and Gary Stevens head through the tunnel from the paddock to the track. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Beholder and Gary Stevens head through the tunnel from the paddock to the track. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Gary Stevens on Beholder as they leave the paddock area. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Gary Stevens on Beholder as they leave the paddock area. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    When Gary Stevens trotted Beholder over to the winner's circle a few minutes after taking the TVG Pacific Classic, he was told to take another turn in front of the crowded grandstand as track officials needed a moment to set up. “No problem,” said the Hall of Fame jockey, who then smiled and added, “She's certainly not tired, that's for sure.” Minutes before, Beholder became the first female to win Del Mar Racetrack’s signature race of the summer season in a performance that brought a deafening roar from the overflow of spectators as she breezed down the stretch to win by a remarkable 8 1/4 lengths just as the sun peaked through the clouds on Saturday evening. Without being asked by Stevens, the 5-year-old mare smoothly moved to the front on the far turn, split the pacemakers Bayern and Midnight Storm in a matter of several strides and opened a commanding lead entering the stretch. Under no pressure from her rider, Beholder widened on her nine male rivals and left them in the distance. “She was just going so easy,” Stevens said. “We went by Bayern like he was tired. Then when we straightened away I pushed the button and she went on with it. I’ve never felt anything like that on a racetrack before.” It was the second largest winning margin in the 25-year history of the race, exceeded only by Game On Dude in 2013. Catch a Flight, stablemate of Beholder from the barn of Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella, put in a solid late run under Flavien Prat, but finished a far second. “The filly – she’s just too much,” said Prat. Third went to Red Vine who was ridden by Joel Rosario. Fourth was Hoppertunity, followed by Imperative, Hard Aces, Class Leader, Bailoutbobby, Bayern and Midnight Storm. Beholder, a two-time Eclipse Award champion and a daughter of Henny Hughes, was scoring her 14th win in 19 starts and ninth in her last ten races. Earlier this season, she won the Clement L. Hirsch Stakes. First place money of $600,000 on Saturday increased her career earnings to $4.25 million. Her time for the mile and one-quarter race was a fast 1:59.77. “She is the first horse that makes me feel lucky to be the owner,” said B. Wayne Hughes. “I’ve never had that feeling before.” Beholder was the fifth female Thoroughbred to run in the Pacific Classic, preceded by Paseana, fifth in 1992; Island Fashion, ninth in 2005; Amani, sixth in 2012, and Byrama, seventh in 2013. For Mandella, Beholder provided his fourth win in the Pacific Classic. He won memorably in l996 with Dare And Go who upset Cigar, in 1997 with Gentlemen when he also saddled the place horse, Siphon, and Pleasantly Perfect in 2004. The stakes win was the fourth of the meeting for rider Stevens and his third in the Pacific Classic. He now has 86 stakes wins at Del Mar, seventh most of all time. Already having earned a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Keeneland race course in Lexington, Ky., Oct. 31, Beholder also clinched a place in the Breeders’ Cup Classic should her connections choose so. The Pacific Classic was part of the Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge Series, which guarantees an expenses-paid berth in the mile and one-quarter contest.
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    San Salvador to debut at Festival of Sail
    Aug 16, 2015 | 38946 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    The San Salvador replica launched in July. / Photo by Jerry Soto
    The San Salvador replica launched in July. / Photo by Jerry Soto
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    The Port of San Diego 2015 Festival of Sail, hosted by the Maritime Museum of San Diego, will transform the North Embarcadero into a nautical theme park Sept. 4 to 7 when more than 20 tall ships and other fascinating vessels from around the world will visit San Diego. The festival kicks off with a majestic parade of tall ships on San Diego Bay Friday, Sept. 4 led by the new Spanish galleon San Salvador. This will be the first time the public will be able to see the new ship. The parade begins at 3 p.m. and can be seen from the Embarcadero, Harbor Island, Shelter Island and Coronado. Festival visitors will be able to tour the ships, have food and drink from dozens of restaurant booths, visit a petting zoo, meet pirates, see cannon battles on the bay, take sunset cruises and shop for one of-a-kind items among more than 150 festival vendors. Parade of Sail The festival will kick off with a grand parade of sail 3 p.m. on San Diego Bay on Friday, Sept 4. The parade will be led by the recently launched San Salvador, a replica’s of Juan Cabrillo’s 16th century galleon. More than a dozen majestic windjammers will sail into San Diego’s harbor in a nautical procession. The best spots to view from shore include the Maritime Museum, Cabrillo National Monument, local restaurants and businesses on Shelter Island, Harbor Island and the North Embarcadero. Ships should be docked by 6 p.m. at the museum and open for visitation starting 9 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 5. Guests may purchase tickets to sail on the Californian. The Festival Ships The festival will include more than 20 tall ships and other extraordinary vessels from around the world – the official tall ship of California, the Californian, the Gaff topsail schooner Bill of Rights, Irving and Exy Johnson, twin ships from San Pedro, and many more. A complete list of the participating ships can be found at www.sdmaritime.org. Please note that the list of ships scheduled to appear in the festival is subject to change. Cannon Battles Join the crew for a cannon battle at sea and experience naval warfare during the age of sail. Several ships will engage in cannon battle reenactments on San Diego Bay during the festival. Individuals can purchase tickets to be on board for the experience. Tickets are $65 for adults and $40 for children 12 and under. This is not recommended for children under 5. A 2015 tall ships ticket is also required. Tickets are for sale now at www.sdmaritime.org. Kids Zone Petting zoo, jump house and craft activities will be open Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Petting zoo is included with admission. Napoleonic Cannon Firings The 12-pound cannons, known as Napoleons, are authentic Civil War cannons built in 1863, not replicas. The museum’s Shore Battery Artillery Team will also salute the ships with several rounds of fire as they pass by during the parade. The unit will demonstrate how the guns are cleaned and then will fire the three-and-four pound guns for a “noon salute” each day as well as firing volleys at the ships during the Gun Battles on the Bay. Tall Ship Tickets Visitors must purchase a tall ships ticket to tour the festival ships. Each participating ship has its own unique stamp and guests can get their tickets stamped at each vessel. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for children (age 3-12), seniors (62 and over) and military (valid identification required). Tickets are for sale at www.sdmaritime.org and will also be for sale at the festival. Tickets include entrance to the Maritime Museum of San Diego during the event and the build site for the construction of the new ship the San Salvador. Entrance to visit the vendor area is free. Location, Parking The Festival of Sail will be located along the North Embarcadero between Ash and Grape streets. Parking will be extremely limited, festival visitors should use public transportation. The County Center/Little Italy trolley station is three blocks from the festival. For those who drive, nearby paid parking lots are available.
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