News and community briefs for Pacific Beach and Mission Beach
Published - 07/26/18 - 08:00 AM | 28705 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The sun sets at Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach. / Photo by Thomas Melville
The sun sets at Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach. / Photo by Thomas Melville
slideshow
Fundraiser for Fiesta Island dog park

The Fiesta Island Dog Owners (FIDO) group will hold a fundraiser from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, July 27 at Bay City Brewery, 3760 Hancock St. Ten percent of the beer sales will go to FIDO. There will also be a raffle.

Crystal Pier Fishing Derby

The Crystal Pier Fishing Derby will take place 7 a.m. to noon Saturday, July 28. The kids and their families are provided loaner rods (limited amount, please bring your own if you can), bait, lunch: fish tacos provided by Bub's, hot dogs courtesy of Von’s in PB, drinks, face-painting, prizes and gift cards from the local businesses. The derby is free for participants. Contact Dwayne at dwaynesda@juno.com for more information.

MBHS 40th reunion

The Mission Bay High School Class of 1978 is planning its 40th reunion to be held on Saturday, Aug. 25 at Mission Bay Yacht Club from 6 to 10 p.m. Come join your classmates while overlooking the bay at the MBYC. Enjoy dinner, drinks, a photo booth by Pixster and DJ with Drew Miller. Find more information and tickets by visiting mbhs1978.com/details.html.

Celebration to conclude a new Torah Scroll

In time for the Jewish New Year, a new Torah Scroll will be welcomed by Chabad of Pacific Beach on Sunday, Aug. 5. The Torah scroll, one of the Jewish people's most sacred objects, has roughly 600,000 handwritten letters. With a feather and special mix for ink, the scribe writes the five books of Moses on roughly 54 pieces of parchment. The average process takes over a year to produce the beautiful workmanship of a Torah Scroll.

Just in time for the High Holidays – Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur – a new Torah Scroll will be completed at Chabad of Pacific Beach, a Jewish outreach, educational and social service organization. Participants of the celebration will help an expert scribe complete the final letters of this magnificent scroll. At 11 a.m. community members, leaders and Rabbis will join this event at Chabad of Pacific Beach, 4240 Gresham St. All are welcome to come join the celebration.

For more information regarding this or any of Chabad's activities, visit ChabadPB.org.

NEWS BRIEFS

Missing man last seen in PB

A mother shared a heartbreaking plea with the public recently after her son apparently vanished.

“He’s never done this and it’s now like he’s dropped off the face of the earth. And we’re searching for him. I don’t know where he is but I need to know where my son is,” said Christel Billingsly.

Billingsly's son Wesley, 24, was last seen by friends in Pacific Beach on June 12. Around that time he was "couch surfing" at three friends' homes. One on Haines Street, another apartment on Diamond Street; and the other, on Grand Avenue.

“Something in my gut tells me something is wrong so we just started reaching out and calling people,” explained Christel.

No calls, texts, or social media posts have come from Wesley, something that Christel and his friends said is far from the norm. His black Ford Expedition with California license plate 6HIN781 is also gone without a trace.

So far, Wesley’s mom has posted flyers in PB and near San Diego State University. The San Diego Police Department is investigating. Officers are asking anyone with information to contact the department at 619-531-2277.

Bait Bike program picking up speed

The Bait Bike program created to catch thieves using GPS tracking on vehicles costing enough to make their theft a felony rather than a misdemeanor is working.

Best of all, the conviction rate for those nabbed is 100 percent, say police.

“The District Attorney has assigned us a prosecutor for all our cases,” said San Diego Police officer Daniel Niefer, who has been with the bait bike program since its inception in 2014. “Since last year, we’ve had 22 felony arrests.”

Niefer said, with two bike-theft cases pending, that 129 of 131 total arrests since the start of the program have resulted in convictions.

In June 2017, District 2 Councilmember Lorie Zapf announced at a press conference she was successful in getting $3,000 in funding for the bait-bike program from the City's budget. San Diego Police Department was on hand then to discuss the bait-bike program, which uses a GPS tracking system to alert them within minutes of when a bait bike is taken.

Niefer said a couple of criminals convicted of running illegal bike chop shops where stolen bikes are repurposed, have served prison time for the crime.

“The word is out,” said Niefer that the bait-bike program is in place and doing its job.

Niefer feels good about being a part of the enforcement effort. “I originated the program,” he said. “We’ve gotten [thieves] convicted and off the street.”

Crime and Safety Event at Kate Sessions

Pacific Beach Neighborhood Watch is partnering with the PB Town Council's Concert at Kate Sessions Park on Aug. 5. The Concert on the Green will feature the high-profile and well-known Siers Brothers.

PBNW will be hosting a Crime and Safety Event one hour prior to the concert from 3 to 4 p.m. by the bathrooms at the top of the hill. The event will feature an hour with Police Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT), a police K9, demonstrations, Fire Station 21's truck and the San Diego Police Department Historical Vehicle available for photos.

PB community groups will be there to let people know how they can get more involved in the community. About 5 p.m. during the concert intermission, there will be an onstage demonstration by Championship Martial Arts, who will be giving kids and young adults a demonstration on how to handle situations with strangers and bullies.

There are now 82 neighborhood watch captains in PB, said coordinator Marcella Teran.

City to install bike racks

In its continuing effort to promote alternative transportation and improve bicycle infrastructure, the City of San Diego has announced plans to install hundreds of bicycle racks in neighborhoods citywide. The City, which has already designated more than 50 bicycle racks for the downtown area as part of its comprehensive Downtown Mobility Plan, is also seeking input via local business improvement districts (BIDs) to provide recommendations for additional bike rack installation locations in the community.

The proposed 50 downtown bike rack locations correspond with developing cycle tracks – also known as protected bike lanes – being installed to improve ease and safety of bicycle ridership downtown.

The bicycle rack initiative, dubbed “BIDs to Bike Racks,” is a collaborative effort between the Mayor’s Office and the City’s Transportation and Storm Water and Economic Development departments, and impacts every business improvement district across the city. Collaborating directly with BIDs will help achieve the goal to place bike racks in strategic locations within each community that best serve cyclists.  

-The addition of hundreds of new bike racks throughout the city will complement the improved and developing bicycle infrastructure and offer more places to safely secure bicycles.

-Cyclists interested in locating existing bike racks are encouraged to use the City’s interactive map, which allows for convenient ride planning. Increasing bicycle ridership is a key strategy of the City’s Climate Action Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

-The City of San Diego was recently named a “Bike Friendly Community” by The League of American Bicyclists.

“We’re building a more bike-friendly city every day and these new bicycle racks will encourage more folks to get around on two wheels instead of four,” said Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer. “As we continue to improve transportation options citywide, it’s important to provide an orderly place for cyclists and casual riders to store their bikes so the public spaces in our neighborhoods are free from clutter.”

New Fire-Rescue chief

After a three-month national search, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer announced on July 2 the appointment of Heartland Fire and Rescue Chief Colin Stowell as the next chief of the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department (SDFD). The City Council confirmed the appointment on July 23.

Stowell began his firefighting career at SDFD in 1988 and served in every rank in the department, including assistant chief, before leaving in 2016 to lead Heartland Fire. Stowell, who was strongly recommended by both the community and professional interview panels, brings a wide-range of experience that will benefit the department and its more than 1,200 firefighters, lifeguards and support staff.

“Chief Stowell was born and raised here in San Diego and spent the majority of his firefighting career protecting our neighborhoods and our residents,” Faulconer said. “He has the right experience at the right time to continue the major investments we’re making in public safety and lead this department into the future. It’s great to bring Chief Stowell back to SDFD where it all started.”

Stowell will take over the department following recent significant investments made by Faulconer and the City Council, including new firefighting helicopters and the construction or renovation of nine fire stations over the last three years.

Launchit named finalist

LaunchIt Public Relations, a Pacific Beach provider of public and industry relations services to transportation technology suppliers, has been named a finalist in the 2018 Public Relations and Marketing Excellence Award program by the Business Intelligence Group.

The award identifies leading agencies that delivered quantifiable business results for their clients. The program, judged by business executives as opposed to their firms, uses a scoring system that measures performance across multiple business domains.

Since 2000, LaunchIt has been representing technology companies as it seeks to increase visibility of their products and services in the North American trucking industry. In 2018, it joined the Stryker-Munley Group, a consortium of public relations and marketing professionals with more than 20 years’ experience in their respective industries. It maintains ten offices in cities from Los Angeles to New York, including San Diego. For more information, launchitpr.com.

Promises2Kids raises funds for foster children

Promises2Kids recently partnered with local restaurants and raised nearly $20,000 for San Diego foster children. The partnership, known as Foodies 4 Foster Kids, took place throughout May, during which participating restaurants donated a percentage of their proceeds from select menu items to Promises2Kids. Participating restaurants included: 264 Fresco; Barbarella Restaurant; Bunz – A Burger Joint; Cafe 222; The Crack Shack; Cupcakes a la Yola; The Duck Dive; Encontro North Park; JoJo’s Creamery; Pacifica Del Mar; Terra American Bistro and Village North.  

Promises2Kids creates a brighter future for foster children in San Diego County. From the moment they come into foster care and through to adulthood, Promises2Kids provides the hope, support, and opportunities these special individuals need to change their lives for the better… now and for years to come.  

“It warmed my heart to see the community come together to support foster youth for National Foster Care Month,” said Tonya Torosian, CEO of Promises2Kids. “We are so grateful for our generous partners who donated proceeds to help foster youth overcome the difficulties of their past, and grow to become healthy and successful adults.”
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