News and community briefs for Ocean Beach and Point Loma
Published - 08/04/18 - 07:38 AM | 5315 views | 1 1 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A surfer rides a wave near No Surf Beach at Sunset Cliffs. / Photo by Thomas Melville
A surfer rides a wave near No Surf Beach at Sunset Cliffs. / Photo by Thomas Melville
Documentary on Fish surfboard design

Joseph Ryan – Freeway Project – will present the documentary “FISH” at the Ocean Beach Historical Society 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 16 at Water's Edge Faith Community, 1984 Sunset Cliffs Blvd. “FISH” is a look at the origin and impact of the Fish surfboard design and how it would influence surf culture 40 years later. The presenter will be Cher Pendarvis, surfer, artist and author.

The Fish surfboard design was innovated in Ocean Beach / Point Loma by Steve Lis in 1967. Local surfers who are passionate about the Fish surfboard are interviewed and seen surfing in the film, including Lis, Skip Frye, Jeff Ching, Stanley Pleskunas, Bird Huffman, Pendarvis, Mitchell Peligrin, Trevor Neilsen, Cory Edging and others. There will be appearances by surf greats Mark Richards, David Rastovich and others. For more information, visit

Beacon wins awards at San Diego SPJ contest

Journalists with the San Diego Community Newspaper Group were honored with four awards on Tuesday, July 17 from the San Diego chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. The journalism contest winners were announced during a ceremony at Kona Kai Resort on Shelter Island.

Peninsula Beacon editor Thomas Melville earned three awards in the open photography categories. He received second place in the Feature Photo category for “Go with the flow” (Beacon, Sept. 17), and third place for News Photo for “Home for the Holidays (Beacon, Dec. 14).

He also earned second place in the Photo Essay category for his photos of Mexico City, which accompanied his story “Dia de los Muertos brings Mexico City back to life” (, Nov. 6).

Staff writer Victoria Davis received a third place award in the Nondaily Reporting and Writing, News Feature Story category for her story “Congregations Hope To Save Historic North Chapel At Liberty Station,” (Beacon, March 9)

Last year, Melville also earned three photo awards, plus a first place for front page design.

The 2018 contest’s judges were members of the Society of Professional Journalists in Colorado. For a complete list of the SPJ contest winners, go to

Point Loma Nazarene named a best beach college

College Consensus, a unique new college ratings website that aggregates publisher rankings and student reviews, has published their ranking of the 25 Best Beach Colleges at, and Point Loma Nazarene University and UC San Diego made the list.

Colleges and universities located near beaches often have the reputation of "party schools," but the coastal life can be a real advantage and benefit to the college experience. After all, a student body that embraces fun and health is a more successful student body.

With that in mind, College Consensus has ranked the top Consensus rated schools that also happen to have great beach life, according to the combination of published rankings and student reviews.

Bay City Brewing in Midway to celebrate three-year anniversary

To commemorate three years in the craft beer capital of America, Bay City Brewing Co. invites the community to its Point Loma tasting room at 3760 Hancock St. for refreshing beers and family-friendly activities Saturday, Aug. 11 from noon to 10 p.m.

The brewery will pour its Anniversary IPA and limited-edition beers on tap, including coconut and vanilla bean baltic porters and radlers. Beertenders will also unveil brand-new Bay City Pale Ale and Peninsula Lager 12-ounce cans. Hundreds of brand-new 12-ounce beer cans with San Diego-themed designs will be on display. Patrons will enjoy live music, food trucks, a kid-friendly art station and photo booth.

Over the last three years, Bay City Brewing Co. has introduced growlers of their best-selling beers on tap, advanced the role of women in beer with Pink Boots Society and has produced the most radlers in San Diego.

San Diego International Airport Wins Innovation Award

The Airport Innovation Accelerator established by American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) has recognized San Diego International Airport (SAN) as the 2018 Most Innovative Large Hub Airport award.

In its third year, this is the first time the award has been given in two categories – Large Hub and Small to Medium Hub – the latter of which went to Greater Rochester International Airport in New York. SAN highlighted its innovations in environmental sustainability, as well setting up a unique Airport Innovation Lab in the decommissioned former Commuter Terminal.

“Our innovation focus is informed by the unique characteristics of this airport,” said Airport Authority president and CEO Kimberly J. Becker. “Being right next to San Diego Bay drives our commitment to environmental stewardship. And operating on a small, 661-acre footprint drives us to think of new ways to fund necessary improvements, while always enhancing the passenger experience.”

Two of SAN’s unique environmental innovations are its air conditioning condensate water collection and its Good Traveler carbon-offset programs. The former captures water that dripped onto the airfield, posing safety and run-off risks, and recycles it for non-potable water uses. The Good Traveler program – which has already been adopted by other airports – allows the purchase of credits to offset air travel.

The Airport Innovation Lab is a working terminal space where pre-existing ideas can be tested and accelerated, potentially leading to contracts with SAN, as well as entrée to other airports. The Lab will soon engage 10 companies working to solve two challenges – airport parking and helping passengers with unique needs navigate the airport environment. Its first success was launching @YourGate at SAN, delivering food and retail items to passengers at their gates. That service has since expanded to the Port Authority of NY-NJ airports.

The award was presented July 15 at the AAAE’s Airport Innovation Forum in Atlanta. The Airport Innovation Accelerator, which selects the award winners, was established to serve as a hub for business, aviation and regulatory stakeholders to drive creativity and help build the airports of the future.

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

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

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.”

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.

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Henry Esquivel
August 06, 2018
"Cyclists interested in locating existing bike racks are encouraged to use the City’s interactive map, which allows for convenient ride planning"

Internet search failed to uncover this map. Any hints about where this interactive map might be found?
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