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January 24, 2022

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San Diego Community News Group

WEEKLY BRIEFING – La Jolla Shores Association seeks candidates, bridge work closes bike path, Jewish Film Festival coming

A rainbow appeared over the Children’s Pool in La Jolla after a recent storm. PHOTO BY JIM GRANT

A rainbow appeared over the Children’s Pool in La Jolla after a recent storm. PHOTO BY JIM GRANT

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A round-up of news, community, and business briefs from sdnews.com highlighting what’s happening in our community.

Monday, Feb. 1

 

MAYOR REACTS

Following the State Senate’s confirmation of Assemblymember Dr. Shirley N. Weber as California’s new Secretary of State, Mayor Todd Gloria said: “I want to congratulate San Diego’s very own Dr. Shirley Weber on her historic confirmation as California’s new Secretary of State. Dr. Weber has been a fearless fighter for the people of California and the moral conscience of the Legislature for years. As our new Secretary of State, I have every confidence she will move our state to be more equitable and just for all of us.”

 

VALENTINE’S CUPID CLEANUP

Join I Love A Clean San Diego and Think Blue San Diego for a virtually-hosted litter cleanup across the City of San Diego Saturday, Feb. 13 from 9-11 a.m. For close to home volunteer cleanup in residents’ home communities, volunteers may register at cleansd.samaritan.com/custom/501/opp_details/1639.

To stay safe and promote social-distancing, this citywide cleanup is being focused inward toward neighborhoods. Please celebrate Valentine’s Day with us this year and “walk-your-block” on the morning of Saturday, Feb. 13. Make it a socially-distanced date. Bring a bucket or bag from home, grab some kitchen or gardening gloves, and don’t forget your face-covering. You can make this cleanup truly zero-waste by using your own reusable supplies. For more information, to volunteer or donate, visit CleanSD.org or call 619-291-0103.

 

FLEET CENTER LEARNING

The Fleet Science Center at 1875 El Prado in Balboa Park is resuming operations for the Distance Learning Hubs on Monday, Feb. 1, to serve the ongoing needs of parents, students and teachers in the San Diego community to find a place for children to do their distance-learning programs. The full-day program combines a facilitated space for kids to complete their school work with an afternoon of hands-on science activities. For more information, contact [email protected]

 

STATE BOARD APPOINTEE

The County Health and Human Services Agency’s child health officer has been appointed to a state board that provides advice on issues impacting children whose parents have limited income and resources. Dr. Kelly Motadel is one of 15 members on the Medi-Cal Children’s Health Advisory Panel, which advises the California Department of Health Care Services on policy and operational issues that affect children on Medi-Cal.

“I’m really looking forward to this experience as a way to contribute on a broader level but also in order to be a more knowledgeable resource for San Diego County,” said Motadel, M.D., M.P.H., who was recently selected to be the Child Health Officer at the County Medical Care Services Division.

The 15 members on the advisory body are recognized experts and stakeholders in their fields, “practicing and/or certified medical professionals, advocates who represent the interest of children’s health, as well as parent members who provide feedback on topics that impact children in Medi-Cal.”

While the term is usually three years, Motadel’s appointment will last through Dec. 31, 2022 because she is completing the term of a recently departed member.

 

FEEDING SAN DIEGO

Feeding San Diego, the county’s leading hunger relief and food rescue organization, is working with TV personality, entrepreneur, advocate and philanthropist Marcus Lemonis and local San Diego celebrity Bill Walton to support those facing hunger and a local business in need. As part of the #PlatingChange program, Lemonis’ The Lemon-AID Foundation has purchased $30,000 worth of meals from local restaurant Encontro North Park, to be distributed by Feeding San Diego using its MealConnect app, a free food rescue platform that makes it easy to connect excess food from donors such as restaurants, caterers, hotels, meeting and event planners, and convenience stores to local Feeding San Diego community partners that serve people facing hunger. For the next 10 weeks, 100 meals will be picked up every Tuesday and Thursday from Encontro by Feeding San Diego partner, The Salvation Army, using a refrigerated van donated to The Salvation Army by Feeding San Diego. One hundred meals a week will go to those in need in San Diego, all while driving desperately needed revenue to a local restaurant. 

“The small business community has always really been my family,” says Lemonis. “At the end of the day, we believe that feeding people in San Diego is important and Encontro is serving the plate and allowing us to do that. We are blessed by the fact that this local restaurant can help us and we want them to be profitable while doing so.”

Since the pandemic hit in March 2020, Feeding San Diego has seen an estimated 50% increase in need. By working with local restaurants to meet this demand, it ensures that restaurants can keep staff while simultaneously helping the community. San Diegans can text BILL to 707070 to donate a meal to Feeding San Diego.

 

JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL

The 31st Annual San Diego International Jewish Film Festival is coming up Feb. 11-21. Showcasing a selection of the best contemporary Jewish-related films, 31 films are being screened Feb. 11-21, where film enthusiasts can watch from the comfort of their home. This festival is known to be one of the most prestigious Jewish film festivals in the country. Tickets are $15 per program and $12 for JCC members. 

Films can be pre-ordered now. Some films are Limited-Time Screenings, with specific dates of availability and a shorter time period to view. All other films, except for private screenings, are on-demand throughout the duration of the festival. “The Film Selection Committee did an outstanding job of identifying films that were both compelling and entertaining – a mix of interesting documentaries and beautiful narratives,” said Ryan Isaac, director of cultural Arts for the San Diego CJC at the Lawrence Family JCC, Jacobs Family Campus.

Films to be screened include:

 

  • “Determined: The Story of Holocaust Survivor Avraham Perlmutter”

    Exclusive Underwriter Preview film: Perlmutter’s determination, courage and chutzpah are on display in this story of his survival and escape as a teenager during the Holocaust.

  • “Shared Legacies”

    Opening Day film: The story of the Jews’ role in the civil rights movement is presented by a who’s who of Jewish leaders and Black civil rights activists.

  • “On Broadway” (documentary) 

    Lin-Manuel Miranda, Helen Mirran and Huge Jackman are among those who guide viewers on a behind-the-scenes look at groundbreaking shows, including “Hamilton” and “A Chorus Line” and performances from Mandy Patinkin and James Earl Jones.

  • “Tango Shalom” (narrative) 

 

To learn more or purchase tickets, visit www.lfjcc.org/cjc/sdijff.  

 

BRIDGE WORK CLOSES BIKE PATH

The bicycle path on the north side of the San Diego River, between West Mission Bay Drive and Sunset Cliffs Boulevard bridge, will be temporarily closed to the public beginning Monday Feb. 1. Flagging will occur from Feb. 1-5 with complete closures from Feb. 8-12. A detour route with signage posted will be established for bicyclists and pedestrians. The West Mission Bay Drive Bridge Replacement Project replaces the existing four-lane West Mission Bay Drive Bridge, built back in the early 1950s, with two separate three-lane structures, providing an improved transportation link across the San Diego River.

Key improvements of the new bridge include: two new parallel bridge structures with three lanes in each direction; a bike path on both bridges; and roadway widening and improvements along Sports Arena Boulevard, West Mission Bay Drive and the westbound I-8 off-ramp.

 

MAVERICKS IS BACK

Mavericks Beach Club at 860 Garnet Ave. reopened its doors Jan. 28 and has a lineup of daily specials and socially distanced events to get excited about. Mondays through Fridays, from 2-6 p.m., happy hour will consist of $4 beers, wines, and well cocktails, $6 margaritas and Mai Tais, and $2 off all snacks, which includes the loaded California Fries.

Every Monday, Mavericks will stream “The Bachelor,” beginning at 8 p.m. Specials – $5 Babe Rose cans, $10 carafes of wine, and $20 bottles of champagne and rose – will last until close. Touchless Trivia is back. Every Wednesday from 7-9 p.m., play free trivia and enjoy $4 10 Barrel beers during the game.

 

LJSA SEEKS CANDIDATES

The La Jolla Shores Association is actively seeking new board members for its March 10 elections. Board members meet once a month (via Zoom during the COVID-19 crisis) to discuss, debate and take part in helping the La Jolla Shores community to keep the Shores the precious “Jewel” we have all come to appreciate and love. To be placed on the ballot for the March 10 election, email the association at [email protected] with a short, five-line bio and attach the filled in registered member application lajollashoresassociation.org. The members of the recruiting committee are  Joseph Dicks, who can be reached at [email protected]; Brian Earley, who can be reached at [email protected]; and Dede Donovan, who can be reached at [email protected]Each of these board members stands ready to respond to any questions any applicant may have regarding running for the board or seeking membership in the association. 

Tuesday, Jan. 26

 

CITY TACOS MENU REVAMP

With the return of outdoor dining, City Tacos is introducing a menu revamp alongside the return of the beloved Taco Tuesday specials, available in Pacific Beach at 4516 Mission Blvd. Beginning Jan. 26, taco lovers can revel in two new taco styles: Caseros Homestyle Tacos and Tacos Dorados. Guests can select from a variety of new flavors, including the Cochinita Pibil Taco, which features slow-cooked pulled pork in a traditional Mayan achiote sauce, served with pickled onions, semi-spicy serrano habanero creamy green salsa. Tacos Dorados selections include Chorizo con Papas, Papa con Rajas, or the Machaca de Pollo; each order features two golden-fried rolled tacos served with original Mike Hess Solis IPA beer fondue and a semi-spicy serrano-habanero creamy green salsa.

 

LJ ESTANCIA GOES HOLISTIC

Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa has partnered with the San Diego holistic health club, SAFFRON & SAGE, for an interactive, four-week series dedicated to re-energizing and re-engaging the mind, body and spirit to create a year you’ve always dreamt of. As part of the series, Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa will be hosting a full moon ceremony on Jan. 29 at 5 p.m. in a 90-minute ceremony. The hotel will also be hosting a yoga and breathwork class on Jan. 30 at 10:30 a.m. that will be 90 minutes of moving mediation paired with breathwork for a powerful and rejuvenation session to connect body to mind, breath to movement. Spaces are limited as the sessions are held with a limited capacity and with socially distanced protocols.

 

VIRTUAL PRAYER JAN. 30

On  Saturday, Jan. 30 from 9-10 a.m. more than 23 San Diego churches from every corner of the county will unite online for the third We Pray San Diego gathering. The focus will be San Diego hospitals, health care staff, first responders, those struggling with COVID and their families. Last year, on June 20, 135 churches and 15,000 (including online participants) people gathered all over San Diego, in other states and online to pray during the first We Pray San Diego event.

We want to encourage health care workers and frontline healthcare staff to share their prayer requests at wepraysandiego.com,” said Rock Church senior pastor Miles McPherson. “We will be praying for relief and protection from COVID, health and safety for hospital staff and frontline healthcare staff both emotionally and physically.”

 

NAVAL BASE MEETING

The next Restoration Advisory Board meeting for the Naval Base Point Loma Complex Environmental Restoration Program will be Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 5:45 p.m. This will be a virtual meeting and is open to the public.  To request a link contact Kellie Koenig at [email protected]. For more information, call 619-556-8926.

 

ST. PAT’S PARADE CANCELED

The Irish Congress of Southern California has announced the 2021 Saint Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival has officially been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which canceled the 2020 parade as well. This would have been the 40th annual event, which takes place in Bankers Hill and Balboa Park every Saint Patrick’s Day weekend.

“We are of course, very disappointed to have a second Saint Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival canceled,” said Tony Mande, chair of the ICSC board. “However, we are acutely aware that many cultural and community events are also sharing these same difficulties. The priority of the Irish Congress of Southern California will continue to be the health and well-being of our families, friends and the greater San Diego community. We are looking forward to seeing everybody in 2022.”

The ICSC is currently exploring alternatives to the parade and festival including an online event, fundraisers, or a scaled-down celebration later in the year if state mandates allow. The nonprofit and relies solely on sponsorship, donations and event revenue to continue its mission of promoting Irish history and culture in San Diego. For more info, go to stpatsparade.org.

OB WEB DESIGN FIRM AWARDED

Digital.com and services has named OB-based Intrepid Network Inc. to its list of the best web design firms in San Diego. The top companies were selected based on multiple services, size of the firm, and industry focus. Intrepid Network Inc. and other firms were expected to demonstrate industry expertise in specific areas like manufacturing, retail, hospitality and healthcare. Experts at Digital.com examined companies with additional branding or marketing services that would enable businesses to scale up. The guide also features large and small firms to meet a variety of budgets and service needs.

Researchers at Digital.com conducted a 40-hour assessment of over 49 companies across the city. To access the complete list of best web design companies in San Diego, visit digital.com/web-design-companies/san-diego/.

Intrepid Network has worked with local clients such as the Ocean Beach MainStreet Association, Imperial Beach Chamber of Commerce, and more. They work primarily with free, open-source software, so your site doesn’t rely on expensive licenses and third-party tools. In addition to web design, Intrepid offers hosting for Drupal, WordPress, and HIPAA compliant email. Other services include video production and editing, brand identity development and graphic design. The company also works with business improvement districts to create content management systems and social media marketing campaigns. Visit digital.comfor more information.

 

CHINESE MUSEUM ANNIVERSARY

The San Diego Chinese Historical Museum at 401 Third Ave. downtown is hosting an online anniversary celebration on Saturday, Jan. 30 at 10 a.m. This online event will serve as an alternative to the museum’s traditional Chinese New Year Banquet, in light of public health advisories due to COVID-19. The Jan. 30 virtual celebration will feature a docent-led virtual tour of the museum’s recently refreshed permanent exhibition. Mayor Todd Gloria will offer remarks following music by pianist 郞朗 Lang Lang and pipa player 吳蠻 Wu Man.

The celebration will include an online silent auction, which will close at 11 a.m. on event day. In addition, everyone who joins the anniversary celebration is eligible for an opportunity drawing for door prizes. To attend the anniversary celebration, register at https://sdsu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0rfuqurjwrGNI_D1WZl1Io9grw2hCCFq-S.To bid in the auction, sign up at https://www.charityauctionstoday.com/auctions/2021-annual-gala—19974.

 

PB PLAN GROUP ELECTION

Pacific Beach Planning Group, which makes recommendations to the City Council, Planning Commission, City staff and other governmental agencies on land-use matters, is holding elections in March. There are currently 10 residential seats and four business seats open for election. Interested applicants must have attended two meetings in the past 12 months: one meeting can be a subcommittee meeting and one meeting must be a full board meeting.

Upcoming qualifying Subcommittee meetings are Streets & Sidewalks subcommittee Jan. 27 and the Development subcommittee Feb. 4. Refer to pbplanning.org for meeting agendas. If you have not met the qualifications, please attend our meeting(s) and consider applying as we will potentially have unfilled seats available for applicants in April. Interested applicants must be age 18 or older and must live in Pacific Beach to hold a residential seat. For business seats, the applicant’s business must be located in the Pacific Beach business district. Interested applicants should request a residential or business application via email from Adrienne Gallo [email protected]. Completed applications should be submitted using the same email address. Applications are due by 5 p.m. Feb. 24.

 

MAYOR VOTED SANDAG VICE CHAIR

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria has been unanimously elected as vice chair of the San Diego Association of Governments, the region’s transportation planning agency, putting him in position to guide the development of a regional plan for San Diego’s transportation future. Gloria will serve alongside Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear, who was unanimously elected chair in December.

“It is an honor to serve alongside Mayor Blakespear, and I am committed to working with SANDAG’sboard to develop a transportation blueprint for our region that is equitable, sustainable and will improve the everyday lives of millions of people,” Gloria said. “Together, we will implement a plan that will create jobs, fund and build projects to support our climate and housing goals, and provide more viable mobility options for all of us.”

 

CHILDREN’S CHOIR SIGN-UPS

Calling all children who love to sing. San Diego Children’s Choir’s spring classes begin Feb. 14. Review Spring 2021 Schedule. Rehearsals follow social distancing guidelines and are offered outdoors in small group sizes – see COVID-19 Safeguards. Virtual-only rehearsal participation is available for grades 1-12. The first month of programming (mid-February to mid-March) is entirely virtual for Preparatory and Apprentice Choirs and will move to in-person in mid-March. Intermediate Choir’s first two rehearsals will be virtual and will move to in-person in early March. Programming for Early Years and Premier and Chamber Choirs will be in-person beginning mid-February.

How to Join:Children in PRE-K to second grade are not required to audition. New students in grades 3-12 participate in a free informal remote audition with SDCC’s artistic director. They may be eligible for Apprentice, Intermediate, Premier, and/or Chamber Choir. For more information, or to schedule an online audition, visit San Diego Children’s Choir – San Diego Children’s Choir (sdcchoir.org).

Saturday, Jan. 24

MISSION BAY WETLANDS 

At PB Planning Group meeting, Andrew Meyer of San Diego Audubon Society said progress is being made in efforts to expand environmental protections and enlarge wetland habitats in Mission Bay. “The Regional Water Quality Control Board recently approved a project for new planning for wetland restoration in Mission Bay,” Meyer said. “The City now has funded and approved a scope of work over the next 1 ½ years for Mission Bay that includes Campland, De Anza Cove and the mouth of Rose Creek.”

During the pandemic, Meyer added SDAS has been writing a lot of grants. “We’ve also applied for two grants to do some research on the economic value of marshes,” he said. “As times change, and sea levels rise, we will be doing a cost-benefit analysis along with UC San Diego.”

 

PB PROTEST FALLOUT

During the latest PB Planning Group meeting, District 2 community representative Monique Tello told members of Community Collaborators, a loose-knit group of PB civic organizations, that police and government were restricted in dealing with the recent violent public protest on Mission Boulevard.

“You do not need to pull a (City) permit to hold a protest,” Tello told collaborators at their January Zoom meeting. “Most times protesters are not required even to notify the police department before they gather.” Tello noted five police officers were assaulted during the protest and that some suffered minor injuries. She said one juvenile was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer, while some businesses had their windows smashed.

 

PB LIBRARY OPEN

“We’re still offering contactless book holds and pickups,” PB head librarian Christina Wainwright told the PB Planning Group, adding that the library is not yet open inside for patrons. “If you want to use library services inside you have go to the La Jolla or Point Loma libraries,” she said. Wainwright added the PB library continues to host its “Books Like Us Winter Reading Challenge,” which rewards prizes for people of all ages keeping logs of hours they’ve spent reading books. For more information about the reading program and other available services, visit sandiego.gov.

 

CITY STORMWATER PROJECT

The City of San Diego will be able to move forward on a major storm drain repair project thanks to a $5.98 million federal grant. The project will consist of repair and replacement of the Maple Canyon storm drain that serves the Uptown community. When completed, the improvements will reduce the potential for flooding and erosion due to heavy rainfall.

The project will consist of repair and modification of existing storm drains extending from the street into Maple Canyon where runoff flows are conveyed to well defined low points and continue southwest before reentering the City’s storm drain system and exiting into San Diego Bay. Additionally, the project will restore and rehabilitate the entire streambed, stabilize the banks and plant sustainable vegetation within the project footprint.

Old corrugated metal storm drain pipes will be replaced by reinforced concrete pipes and extended, in most cases, to the low points within the canyon. Approximately 4,000 linear feet of pipeline are planned for installation. The grant was awarded by the U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration and will fund half the project with the City financing the remainder. The City expects work to start by late 2022 after the project design, environmental permitting and construction bidding processes have been completed. 

 

SPIETH JOINS FARMERS OPEN

Another top golfer, Jordan Spieth, an 11-time winner on the PGA Tour, has committed to compete in the 2021 Farmers Insurance Open set for Jan. 28-31 at Torrey Pines Golf Course. Spieth joins a field that currently includes 23 of the top 50 players in the Official World Golf Rankings and 16 players among the top 30 in the 2020-21 FedExCup points standings. There are also seven past Farmers Insurance Open winners committed, as well as 12 players who have accounted for 25 major championship victories.

Spieth owns two international victories and has played in three Ryder Cups and three Presidents Cups. He will make his sixth appearance in the Farmers Insurance Open, where his best performance was a top-20 finish in 2014. San Diego products committed to the Farmers Insurance Open include Rickie Fowler, Charley Hoffman, Jamie Lovemark, Kyle Mendoza, Phil Mickelson, Pat Perez, Xander Schauffele and J.J. Spaun.

 

VIRTUAL WILDLIFE BABY SHOWER

Every spring San Diego Humane Society’s Project Wildlife program is flooded with injured and orphaned baby wildlife and needs the community’s help to give them a second chance. But this year, instead of an in-person event, the public is invited to participate in a week-long virtual Wildlife Baby Shower, sdhumane.org/registry, Jan. 25-Feb. 6.

By donating a special gift from the society’s baby registry, sdhumane.org/registry, the community will help prepare for the thousands of young animals including raccoons, rabbits, hummingbirds, ducklings and even baby bobcats, that need help in the coming months. The public’s generosity will help give these babies the care they need to grow healthy and strong before they’re released back into the wild. Every bottle, bag of birdseed and can of baby food donated will make a lifesaving difference.

“Pandemic or no pandemic, the babies are coming and we will work tirelessly to give them the second chance they deserve,” said Gary Weitzman, SDHS president/CEO. “While our baby shower is a virtual event for everyone’s safety this year, we need the community’s support just as much so we can care for the thousands of orphaned and injured baby wildlife who will undoubtedly come through our doors this spring.”

 

BILL WOULD CAP DELIVERY APP FEES

California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) has introduced new legislation, Assembly Bill 286, to create a more equitable food delivery marketplace for restaurants.

“Restaurants are being taken for a ride by multi-billion dollar food delivery companies,” Gonzalez said. “The piecemeal approach to this problem by local governments is not enough. We need to create statewide rules that protect struggling businesses against these price-gouging tactics.”    

AB 286 would require food delivery apps to give their customers and partnered restaurants an accurate, clearly identified and itemized cost breakdown of each transaction. Delivery app companies would be prohibited from taking any portion of money intended to be a tip or gratuity for the delivery driver.

AB 286 continues the effort to establish basic standards around fair food delivery services that Assemblywoman Gonzalez started last year with the Fair Food Delivery Act, her legislation AB 2149 (2020), which ensures restaurants have explicitly agreed to delivery services before a delivery app company can offer their food. 

 

LJ PROJECT WINS ENGINEERING AWARD

Engineering and consultant firm Moffatt & Nichol is one of four San Diego companies named as 2021 recipients of the American Council of Engineering Companies California’s annual Engineering Excellence Awards. Moffatt & Nichol was cited for their work on the Gilman Road Bridge in La Jolla.

Awarded projects were recognized for demonstrating an exceptional degree of innovation, complexity, achievement, and value. The Gilman Drive Bridge at the University of California San Diego provides a link over Interstate 5 for students, faculty and visitors commuting between the East and West campuses.

Moffatt & Nichol developed bridge concepts with UC San Diego Design & Construction staff that included a standard two-span box girder, a three-span frame, and a modern concrete arch. The University chose the arch because of its elegant shape, which is unique within the I-5 corridor. The 406-foot-long bridge completes the long-planned campus loop road and provides a much needed second crossing for the growing campus by extending Gilman Drive across the freeway to provide a connection for buses, cars, bicycles, and pedestrians.

As the prime consultant to UC San Diego Facilities Design & Construction, Moffatt & Nichol led the design of the $32 million project and provided civil, roadway and bridge engineering. Moffatt & Nichol also coordinated closely with Caltrans and SANDAG to accommodate the MidCoast Trolley project and provided engineering support during construction. The Moffat & Nichol Gilman Road Bridge Project is now eligible to enter the national level Engineering Excellence Awards competition in Washington, D.C.

 

LJ COMMUNITY CENTER WEDNESDAY CONNECT

La Jolla Community Center is offering classes as part of its Wednesday Connect interactive sessions featuring speakers presenting interesting topics for education and discussion with Q&A’s every Wednesday at 10 a.m. The next Wednesday Connect session is: Staying Positive, Facing Frustration and Creating Opprtunities: Cindy Burke, Ph.D., Feb. 3 from 10-11 a.m.

A new year is often a time for resolutions and intentions. Burke will share her insights and practical advice regarding things we can do daily to be happier and more at peace, including ten tips and questions to ask ourselves to make each day the best it can be. Register at ljcommunitycenter.org/wednesday-connect.

 

PBTC VIRTUAL EVENTS

Pacific Beach Town Council is hosting a series of free virtual events for the community. The nonprofit is kicking it off this month with their Kids Series. Tuesday, Jan. 26, 5-5:30 p.m. Kids Series: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Story & Craft. This is a live interactive story and coordinating craft event. 

Tuesday, Feb. 9, 5-5:30 p.m. Kids Series Be My Valentine Story and Craf celebrating Valentine’s day with kids. Both events are sponsored by PBTC 2020 Honorary Mayor Cathie Jolley, a Pacific Beach resident and school teacher. For more information visit Pacific Beach Town Council’s Facebook page.

 

NEW VP AT LJ SOFTWARE FIRM

La Jolla-based MadCap Software, Inc. at 9191 Towne Centre Drive has added Aubrey Williams as vice president of sales. He joins MadCap from Siemens where he led the company’s global inside sales team. Aubrey will leverage his 20-plus years of sales management experience, including 10 years at MadCap competitor Adobe, in supporting MadCap Software’s next stage of growth. 

Sunday, Jan. 17

KAYAK CLEANUP

Any kayakers out there want to do some good? The San Diego River Park Foundation is looking for people with kayaks to help remove trash from sensitive habitat at the San Diego River Estuary at a “B.Y.O.-Kayak Cleanup” on Saturday, Jan. 30. Kayaks will be sent out in three shifts: 8:15 a.m.-9:15 a.m., 9 a.m.-10 a.m., or 9:45 a.m.-10:45 a.m. Please indicate which shift you would prefer when you RSVP. For more information and to RSVP, email [email protected]

Space is limited and volunteers must bring their own kayak. SDRPF staff will be enforcing COVID-19 health and safety measures to provide a safe volunteer experience for participants. If you have questions or concerns, email [email protected].

MICKELSON JOINS FARMERS OPEN

San Diego native and three-time Farmers Insurance Open winner Phil Mickelson has committed to compete in the 2021 tournament, set for Jan. 28-31 at Torrey Pines Golf Course. Mickelson joins a field that currently includes 16 of the top 50 players in the Official World Golf Rankings and 16 players among the top 30 in the 2020-21 FedExCup points standings. There are also five past Farmers Insurance Open winners committed, as well as six players who have accounted for 14 major championship victories.

Other San Diego products committed to the Farmers Insurance Open include Rickie Fowler, Charley Hoffman, Jamie Lovemark, Kyle Mendoza, Pat Perez, Xander Schauffele and J.J. Spaun. The field is not final until the commitment deadline on Friday, Jan. 22 shortly after conclusion of play in that week’s tournament. Click here to view the current player field.

UC SAN DIEGO E-CIGARETTE STUDY

An analysis of a large nationally representative longitudinal study by University of California San Diego Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science reportS that starting tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, before the age of 18 is a major risk factor for people becoming daily cigarette smokers. Reporting in the Jan. 11 online edition of Pediatrics, researchers found that in 2014 people age 12 to 24 who used e-cigarettes were three times as likely to become daily cigarette smokers in the future. Among those who reported using a tobacco product, daily use increased with age through age 28. Daily cigarette smoking nearly doubled between 18 to 21 year olds (12 percent) and 25 to 28 year olds (21 percent).

“This is the first paper that actually looks at progression to dependent cigarette smoking among young adults. In these data, e-cigarettes are a gateway for those who become daily cigarette smokers,” said the study’s first author, John P. Pierce, PhD, professor emeritus at Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science and UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center. “The start product has changed from cigarettes to e-cigarettes, but the end product has stayed the same. When users become dependent on nicotine, they are converting to cigarette smoking.”

LA JOLLA SYMPHONY

With the COVID-19 pandemic impacting everyday life, the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus has once again re-imagined its 2020-2021 season. Titled “Stay Home With Us,” the reimagined program will combine some of the lively conversation, fascinating ideas and extraordinary music.

The six-part monthly series will prepare a lively menu of musical encounters featuring interviews, solo performances and selected pre-recorded works from the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus archives. Join from your living room, or maybe from the kitchen, as you prepare a meal and enjoy a glass of wine or listen as you walk on the beach or on the trails.

It will begin on Jan. 15 with a program titled “Music in Nature.” It will feature selected movements from Beethoven’s picturesque Symphony No. 8 a solo performance of John Cage’s Child of Tree by percussionist Matt LeVeque and an archived performance of L.J. White’s Community Acoustics. Productions will also be aired Feb. 19, March 19, April 16, May 14, and June 18. Series subscriptions or individual event tickets can be purchased by visiting lajollasymphony.com, by phoning the Box Office at 858-534-4637.  

NONSTOP ALASKA AIRLINES NY FLIGHT

Alaska Airlines will add daily nonstop service to New York via John F. Kennedy International Airport from San Diego International Airport beginning April 4. Alaska Airlines joins three other airlines that also provide nonstop service to JFK. 

“We thank Alaska Airlines for adding new, nonstop service to JFK from SAN,” said Kimberly Becker, San Diego County Regional Airport Authority President and CEO. “This service will complement Alaska Airlines’ daily nonstop service to Newark Liberty International Airport, providing passengers with additional options to get to the New York metropolitan area. We appreciate Alaska Airlines’ investment in San Diego as a West Coast hub.”

This is the first new route Alaska Airlines has added this year. The airline will begin nonstop service to Missoula, Mont. March 11. Tickets are already on sale at alaskaair.com.  

GONZALEZ ASSEMBLY BILL

During the COVID-19 crisis, California students are missing out on crucial learning time that could have long-term effects on their educational progress. Assembly Bill 104 by California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) will help disadvantaged K-12 students recover from nearly a year of lost instruction time with opportunities for grade recovery, supplemental instruction, and intervention programs designed to tackle students’ socio-emotional needs.

Gonzalez’s AB 104, also known as the COVID-19 Student Learning Recovery Act of 2021, will provide local education agencies in the state a roadmap to hold California students harmless for lost learning time during the COVID-19 crisis. Under this legislation, students would receive academic instruction based on their individual needs, with specific supports for English learners and students with exceptional needs, in small cohorts or in the form of distance learning if public health conditions prevent schools from reopening safely.

CHORUS VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSE

The award-winning San Diego Chorus of Sweet Adelines International wants you to shine in 2021. The Chorus is hosting their Winter Open House virtually on Jan. 27 from 7 to 9 p.m. The event, “New Year, New Start, New You,” will be held via Zoom. The San Diego Chorus is looking for all women and other marginalized genders from all walks of life who get joy from singing and performing.

The night will be structured much like the weekly “ViRehearsals” and will include an educational breakout session for guests including an explanation of what a cappella singing is, and how barbershop fits in the genre; information about Sweet Adelines International and competition; questions answered regarding voice parts, and more. For more information, visit San Diego Chorus – The San Diego Chorus of Sweet Adelines International.

NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Girls on the Run San Diego enters the new year with new leadership, hiring Anna Maria Gentiluomo Maybury as its new executive director. Maybury brings to Girls on the Run San Diego extensive experience in the nonprofit space, having worked previously with San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum, Project Left Behind, and Voices for Children.

In her role as executive director, she will lead organizational development and strategic planning, optimize financial performance and cultivate existing and future charitable partnerships, manage the Girls on the Run San Diego staff, and oversee all programming in San Diego County. For more information about Girls on the Run and how to register as an individual or start a new team for the spring season, visit gotrsd.org.

Tuesday, Jan. 12

MAYOR REACTS TO VIOLENT PB PROTESTS

“This past weekend, we saw violent confrontations and destruction following the outrageous events last Wednesday in Washington, D.C., when the President used lies and disinformation to incite his followers to storm and ransack the Capitol, causing the deaths of five people,” said Mayor Todd Gloria in a release. “Violence will not be tolerated in San Diego. There will be consequences for those who bring that kind of behavior to our city. I am asking for the public’s help in identifying anyone who was seen committing acts of violence in Pacific Beach. Please report those incidents and individuals to the San Diego Police Department as soon as possible.

“The City of San Diego will always support the people’s right to demonstrate and voice their opinions while taking measures to keep the peace and prevent violence,” added Gloria. “However, I want to remind San Diegans that COVID-19 continues to kill thousands of Americans every day, and the smartest thing all of us can do right now is stay home.”

Anyone with information leading police investigators to those who acted violently last weekend in PB should call the San Diego Police Department’s Northern Division Substation at 858-552-1700.

ROSE CREEK BIKEWAY PROGRESSING

Over the past several months, SANDAG construction crews have made significant progress constructing the Rose Creek Bikeway that runs two miles along Santa Fe Street between the cul-de-sac at the north end (south of SR 52) and the new Mission Bay Drive undercrossing (north of Garnet Avenue).

Recent construction activities included:

  • Roadway striping

  • Planting trees and groundcover

  • Irrigation improvements

  • Stormwater maintenance

  • Electrical work

  • Grading and paving

  • Installing curb, fences, and railing

Upcoming construction activities will include building the raised median for the bikeway on Santa Fe Street, paving the path along the creek, continued planting of trees and ground cover, habitat restoration, and the installation of lighting, signage, and other finishing touches. The bikeway is expected to be completed in spring 2021.

SEA WORLD DRIVE-THRU

SeaWorld San Diego is giving fans a whole new way to enjoy the park with the first Sesame Street Parade of Lights Drive-Thru. Guests can experience the all-new drive-thru event on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from Jan. 15 through Feb. 14. With enhanced health and safety measures in place, the new drive-thru allows guests to drive under SeaWorld’s Skytower lights and through light tunnels while enjoying the only Sesame Street Parade of Lights on the West Coast. The experience features everyone’s favorite furry friends dancing along to a lively Sesame Street soundtrack.

“This is an exciting new way for families to experience SeaWorld’s Sesame Street Party Parade and an incredible winter wonderland of lights from the safety of their own cars,” said park president Marilyn Hannes. “As we continue to promote our enhanced health and safety protocols, we are thrilled to offer this unique opportunity so our guests can enjoy SeaWorld like never before.”

After passing through the entrance, guests will begin their journey by meandering through a winter wonderland of lights lined with their Sesame Street friends physically distanced on parade floats while listening to Sesame Street music along the way. The excitement continues as guests venture under the illuminated Skytower and watch in awe as they drive through two different tunnels of lights before cruising through the Sesame Street Village. Seasonal favorite snacks will be available to enjoy in the car with limited contact purchasing. Advance purchase of date and time-specific tickets are required and start at $49.99 per vehicle. Tickets are on sale and advance reservations are required for all visitors to manage capacity. 

 

HIGH MARKS FOR CITY BUILDING CODE EFFECTIVENESS

In recognition of the City of San Diego’s exemplary efforts to enforce and administer the building code, the Insurance Services Office has given the City its second-highest national rating for effectiveness and performance.

The ISO rating recognizes the City’s Development Services Department and its dedication to comprehensive building plan reviews and field inspection services. DSD staff work with developers, residents, and businesses to ensure new buildings are code-compliant, have structural integrity and minimize catastrophe-related damage, ultimately helping lower insurance costs for property owners.

“Through the proactive upkeep of the building code and regulating the design and construction of buildings, we are reducing vulnerabilities from the devastating effects of natural disasters,” said Mayor Todd Gloria. “DSD’s efforts help protect public welfare and provide future cost-savings on insurance premiums for homeowners and small businesses.”

As a statistical, rating, and advisory organization, the ISO evaluated more than 14,000 building departments nationwide in 2020, providing advisory insurance underwriting and rating information to insurers. Its Building Code Effectiveness Grading Schedule is a rating system that ranks how well municipalities mitigate property damage caused by natural disasters. The system is used by individual property insurance carriers to help set rates.

“The ISO evaluated our current staffing capabilities, the codes enforced and the quantity of permits reviewed and inspected, determining that we have achieved the second-highest rating in the industry,” said DSD deputy director and chief building official Kelly Charles. “Though we are rated among the nation’s best, we will continue to improve our training and staff development to serve the City of San Diego even better.” Visit DSD’s website to view the most requested services, make an appointment, and to find other project and permitting resources. 

 

CESARINA EXPANDS IN POINT LOMA

One of San Diego’s more popular Italian restaurants, Cesarina has taken over the 1,100-square-foot space across the street in Point Loma and will open Angelo, a bakery and pizza shop with a full bar set to debut later this year. After relocating to San Diego from Rome, Cesarina Mezzoni and her husband Niccolò Angius started their Cesarina brand as a pasta vendor at area farmers markets before launching their first brick-and-mortar restaurant in March 2019 in Point Loma. In order to expand operations, the couple has taken over space across the street that previously housed Richard Hosker Whyte Antiques to open a compact bakery with a pizza component. 

Angelo is expected to open later this year at 4060 Voltaire St. and Point Loma. In addition to having a small dining area with a chefs’ table for intimate meals, the eatery will be used for much of the preparation at both restaurants, including making fresh pasta, pizza, sauces, and bakery items like Italian desserts and cakes. Angelo will also have a full bar thanks to the eatery obtaining the liquor license from the now-defunct Jolt N Joes La Mesa branch. For more information about Cesarina, visit cesarinarestaurant.com.

 

LINK BETWEEN METABOLISM AND DEPRESSION

Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, in collaboration with Dutch scientists, have found that certain metabolites — small molecules produced by the process of metabolism — may be predictive indicators for persons at risk for recurrent major depressive disorder. The findings were published in the Jan. 11 online issue of Translational Psychiatry.

“This is evidence for a mitochondrial nexus at the heart of depression,” said senior author Robert K. Naviaux, MD, PhD, professor of medicine, pediatrics, and pathology at UC San Diego School of Medicine. “It’s a small study, but it is the first to show the potential of using metabolic markers as predictive clinical indicators of patients at greatest risk — and lower risk — for recurring bouts of major depressive symptoms.”

Clinical depression is a mood disorder characterized by multiple symptoms in combination: feelings of sadness or hopelessness, anger or frustration, loss of interest, sleep disturbances, anxiety, slowed or difficulty thinking suicidal thoughts, and unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches.

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is among the most common mental illnesses in the United States, with an estimated lifetime prevalence of 20.6 percent, meaning one in five Americans will suffer at least one episode during their lives. For patients who have recurrent MDD (rMDD), the five-year recurrence risk is up to 80 percent. View the full study at nature.com/articles/s41398-020-01182-w#Sec31.

 

NONSTOP JAPAN FLIGHTS RESUME AT SAN DIEGO AIRPORT

Japan Airlines has resumed nonstop flights between Tokyo, Japan via Narita International Airport and San Diego International Airport . The service will operate three times a week with the first arrival into San Diego on March 2 and the first departure from San Diego on March 3. The resumption comes after Japan Airlines suspended service in April 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Japan Airlines provides the greater San Diego area with an important nonstop link to Asia,” said Kimberly Becker, San Diego County Regional Airport Authority president and CEO. “By providing Japan with direct access to our region, San Diego is more competitive and attractive to those individuals looking to vacation or conduct business in Southern California, which is critical to rebuilding our economy post-COVID-19. We look forward to welcoming travelers from Asia once again and thank Japan Airlines for resuming this important service.”

Japan Airlines became the first airline to launch nonstop flights between Asia and San Diego when they inaugurated service to Tokyo in December 2012. Pre-COVID-19, the airline offered daily nonstop flights which were immensely popular. For schedule and tickets, visit jal.com/en/

 

CODE UPDATES STREAMLINE PERMITTING

To keep up with the ever-changing needs of the City of San Diego’s land uses, the City Council has approved an update to the code that regulates the development and use of properties. Among the 44 items in this Land Development Code Update, applicants can now turn ground floor commercial spaces into residential uses more quickly.

Additionally, recreational amenities in the public right of way will no longer need a development permit, and adult day care facility regulations will now be defined in the City’s Municipal Code.

 “Each component of this update is a step toward fulfilling the City’s goals of creating more dynamic neighborhoods that are more inclusive and sustainable,” said Mayor Todd Gloria. “These updates are also about adapting to the challenges we face during this time. We are enduring a housing crisis and it’s important we make it easier to build more homes for San Diegans. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s also critical that we support local businesses and help them get through this.” 

“Land Development Code Updates are crucial to keeping the City progressing in a positive direction, adapting to new trends such as an aging population, and anticipating for what is expected to come,” said Planning Department Director Mike Hansen. “These updates remove unnecessary barriers to ensure our City’s needs, like making it easier to create housing, are met.” 

Thursday, Jan. 7

BALLET BARRE ZOOM CLASSES

Starting on Monday, Jan. 11, City Ballet School in Pacific Beach will offer one-hour Ballet Barre Zoom classes. It’s fun and perfect for all fitness levels. Sculpt your way to a dancer’s body in the comfort of your home. Ballet Barre classes are a way to achieve a dancer’s physique without having to learn choreography.  Classes feature exercises using the ballet barre that tone your legs, lift your glutes and strengthen your upper body core. The class ends with a stretch to help you relax and to lengthen your muscles.

Contact the City Ballet School office at 858-274-6058 weekdays between 9 a.m.-1 p.m. or 3-7 p.m. You will receive a Zoom meeting invitation to join the Ballet Barre Classes. If you are not a student currently enrolled at City Ballet School, complete the 2020-2021 Adult Registration Form and submit via email to [email protected].

 

NEW PORT CEO

The Port of San Diego Board has selected Joe Stuyvesant as its next president/CEO. Stuyvesant, who currently serves as executive director at Navy Region Southwest, was considered the top candidate among hundreds of applicants after a vigorous nationwide search that began in September. Stuyvesant’s contract is expected to be ratified at the Jan. 19 board meeting and it’s expected he will assume his duties Feb. 1.

Stuyvesant served in the United States Navy for 30 years. His primary assignment in the Navy was as a naval aviator. Stuyvesant will lead more than 500 employees managing the Port, a specially created state district responsible for more than 14,000 acres of tideland, bay, and beaches along 34 miles of waterfront in five cities.

 

NATIONAL BAGEL DAY

National Bagel Day is Friday, Jan. 15 and local bagel companies are offering some sweet deals to mark the occasion. To celebrate the tasty holiday, guests can receive any of the below free bagel deals simply by ordering ahead on the respective brand’s mobile app beginning Jan. 15 through the end of the month: 

 

  • Einstein Bros. Bagels: Receive any egg sandwich of your choice, such as crowd-favorites like the Farmhouse and Chorizo Sunrise, for free with any purchase when you order ahead through the brand’s mobile app.

 

  • Noah’s New York Bagels: Receive any egg sandwich of your choice on a high quality, fresh-baked New York-style bagel for free with any purchase when you Order Ahead through the brand’s mobile app. 

 

  • Bruegger’s Bagels: A free, fresh-baked and authentic New York-style bagel and cream cheese with any purchase when you Order Ahead through the brand’s mobile app.

 

AIRPORT BOARD APPOINTEE

Newly elected County Supervisor Nora Vargas of Chula Vista has been appointed to the board of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority replacing former Supervisor Greg Cox. Vargas was nominated by Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher and confirmed by the full board on Jan. 5. The Airport Authority, which operates San Diego International Airport, is governed by a nine-member Board whose members are appointed by elected officials representing all areas of San Diego County.

 

NEEDS ASSESSMENT SURVEY

Through Jan.15, Circulate San Diego is working alongside the County of San Diego’s Community Action Partnership to collect input about community needs across the region. To ensure the community has a voice in the process, the County and CSD invite residents to participate in a Community Needs Assessment Survey and Community Conversations being held virtually.

The purpose of the 2020 Needs Assessment is to identify current strengths, needs, and ideas for future services in the community. Previous Needs Assessments have identified top needs to be youth programs, housing, gang activity, community engagement, access to healthy food, infrastructure improvement, employment, education, and transportation. Take the survey by Jan. 15 and be entered to win a $100 Amazon Gift Card. surveymonkey.com/r/SanDiegoNeedsAssessment2020.

 

SCRIPPS PARK UPDATE

Construction activity is continuing for the EB Scripps Park Comfort Station Replacement Project to replace outdated and deteriorating restroom-shower facilities with an attractive, sustainable pavilion honoring the beauty of the Cove and Scripps Park. Work has begun on the foundation of the north building. The crews expect to pour the walls in the early weeks of January. Work will continue on the structural elements of the buildings for the next few months. The project remains on schedule and is anticipated for completion this summer.

 

UC SAN DIEGO TOPS FOR LUNG TRANSPLANTS

The university’s lung transplant program ranks among the nation’s best. Recently, the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients announced its biannual report, released every January and July, ranking transplant programs across the United States. The SRTR evaluates the status of the nation’s solid organ transplant system and provides data analyses to transplant programs, organ procurement organizations, policymakers, transplant professionals, transplant recipients, organ donors, and donor families, as well as the general public to help improve overall recipient outcomes.

In the latest rankings, UC San Diego Health’s lung transplant program was first in the nation for one-year patient survival outcomes among programs with a volume of 30 to 100 lung transplants performed, and second in the nation among all lung transplant programs. According to the SRTR, the probability of UC San Diego Health lung transplant recipients surviving one-year post-transplant is 98.59 percent, which is higher than the expected rate of 90.94 percent and national average rate of 89.86 percent.

 

FRIDGE RUN BENEFITS FOOD BANK

Cutwater Spirits’ First Fridge Run benefiting The San Diego Food Bank will take place virtually on Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 23-24. Those interested in participating in the lighthearted competition can purchase a race kit and register at cutwaterspirits.com/fridge-run-2021. All race kit proceeds go to the San Diego Food Bank, and Cutwater will provide at least 125,000 meals to the community. Direct donations can also be made on the registration site. Actor Kevin McHale and comedian Sarah Colonna are joining Cutwater for the race-from-home challenge by posting footage of their “race day training routines” (to and from the fridge) on Instagram.

Participants are encouraged to do the same and share training, race-prep and “most epic” weekend strides to the fridge content for a chance to win prizes like a fridge-full of Cutwater Spirits’ award-winning canned cocktails. The winners’ podium will include Best in Show, Most Creative, Most Athletic, Best Music and/or Choreography and Best Fridge/Finish Line.

 

POINT LOMA PLAYHOUSE CLASSES

Nonprofit Point Loma Playhouse at 3035 Talbot St. is offering classes for all levels Jan. 11 through Feb. 8. Hamilton resident director Hannah Ryan will show how Trust The Text will strengthen your acting skills through text-based analysis of new works. With the goal of finding strength in truth, you will learn to approach new and developing pieces of theatre with an action-based objective. The five-week live class begins Monday, Jan. 11 at 4 p.m. For more information, visit pointlomaplayhouse.com.

 

Wednesday, Jan. 6

WINTER READING CHALLENGE

Connect with characters and explore new stories this January with the City of San Diego Public Library’s annual Winter Reading Challenge. The program, which began Jan. 1, and the theme, Books Like Us, is a celebration of diversity and stories that reflect the unique experiences of people around the world. The Winter Reading Challenge is open to children and adults. Participants who complete the program by reading five books or logging five hours of reading are eligible for a variety of prizes including passes to San Diego’s Museum of Us, meal vouchers, puzzles and journals.

The program runs through Jan. 31. Participants can register online and view of list of recommended books at sandiego.gov/WinterReading and join the San Diego Public Library’s Virtual Hub for storytimes and book discussions. For a list of available in-person and online library services, visit the San Diego Public Library’s web page

FARMERS INSURANCE OPEN RETURNS

Three notable players have committed this week to compete in the 2021 Farmers Insurance Open, set for Jan. 28-31 at Torrey Pines Golf Course:

  • Jon Rahm – World No. 2 and 2017 Farmers Insurance Open champion;

  • Brooks Koepka – World No. 12 and four-time major championship winner;

  • Marc Leishman – World No. 28 and 2020 Famers Insurance Open champion.

 Rahm, Koepka and Leishman join a field that currently includes 15 of the top 50 players in the Official World Golf Rankings and 15 players among the top 30 in the 2020-21 FedExCup points standings. There are also three past Farmers Insurance Open winners committed, as well as five players who have accounted for nine major championship victories. San Diego products committed to the Farmers Insurance Open include Rickie Fowler, Charley Hoffman, Jamie Lovemark, Kyle Mendoza, Pat Perez, Xander Schauffele and J.J. Spaun.

STATE RELIEF AID EXTENDED

Small Businesses and nonprofits now have some extra time to apply for $500 million in State of California COVID-19 relief funds. The San Diego and Imperial Small Business Development Center, Supervisor Nathan Fletcher and The San Diego Foundation have partnered to make sure those funds get into the hands of those who have been most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Interested entities can apply at CaReliefgrant.com. They have until 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 13.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced in December $500 million in grant funds for small businesses and nonprofits. This is not a first-come, first-serve grant. All applications will start to be reviewed following the closure of the application period. These grants are to cover business expenses and specifically for small businesses hit by the pandemic.

BLOOD DONOR MONTH

San Diego Blood Bank is celebrating National Blood Donor Month throughout January by inviting eligible individuals to donate blood and convalescent plasma in 2021 with the goal of creating a robust supply that can meet local hospital patient needs. To be eligible to donate blood you must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 114 pounds and be in general good health. Appointments are required and available by visiting sandiegobloodbank.org or by calling 619-400-8251.

ROSE CREEK GUIDED WALK

A guided walk around Rose Creek to learn about native plants and animals that co-exist in the estuary will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 9. There will be a 10-person maximum, masks are required and there will be no sharing of binoculars with people outside their own household. Rose Creek is a hidden treasure in Pacific Beach, a quiet, peaceful stroll under the hanging Eucalyptus trees that line the walking path on the west side and the bike path on the east side. You might see or hear the osprey family, kingfisher, great blue heron, hawk, egrets, and the mud feeders; plovers, willits, sandpipers and ducks.

Wear sturdy shoes, bring binoculars and your camera or smart phone and a coat. Suitable for all ages. Guests will be walking on mostly flat paved and dirt trails. Meet at the Mission Bay High School Faculty parking lot off Grand Ave and next to the Creek. Here is a google map pin with the location of where to park.

NEW LA MESA BARBECUE

La Mesa’s newest addition, Smokey & The Brisket, is ready to ring in the new year with toothsome barbecue sure to become a staple favorite in the neighborhood’s growing culinary scene. Locals and visitors can curb cravings as they savor the smokey goodness of barbecue prepared the old-fashioned way, with custom techniques that are revved up with flavor and quality. Smokey & the Brisket is now open for lunch and dinner Tuesdays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., in a 5,000-square-foot space at 5465 Lake Murray Blvd.

Smokey & The Brisket’s seasoned owner and chef is San Diego restaurateur, Alberto Morreale, who is behind such concepts as Farmer’s Table and Farmer’s Bottega. The barbecue concept is Morreale’s second La Mesa eatery, and he has a real heart for the community. Call for more information at 619-439-6544.

AMBROSIA 15 TRANSFORMING

Semola Pasta is leaving the Little Italy Food Hall and re-opening sometime in early 2021 in La Jolla as Semola – The Ambrogio15 Pasta Bar on 7556 Fay Ave. The new establishment will feature a menu with several modern pasta dishes that will share the same philosophy of high quality, gourmet ingredients and recipes that made Ambrogio successful. There will also be some special dishes inspired by the owner’s hometown of Milano, Italy. The new location has a beautiful patio. The eatery will also always be available for take-out and delivery. Say tuned and follow at semolapastasd.

ODDITIES & CURIOSITIES EXPO

For Lovers of the strange, unusual, and biizarre, the Oddities & Curiosities Expo is coming to San Diego Jan. 16 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. The event focuses on the weird, with local and national vendors selling all things strange and unusual. You’ll see items such as taxidermy, preserved specimens, odd antiques, horror and Halloween merchandise, original artwork, animal and human skulls/bones, jewelry made from insects/bones, clothing, antique medical equipment, vintage circus collectibles and much more. For more information, visit odditiesandcuriositiesexpo.com.