Carmel Valley News Headlines

Syndicate content
The Latest News from the Community of Del Mar
Updated: 5 hours 3 min ago

Surf Girls Academy U12 reaches finals at Cup

Thu, 09/04/2014 - 09:00

The Surf Girls Academy U12, coached by Steveo Leacock, were finalists at the Notts Forest Labor Day Cup.

The Surf Girls Academy U12, coached by Steveo Leacock, were finalists at the Notts Forest Labor Day Cup.  The team gave up 2 goals on the weekend, both to the champion team Notts Forest FC. Back row (L-R): Coach Steveo, Hannah Samuels, Anya Roy, Sophie Pilarski, Olivia Jandreski, Casey White, Ally Greenhalgh, Kelly Liu, Ariana McLean. Front row: Mia Grust, Alyssa Bryant, Melanie Gresser, Zaylin Tsakiris, Samantha Quinlan, Mia Koczur. Not pictured: Kate O’Hara.

Del Mar Foundation, Rotary invite all to post-summer beach clean-up Sept. 21

Thu, 09/04/2014 - 09:00

As summer comes to a close, it is time again to clean up local beaches. This year, the Del Mar Foundation and the Rotary Club of Del Mar are working together in this effort and invite you to join them from 2-3:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 21, at Powerhouse Park. Trash bags, grabbers and gloves will be provided.

This event is open to volunteers of all ages — especially families with children — who are interested in contributing to beach beautification and care of their community. Light refreshments will be served. To sign up and for information, contact the Del Mar Foundation at 858-635-1363.

The Del Mar Foundation promotes community cohesiveness, raises and grants funds, preserves open space, improves beaches and parklands, sponsors diverse cultural programs, and manages nearly $2 million in endowment funds to benefit the greater Del Mar community. Visit;

Congressional rep Scott Peters shares insights as ‘distinguished speaker’ at local community center

Thu, 09/04/2014 - 09:00

Congressman Scott Peters. Photo by Pat Sherman

By Pat Sherman

U.S. Congressmember Scott Peters (D-52nd) stopped by the La Jolla Community Center on Aug. 26 to update guests on his legislative activities and field questions as part of the center’s Distinguished Speakers Series.

Peters, who served on the San Diego City Council (2000-2008) and was chairman of the Port Commission before being elected to Congress in 2012, touched on the political climate in the nation’s capital and his working relationship with other Congressional leaders in the region (he faces Republican former City Councilman Carl DeMaio this fall in his quest for a second term).

During his talk, Peters touted the San Diego region as a hub for the military, drone development, biotech and clean technologies, noting his role as co-chairman of the newly formed Congressional Algae Caucus and UC San Diego’s role as a leader in research and development of algae-based biofuels.

Peters also highlighted the importance of advocating for increased National Institutes of Health funding for research into diseases such as Ebola being conducted at institutions on the Torrey Pines Mesa.

He said that while running for Congress he was told by researchers at Salk Institute that NIH grant approvals have decreased from about 25 percent to 7 percent in recent years — making it difficult for institutions to recruit the next generation of scientific innovators.

“Young scientists come out of school … and they’re wondering whether the United States is going to fund their scientific research,” he said. “They question whether they should go to Israel, Singapore, Brazil or China … because that’s where they’re making those investments — and that’s something I’m very concerned about. We have to invest in the NIH as a budget priority, just like we would invest in keeping bridges from falling down.”

In terms of immigration reform, Peters said he supports the Staple Act (H.R. 1227), which would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to make it easier for foreign nationals with advanced degrees in science, technology, math or engineering to establish residency.

“Immigration law is telling us to kick out these really smart people,” he said. “Imagine if (Google co-founder) Sergey Brin had been sent back to Russia. Google would be a Russian company, and we don’t want that.”

Peters also touted local innovation in the field of medical devices, such as ResMed’s CPAP machine, which helps people with sleep apnea, and tools for less invasive back surgery developed by NuVasive.

He said he feels the federal government is “making some big mistakes” by taxing medical device companies on their sales. “A young company starting out is going to have a hard time making profits,” said Peters, who favors repealing the tax. “At the same time, FDA approval for new devices is very slow, so a device that might be made in the United States will be available for patients in Europe three to five years earlier than it is here. That’s going to drive those jobs over to Europe.”

Peters also spoke about his work with retired Navy Rear Admiral Ronne Froman, a longtime homeless advocate and former chief operating officer for both the Red Cross and city of San Diego.

The two of them worked in concert to form the Military Transition Support Project to better connect San Diego Veterans with resources to help make the shift back to civilian life easier.

Of the 15,000 Marines and sailors released from duty each year in San Diego, about half remain here, Peter said.

“San Diego has the third largest population of veterans in the United States,” he said. “We can provide them the support they need to get on their feet and get employed. The great thing about this is that we’re doing it without a dime of federal money and without and act of Congress. … I’m already getting calls from Virginia, Colorado Springs and other military towns who want to follow our model.”

Peters maintained that Congress is still largely broken, though he said he continues to employ the bipartisan approach he championed when he ran for his first term.

Asked how he and other members of Congress seek funds for projects in their areas at a time when “everybody is talking about not spending as much money,” Peters said it is a delicate balancing act — though one in which he has seen some success working with his congressional colleagues in the region, including conservatives Darrell Issa (R-49th) and Duncan Hunter (R-50th), Susan Davis (D-53rd) and left-leaning Juan Vargas (D-51st).

Working with San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Jerry Sanders, the five legislators successfully lobbied the president for $226 million to fund the next phase of improvements to the San Ysidro border crossing, where Peters said wait times can sometimes reach four hours, preventing business owners from visiting their Mexican-based companies and decreasing the number of cross-border shipments.

“We are losing millions of dollars in economic activity because of those border waits,” he said.

One guest asked, “Do you see any hope that we can avoid a half-trillion or a trillion-dollar addition to our deficit each year?”

Peter said that of the proposals being floated to manage the debt, he supports “many aspects” of the 2013 Simpson-Bowles plan, for which he was attacked this year in TV ads featuring Bush-era Security Adviser Karl Rove (Rove’s Crossroads GPS spent $705,000 to air the DeMaio-promoting ad in San Diego this year).

“We reduced the rate of increase of veterans benefits for mid-career veterans — we didn’t cut them,” Peters said of the plan. “We said they wouldn’t go up as fast, and we were hammered for doing that. It was the one part of (the plan) that I didn’t like, but we had to have a budget … and I was committed to hitting budget.” (Peters said he later worked to restore the cut.)

“The point of it is, when you take responsible leadership, there’s always going to be something that people don’t like.”

Asked by an attendee with a “poor opinion of the president” for his thoughts about the fellow Democrat and commander-in-chief, Peters maintained he has firmly established his independence as a legislator, and is not in lockstep with the president.

Although Peters said he agrees with many of Obama’s policies, he expressed one concern with the president’s seeming aloofness.  “Sometimes I feel like he’s given up on Congress and a lot of us in the freshmen class, and I would like to have more contact with him. I wish that he would wake up tomorrow and decide he’s going to be more engaged with us. I think that would make more (things) more productive,” he said.

However, Peters said Congress and public opinion have not been easy on the president.

“When something goes wrong in foreign policy, I want the people to say, ‘The enemy is not the president. The enemy is Hamas, the enemy is ISIS.’”

Application for cell site atop Carmel Valley Library withdrawn

Thu, 09/04/2014 - 08:07

By Karen Billing

A controversial proposed cell site to be housed on the Carmel Valley Library is no longer being considered.

According to Karen Lynch, project manager for the city’s development services department, AT&T withdrew its application because AT&T could not achieve the frequencies necessary to provide in-building coverage for the surrounding area based on the design criteria required by the city’s code.

The proposal had included 13 antennas and 24 new remote radio units mounted inside raised cupola enclosures on the library.

Area residents circulated a petition in opposition of the cell site, arguing that they felt the tower was not only an unsafe location but it would also drastically change the appearance of the library. The cupolas were originally proposed to be 45 feet high, taller than the library’s 41-foot dome. The city had asked for a re-design to lower the height.

AT&T is now searching for an alternate location, Lynch said.

Del Mar seeks to be designated a ‘Tree City USA’ community

Thu, 09/04/2014 - 01:00

By Kristina Houck

The North County cities of Carlsbad, Oceanside and Encinitas have the title. Now Del Mar is also seeking to be designated a “Tree City USA” community.

Founded in 1976, the Arbor Day Foundation’s national program recognizes communities that meet four tree-related core standards: maintaining a tree board or department, having a community tree ordinance, spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry and celebrating Arbor Day.

More than 3,400 cities in the U.S. have earned the national designation. Carlsbad has been recognized as a Tree City USA community for the past decade. Oceanside has been recognized for seven years, and Encinitas for three years.

In a unanimous vote Sept. 2, the Del Mar City Council authorized city staff to submit an application so San Diego County’s smallest city could also potentially have the title.

Before the council’s vote, Del Mar met only three of the foundation’s four standards. But an item on the council’s consent calendar also proclaimed Nov. 11, 2014, as Arbor Day in Del Mar, the final requirement.

If Del Mar were to be designated a Tree City USA community, the city would have to reapply for recertification yearly.

BU12 Surf (Perez) team wins La Jolla Labor Day Classic

Thu, 09/04/2014 - 01:00

For the second weekend in a row, the BU12 Academy team, coached by Arturo Perez, went undefeated and brought home the championship trophy.

Back-to-back tournaments, and back-to-back trophies!  For the second weekend in a row, the BU12 Academy team, coached by Arturo Perez, went undefeated and brought home the championship trophy.  The team scored a total of 18 goals and gave up only 4 goals to secure the La Jolla Labor Day Classic championship title.  Congratulations, Surf! Pictured, front row (L-R): Derek L., Dylan C., Brock S., Nicholas G., Sean Z., Eric F., Brady B. Back row: Jake L., Justin R., Cortez H., Jacob Y., Nicholas F., Ilan F., Sam B., Luca K., Dalton B., Coach Arturo Perez.

‘Angels’ a sexy, witty opener for NC Rep in Solana Beach

Thu, 09/04/2014 - 01:00

By Diana Saenger

Prepare for an entertaining trip back to 1925 when North Coast Repertory Theatre opens its 33rd season with Noël Coward’s “Fallen Angels.”

Director Rosina Reynolds said she took on the play with gusto when Artistic Director David Ellenstein asked her. Among the projects on her amazing resume — she was part of a “Fallen Angels” production years ago at the Gaslamp Quarter Theater.

'Fallen Angels' runs Sept. 3-28 at North Coast Repertory Theatre, 987 Lomas Santa Fe Drive, Solana Beach.

“Noël Coward is the master of repartee. He knows how to write a witty, well-written, well-constructed play,” she said. “His work parallels that of Richard Brinsley Butler Sheridan, George Bernard Shaw and Oscar Wilde, with high comedy and clever language.”

“Fallen Angels” is set in 1925 London. Julia Sterroll (Joanna Strapp) and Jane Banbury (Summer Spiro) have been best friends for a long time; so close that seven years ago they had an affair with the same Frenchman, Maurice Duclos (Richard Baird). Since then, they’ve both been married for five years to two Englishmen.

Out of the blue, they receive a postcard that Maurice is in town.

“They freak out,” Reynolds said. “They love their husbands and respect them; but are not in love with their husbands. After five years with that sense of restlessness, they’re still looking for romance and passion.”

The cast of the show includes returning artists and new artists to NCRT.

“I wanted young actresses for the right spin on the play,” Reynolds said. “Because these characters are very close friends, they have to know how to ring the other person’s bell. It’s a wonderful give-and-take and back-and-forth between them. One minute they’re leaning on each other for support to stand firm in their decisions, and the next, they’re competing and fighting with each other. It’s actually rather insightful on the mercurial quality of women’s minds.”

She credits stage manager Aaron Rumley, set designer Marty Burnett and lighting master Matt Novotny for performing miracles with the staging. “The NCRT stage is a tiny, very challenging space. There’s no wing space, no back stage, no height,” she said. “They made it all work. Also, costume designer Alina Bokovikova did a lovely job on the 1920s styles, which is very important in representing the era.”

Still, the question remains for theatergoers: Will the “Fallen Angels” remain faithful to their husbands or run away rather than confront Maurice? With such talent behind the story, you’ll surely want to see it told.

“Fallen Angels” runs Sept. 3-28 at North Coast Repertory Theatre, 987 Lomas Santa Fe Drive, Solana Beach. Tickets from $37; call 858-481-1055; visit

Del Mar Rotary restores iconic town clock

Thu, 09/04/2014 - 01:00

By Kristina Houck

Del Mar’s town clock is more than just a timepiece. Donated by the Rotary Club of Del Mar, the clock stands at 15th Street and Camino del Mar as a reminder of the group, which has also stood the test of time.

Members of the Del Mar Rotary with the refurbished clock. ‘Someone from Rotary will always be here to take over and manage it,’ says Rotarian Marty Peters. Photo by Kristina Houck

Chartered in May 1954, the Del Mar Rotary Club erected and dedicated the clock in May 2006 to celebrate its 52-year history and the centennial anniversary of Rotary International, a service organization of approximately 1.2 million people in 34,000 clubs around the world.

“It’s a way to commemorate Rotary, which is really the only service organization that’s been in Del Mar for now almost 60 years,” said Rotarian Marty Peters, who jokingly called himself “the timekeeper” of the Rotary clock.

A Del Mar resident since 1976, Peters joined Rotary soon after moving to the community. He has not only held all offices at the local club, but went on to serve at the district level, culminating as governor of this region.

“We’re not a flash in the pan. We’re here for the long term.”

About nine months ago, Peters noticed the plaque had fallen off the clock, and its paint had chipped off.

Peters worked with a repairman about four years ago to fix the clock’s interior, but decided it was now time for the exterior to get a facelift. The repairman recommended John Peek of Peek Brothers Painting Contractors, who donated his time to repaint the clock and only charged the organization for materials.

Peek Brothers worked on the Rotary clock for a week in July, removing the old paint, prepping the aluminum structure and painting the clock.

“I enjoy doing things for the community,” said Peek, a San Diego native, whose 32-year-old company repainted the Jessop’s clock, a San Diego icon for more than 100 years. About four years ago, his company also refinished St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. Del Mar Rotary meets Thursdays for lunch at the Del Mar church.

Rotarian Jim Watkins came up with the idea to install a town clock after a vacation to Juneau, Alaska.

“They have a clock in the center of town,” recalled Watkins, a Del Mar resident since 1967. “It’s such an important part of their community, so I thought it would be great for a community like Del Mar.”

The $16,000 clock stands almost 14 feet tall. Although it looks like an antique, it is digitally regulated by satellite and able to keep accurate time, regardless of time changes or power outages.

With the restoration project complete, the Del Mar club rededicated the clock after its Aug. 28 meeting.

“We want to honor the men and women who were in our club before us, and I think this is a good way of honoring them,” said Peters, who was pleased with the restored clock. “We want to make sure the clock goes on long after we’re gone. Someone from Rotary will always be here to take over and manage it, because Rotary isn’t going to quit.

“We want to serve our community, we want to serve our region and we want to serve people around the globe. We’re very passionate about it.”

For more about the Rotary Club of Del Mar, visit

‘Blessing of Backpacks’ to be Sept. 7 at St. Peter’s in Del Mar

Wed, 09/03/2014 - 14:45

The Sunday School year will begin Sunday, Sept. 7, at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Del Mar. All families are welcome to come register after the 9 a.m. service. On this first Sunday, kids can enjoy games, face painting, a “hot dog brunch” and even an ice cream man parked in the church courtyard. Bring your backpacks to the 9 a.m. service: There will be an informal “Blessing of the Backpacks” to help kids start their school year on a positive note.

Sunday School at St. Peter’s is for children in nursery school through Grade 12.  It’s held after the family-friendly 9 a.m. service, from 10 -11 a.m. beginning Sept. 14.

St. Peter’s Episcopal Church is at 334 14th St. in Del Mar village, one block east of the 101. Contact  Leeann Gooding at or 858-755-1616.

Torrey Pines High School Pop Warner Falcons ready to fly

Wed, 09/03/2014 - 13:35

◄ Back Next ► Picture 1 of 5

As is their tradition, Torrey Pines Pop Warner football and cheerleading squads paraded around Falcon Stadium Aug. 29 during Torrey Pines varsity home opener’s halftime. The Pop Warner squads were cheered around the track by their adoring fans. The Pop Warner football season kicks off this weekend. The varsity Falcons lost to Pleasant Grove on Friday night, 49-36. Photos by Anna Scipione

Community input sought on SDG&E’s proposed Sycamore-Penasquitos transmission project

Wed, 09/03/2014 - 10:01

SDGE's proposal will replace the existing lines in the transmission corridor through Del Mar Mesa and Carmel Valley canyons, like this segment near Laurelcrest Drive. Photos by Karen Billing

By Karen Billing

SDG&E’s proposed Sycamore-Penasquitos transmission project is moving forward in its environmental impact report process, collecting comments recently for the new line that will cross two Carmel Valley and Del Mar Mesa canyons.

The proposed project will add a 230-kV line to the existing transmission corridor, linking the Sycamore Canyon substation at MCAS Miramar to the Penasquitos substation in Torrey Hills.

The project is made up of four segments, including a 2.19-mile line from Carmel Valley Road through the Del Mar Mesa Preserve, and another 3.34-mile line along the border of the Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve to the substation near the Torrey Hills Center on Carmel Mountain Road.

The 2.9-mile segment from Carmel Valley Road proposes to add a 230-kV line on existing steel lattice structures and one new tubular steel pole.

Along the 3.34-mile segment, SDG&E proposes to remove 16 wood H-frames and five wood monopoles and replace them with 17 tubular steel poles.

Scoping or preliminary meetings were held on Aug. 25 and 26 in Rancho Penasquitos not only to inform the public about the environmental impact report process, but also solicit input regarding areas of concern and potential alternatives.

People can submit comments through Sept. 16. The draft report will then be prepared by early 2015, followed by a 45-day public review process. The final EIR would be released in mid-2015 and the California Public Utilities Commission will vote to approve the project as proposed, approve an alternative or deny it.

If approved, construction will take about 12 months from start to finish. It’s anticipated to start in June 2016 and be complete in May 2017. All segments will be built concurrently, and up to 90 workers will be on site daily with a variety of construction vehicles and helicopters used to string power lines.

Laura Copic, from the Carmel Valley Community Planning Board, was at the Aug. 26 evening session, which she said was sparsely attended. She gave public comment about the construction process, which she believes will have a significant impact on the neighborhood, since it involves several helicopters and explosions in a high fire-risk area. She said residents of the neighborhood she represents on the planning board also have concerns about the project’s necessity, its effects on the view corridor, and electromagnetic field exposure.

According to Jeff Thomas, project manager from Panorama Environmental Consulting, SDG&E has stated that the project’s purpose is to meet the California Independent System Operator’s transmission plan’s specifications in the area, promote compliance with the state’s policy goals related to renewable integration, meet the city’s projected load growth and deliver energy more efficiently.

SDG&E originally filed an application with the CPUC to construct the coastal link of the Sunrise Powerlink project, which would have included new towers between Sycamore and Penasquitos. When the Powerlink was approved in 2008, the CPUC did not approve the coastal link and instead approved an upgrade alternative that made the transmission line segment unnecessary.

SDG&E has indicated that the Sycamore-Penasquitos line is now necessary, prompted by two major state decisions — the removal of Carlsbad’s sea-water cooling system at the Encina power station, and the shutdown of the San Onofre nuclear power plant.

The CPUC will define a reasonable range of alternatives to the transmission line that will be analyzed in the environmental impact report.

“The purpose is to provide technically sound information for decision makers to consider when evaluating the proposed project,” Thomas said. “The CPUC will look at a full range of alternatives, including system-wide or alternative alignments that may reduce potential impacts.”

At the also sparsely attended Aug. 26 afternoon session, no one filled out a speaker slip to submit a comment. One Torrey Highlands resident did express some safety concerns about the proposed staging area on Torrey Santa Fe Road off Camino Del Sur.

Torrey Hills resident Grayzna Krajewska was one of the few people who spoke at the Aug. 25 evening session.

“With so little opposition, SDG&E will get to build their one more unnecessary power line, rather than accept the fact that local rooftop solar is here to stay and is already providing energy during the day, and might do it at night as well, when energy storage becomes more affordable,” she said.

Krajewska also expressed concerns about some new homes that have been built close to the SDG&E right of way, on Laurelcrest Drive. She said with the added 230kV line, the residents’ exposure to the electromagnetic field would double.

As the EIR process continues, there will be more opportunity for public input; but to provide comments, email Billie Blanchard at or send via mail to Billie Blanchard, CPUC c/o Panorama Environmental, One Embarcadero Center, Suite 740, San Francisco, CA 94111. Comments are due by 5 p.m. Sept. 16.

Del Mar Union School District board passes resolution against reserve cap

Wed, 09/03/2014 - 09:55

By Karen Billing

Like the action recently taken by the San Dieguito Union High School District board, the Del Mar Union School District board approved a resolution Aug. 27 opposing the cap on school district reserves proposed by new legislation in the state.

The local reserves cap is part of the state’s “Rainy Day Fund.” Proposition 2 will go out to voters on the November ballot, and if it passes and the state’s Rainy Day Fund is established, as soon as even $1 is put into the fund, school districts will be required to spend down their reserves.

In June, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law SB 858, the education budget trailer bill that requires districts to spend reserve balances down to no more than two to three times the minimum level of statutory reserve for economic uncertainties.

In Del Mar’s case, its reserves could not be in excess of 6 percent of its total general fund expenditures. DMUSD maintains a reserve balance of about 15 percent — $11.5 million — to ensure fiscal solvency at all times. The reserve is made up of $1.3 million for “economic uncertainties,” said Cathy Birks, assistant superintendent of business services, and $7.3 million in unassigned/unappropriated expenditures.

“I don’t know any districts not opposed to the reserves cap. It’s of particular interest to a district like ours that relies heavily on reserves in uncertain times,” DMUSD Superintendent Holly McClurg said.

McClurg said their reserves were one reason why they didn’t have to “dismantle” their educational system during the last economic downturn. Birks said that if a cap had been in place, they would be in a very difficult position.

Trustee Scott Wooden said he believes the cap is “ridiculous” and the district should have the authority to manage its funds.

The resolution passed unanimously.

AutoMatters+: INDYCAR Season Finale at Auto Club Speedway

Tue, 09/02/2014 - 15:46

Ready to race at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana.

By Jan Wagner

The 2014 INDYCAR season wrapped up on Saturday evening, Aug. 30, with the MAVTV 500 — the Verizon IndyCar Series finale on the two-mile, D-shaped oval of Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.

Verizon IndyCar Series racing is especially competitive. Over a span of 17 races, there were 10 different winners. Would race number 18 add yet another different winner?

Heading into this final race, the Verizon IndyCar Series Championship, its $1 million bonus and the Astor Cup trophy were still up for grabs. Three drivers, from three different countries, were still eligible, and none of them had ever won the Championship, although two had been runners-up multiple times. They were Penske Racing teammates Will Power (from Australia), who was leading the Championship hunt with 626 points, and Helio Castroneves (from Brazil) with 575 points. Penske Racing had not won a championship since 2006. The longer shot at the Championship was Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports’ driver Simon Pagenaud (from France) with 545 points.

Making things even more interesting was the fact that 500-mile races, including this one, award double points.

Aside from the Verizon IndyCar Series Championship being at stake, so were the three places on the podium in Victory Lane. The drivers who were in position to win the Championship needed to keep that in mind and not take unnecessary chances.

Will Power leaving the pits.

Qualifying was held on Friday — a day that would end with a very bad accident. Before that however, Helio Castroneves did what he needed to do. He qualified on pole. Will Power, on the other hand, was a disappointing 21st. Things did not start off well for him. Simon Pagenaud qualified mid-pack, in the 13th position.

Things were decidedly worse for Russian rookie Mikhail Aleshin. After qualifying well (eighth) earlier in the day, he was involved in a serious, multi-car accident in the evening, during the final practice session. While trying to avoid contact with the unexpectedly slowing car driven by Scott Dixon, Aleshin lost control of his car going into the high-speed Turn 4, slid up the track, was collected by Charlie Kimball (who had no way to avoid him) and was violently launched up into the catch fencing where he hit a fence pole.

The force of what were multiple violent impacts destroyed his race car, scattering debris all over the track as the car quickly spun around and around. Fortunately, Kimball was unhurt, but Aleshin was hospitalized in stable condition with multiple injuries.

Taking a bite out of Mario Andretti.

On Saturday afternoon, race fans enjoyed live music, food and more in the O’Reilly Auto Parts Fan Zone. Later, just before driver introductions, we were entertained by a Baby T-Rex from “Walking with Dinosaurs” taking a bite out of Mario Andretti.

Finally, after enduring 100-degree temperatures during the day, watching the race in the evening provided a welcome break from the heat. Other than one minor spin on lap 175 by Ryan Hunter-Reay (if there is such a thing as a minor spin on a superspeedway), the race was pretty much incident-free. That did, however, set up a photo-worthy race to and from the pits.

Will Power kept his cool and drove a smart race, finishing in ninth place to clinch his first Verizon IndyCar Series Championship, 62 points ahead of Helio Castroneves. Simon Pagenaud had a disappointing race. He was several laps down and fell to fifth place in the Championship.

Tony Kanaan's car in the grid.

An emotional Tony Kanaan earned a very popular race victory, making him the 11th different winner in 2014. Scott Dixon and Ed Carpenter rounded out the top three.

I spent much of my time taking pictures all around Auto Club Speedway. Since covering my last race here, I bought a new 150-600mm Tamron lens. While that lens would enable me to zoom in from far away, it posed one serious problem: How would I carry a camera with such a long and heavy lens, along with my other pro-DSLR and its shorter, wider-angle lens?

The solution is something called a Cotton Carrier Camera Vest & Side Holster. Unlike other two-camera solutions, this one spreads the weight over my whole upper body instead of digging into my neck or my shoulders. It also keeps the cameras from swinging around and hitting things. I highly recommend it. They also make a one-camera carrier called a StrapShot, which attaches to a backpack strap. See them at

As always, please write to with your comments and suggestions.

MAV TV 500 Victory Lane.

Copyright © 2014 by Jan Wagner – AutoMatters+ #348

Amenities at Remington Club in Rancho Bernardo make senior living easier, elegant

Tue, 09/02/2014 - 13:48

The Remington Club is within walking distance of Rancho Bernardo Shopping Plaza and a 72-hole golf course. Courtesy photo

By Diane Y. Welch

Conveniently located within walking distance of the upscale Rancho Bernardo Shopping Plaza, yet enjoying scenic views of Rancho Bernardo close to a 72-hole golf course, is the award-winning Remington Club.

The luxury continuing-care retirement community is part of the acclaimed Five Star Senior Living Group, a national health care and senior-living provider, one of the nation’s leaders in senior retirement facilities with more than 200 communities in 30 states.

In artfully landscaped grounds with amenities to meet all the needs of residents — from the active 55-plus set to those who require skilled nursing care — Remington Club was voted the Pomerado News Reader’s Choice for senior living in 2013 and has been awarded five stars by Medicare for excellence.

This year marks 26 years since it celebrated its official fall opening, and since then the community has consistently been top-rated — not only for its high quality of living, but also for its medical expertise, according to Executive Director Kirsten Kearnaghan, who said that she “is very proud” of Remington’s continued excellence.

Services offered include assisted living, full-service independent living, respite or short- term stays and skilled nursing care with 24-hour supervision. All residents enjoy the sophistication of a multilevel retirement community with the assurance that they are prepared for the future with skilled and friendly staff on site.

The Remington Club comprises four buildings built on 17 acres along Hierba Drive and has about 400 residents in total, with 246 independent living apartments, 100 assisted living apartments, and skilled nursing accommodations for 59 residents. It also is home to a top-rated health care center, and is the only one within a nine-mile radius with a Five Star Medicare rating, said Kearnaghan.

“The health center specializes in short-term therapy stays and is convenient for residents, but is also available to the greater community of Rancho Bernardo,” said Kearnaghan. It serves those who need care after a hospital stay, or when family members may need a short respite break from daily caregiving with the advantage for residents that they are already familiar with the staff, she added.

More like a five-star resort, the Spanish-style architecturally designed campus, with colorful Mediterranean plantings, shaded walkways and relaxing outdoor patios, has two elegant dining restaurants with two executive chefs, overseen by a manager ensuring the finest quality of cuisine is prepared that caters to all dietary needs.

The community follows a hospitality model similar to that of a hotel offering many services included as standard, with custom services tailored for individual needs for an affordable fee.

There is an active social calendar — in August there was a scheduled trip to see the Laguna Beach Pageant of Masters — and ongoing activities and entertainment include live music, art classes, worship services, gardening workshops, day trips to Palm Springs, Wii bowling and more. Daily shuttle services take residents to enjoy local shopping and other amenities.

On Sept. 20, representatives from the Remington Club will be participating in the Successful Living Expo to be held at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be free seminars and exhibitors with expert tips on health, fitness, travel, financial services, and health screenings, and a chance to meet and greet staff from the Remington Club.

To find out more, visit or call 858-673-6740 to schedule a tour.

Note: Business spotlights are developed through this newspaper’s advertising department in support of our advertisers.

‘Moms Making Six Figures’ helps moms stay at home while still having careers

Tue, 09/02/2014 - 13:45

Angie, Charlie, Christian and Scotty Gange

Angie Gange had a successful career in mortgage banking. Then the recession hit.

With her oldest son soon entering college, the Carmel Valley mother of three began looking for a new job.

“I needed to replace my income, but I also needed to have control over my time,” recalled Gange, adding that her husband, Paul, travels a lot on business. “Although our boys are not little ones anymore, I didn’t want to give up being available for them.”

That’s when Gange’s friend introduced her to Moms Making Six Figures, a San Diego-based marketing company that allows women to stay at home and either replace or supplement their income. She started with the company in 2011.

“It’s probably the best decision I ever made,” Gange said.

When Gange became part of the Moms Making Six Figures team, her sons were 17, 14 and 11. At the time, all three of her boys played baseball. She recalled attending more than 100 baseball games in her first five months with the company.

“Our kids come first for us,” Gange said. “Moms Making Six Figures has helped me remain a stay-at-home-mom while still making a six-figure income.”

Local resident Heidi Bartolotta founded Moms Making Six Figures with two other women in December 2009.

For 12 years, Bartolotta had worked as a pharmaceutical sales representative. But after having two daughters, she no longer wanted to work late and travel. She wanted to be home.

To stay at home and also have a career, Bartolotta launched the company, which represents a U.S.-based manufacturer. Since then, the marketing company has grown to nearly 400 team members across the country and around the world, including more than 100 team members in San Diego. About a third are working full time.

Team members come from different backgrounds, education levels, work experience and locations.

“It’s really rewarding,” said Bartolotta, whose daughters are now 8 and 10 years old. “It’s all women who have been able to control their lives.”

Today, Gange’s oldest son Charlie is a senior at San Diego State University. Her younger two boys, Christian and Scotty, attend Torrey Pines High School, where they both play football.

“Moms Making Six Figures has been a blessing for me because I really do get to be a mom first,” said Gange, who has a bachelor’s degree in business. “But I’m an entrepreneur by nature, so I feel really lucky that I have found something where I can put my family first, have my own business and get to work with a team of bright and supportive women.”

Looking to expand her team at home and abroad, Bartolotta encourages interested women to contact her by filling out a form on the company’s website at

“I want women to realize there is an option,” Bartolotta said.

For information, call 858-837-1505 or visit

Note: Business spotlights are developed through this newspaper’s advertising department in support of our advertisers.

Congregation Beth Am Labor Day Picnic

Tue, 09/02/2014 - 12:00
Jeffrey Gold, Director of Youth Programs Halli James, Tracey Sher, Idan Mualim ◄ Back Next ► Picture 1 of 13

Congregation Beth Am held a festive Labor Day Picnic  Sept. 1. This year is the 31st anniversary of this synagogue that started in a tire store in Solana Beach.

The event featured kosher hot dogs and burgers and much more, including games for kids such as jumpies, balloon art, tattoos and face painting, and various sports.

Also, the Women’s Connection at Beth Am featured an art project. For more information, visit

Suspects attempt to rob Solana Beach bank ATM

Tue, 09/02/2014 - 10:19

By City News Service

An attempt to break into an ATM at a Solana Beach bank branch early Sept. 2 using a cutting torch ended with the cash machine in flames and two suspects fleeing empty-handed.

The suspects set off the ATM’s alarm during the failed heist shortly after 2:30 a.m. in the 600 block of Lomas Santa Fe Drive near Glencrest Drive, according to sheriff’s Lt. Clayton Lisk.

Lisk said the suspects used spray paint to cover nearby surveillance cameras.

They sped off in a black truck with a deputy in pursuit, but abandoned it and ran off after about a minute, Lisk said. A subsequent search failed to locate the pair, according to the lieutenant.

First phase of Earl Warren Middle School reconstruction begins in Solana Beach

Tue, 09/02/2014 - 09:34

San Dieguito Union High School District recently kicked off the first phase of its complete reconstruction of Earl Warren Middle School. Photo by Jon Clark

By Kristina Houck

As kids kicked back this summer, San Dieguito Union High School District kicked off the first phase of its complete reconstruction of Earl Warren Middle School.

The $41 million project is made possible by the passage of Proposition AA.

Voters approved the $449 million bond measure in November 2012, funding upgrades and repairs at the district’s North County campuses. Because Earl Warren is 60 years old, however, district officials opted to rebuild rather than renovate.

“With Earl Warren being our oldest middle school, it presented the most challenges in terms of modernization,” said Eric Dill, district associate superintendent of business services. “It was determined that for the same or less money we could demolish the school and build a brand new one.”

The district launched the project in August with the demolition of Warren Hall, the school’s multipurpose room, as well as the blacktop behind the campus and the cafeteria, known as “Lola’s Place.”

Design plans are being finalized for Warren Hall, which will be repurposed as a student union and will feature wireless Internet and spaces for project-based learning as well as small group instruction, according to the school’s master plan. The 2,444-square-foot space will also offer two classrooms for physical education and supplement existing public library services.

The blacktop area and cafeteria will become a data center.

In addition, the district is upgrading the school’s utility infrastructure. Currently, one utility pole on Stevens Avenue is supplying all power to the school, Dill said.

“We realized that we needed to upgrade that because of all the work we’re going to be doing,” Dill said. “The power infrastructure is also 60 years old and inadequate. We’re getting a jump start on that so the construction process and moving the kids to the portable classrooms goes much more smoothly.”

The district is working with architectural firm Lionakis and San Diego-based construction company McCarthy Building Companies. The school’s master plan was created in 2011, but design, details and timelines are still being finalized, Dill said. Still, he expects the rebuild to take about two years.

The second stage of construction is tentatively planned for fall 2015, when students will be moved into portables and classrooms will be reconstructed. The new classrooms will all meet the district’s new standard of approximately 1,200 square feet of space.

“The original idea is that no more than half of the kids would be in portables,” Dill said. “In the first year, half the kids would be in the older buildings. In the second year, half the kids would be in new buildings and half the kids would be in portables. And after two years, we would have a brand new school.”

Set to be complete in the fall of 2017, the new campus will total 56,120 square feet on the 20-acre site. According to the master plan, the school will enroll 500 students, down from the school’s currently more than 700 students.

“It’s going to be a beautiful campus,” Dill said. “To have a brand new middle school in Solana Beach that’s going to be comparable to our other middle schools is very exciting and something the community deserves.”

For more about Prop AA and the district’s projects, visit

Carmel Valley senior making waves in world of surf photography

Tue, 09/02/2014 - 09:21

As one of the many massive waves from to the effects of Hurricane Marie roars onto the shores of Newport Beach, local photographer Austin Schmid was chronicling the intensity. Photo by Austin Schmid

By Rob LeDonne

As Hurricane-turned-Tropical Storm Marie churned off the coast of Baja California, the resulting waves broke records thanks to their immense size and scale. As onlookers gathered at the shores and only the most expert surfers dared to hit the water, in the midst of the action was Austin Schmid, a senior at Canyon Crest Academy who has discovered a passion for photographing the surf and is a local photographer for world-renown website

“In Newport Beach, the waves were the biggest they’ve been in 10 years,” Schmid said from his home in Carmel Valley. “There’s a place called the Wedge in Newport, and I went body surfing with my camera. The waves coming in were at least 20 feet tall; it was definitely the most scared I’ve ever been in the water.”

It’s Schmid’s passion and talent for surf photography that lured him north to Newport Beach to chronicle the furious effects of Hurricane Marie, marking the latest highlight in a burgeoning career in photography. “I got the first GoPro when they came out a few years ago. I love both the ocean and photography, and (this hobby) joined the two of them.”

One of the factors that sets Schid’s photographs a part from the pack is that he uses a waterproof homemade camera casing, essentially enabling Schmid to wade into the surf with it. An actual camera casing was cost prohibitive.

“A lot of surf photographers will purchase professional camera housing, so I proposed the idea to my dad to make one,”said Schmid, who’s father, Mark, is an engineer. “That’s been a big part of my photography. I’m known as the kid with homemade housing. It’s so cool; I can take pictures just like any professional.”

Photographer Austin Schmid. Courtesy photo

It’s Schmid’s technical prowess and talent behind the lens that caught the eyes of Surfline, the Huntington Beach-based website that launched in 1985 and specializes in surf reports, webcams, as well as exclusive photos and video. A go-to website for anyone interested in the sport, its familiar moto is, “Know before you go.”

“There’s a ton of amazing photographers on there,” said Schmid. “I saw they were considering new photographers and had an application on their website, so I applied. They wound up bringing me aboard and it’s been awesome. I get to post my photos and even more people get to see them. It’s also great being a part of a community, and being able to meet other photographers. There’s a ton of talented people on there with inspiring work.”

When it comes to snapping pictures, Schmid says one of his favorite places in the area to capture is in La Jolla. When he usually gallavants, it’s with a friend or his 17-year-old twin brother, Garrett. And when he’s not holding a camera, Schmid is also an avid surfer, body boarder, and body surfer. As of recently, however, his passion for photos is starting to take precedent over everything else. “I’m not sure where I’m going to college yet,” he says of his future.

“I’m taking more photography classes at Canyon Crest, so it’s something I’d at least want to minor in after high school. This is something I’m going to want to continue doing.”

For more on Schmid and his photos, check out

Del Mar school district gives new Common Core report cards higher than passing marks

Tue, 09/02/2014 - 09:09

By Karen Billing

The Del Mar Union School District board applauded the district for its work in developing a Common Core State Standards report card that seems to be a grade above the rest. At the board’s Aug. 27 board meeting, Shelley Petersen, assistant superintendent of instructional services, gave an update on the new report cards, tweaked slightly from their original version last year.

Petersen said adjustments were made to last year’s content and formatting as a result of continuous feedback.

“These have been very positively received by teachers and the community,” Petersen said.

The report card is now down to two pages rather than three. Petersen said the language was cleared up, aligning more “gracefully” from one grade level to the next. There was also a change in how writing skills are represented, broken down into genres such as narrative and opinion pieces, rather than being just a one-line item.

Students are graded in categories of learning and behavioral outcomes, mathematics, reading, writing, language, social studies and science, fine arts and PE.

The scoring key is:

“E”: Student performance consistently and independently exceeds grade level expectations with accuracy and high level of quality.

“S”: Student is secure and meets grade level expectations.

“D”: Student performance is developing steadily toward grade level expectations.

“B”: Student performance is beginning to progress toward grade level expectations.

Petersen said the teachers’ greatest difficulty was determining what an “E” looks like. The district developed new toolkits to support the teachers’ full implementation of the Common Core State Standards — the sizable binders include assessments, scoring rubrics and content maps. A proficiency level descriptor is written for every academic line item on the report card, describing what a student needs to achieve for a B, D, S or E.

“I’m proud of this toolkit,” Petersen said. “I don’t think you will find another report card like ours. I don’t know if other districts have toolkits of this caliber … Our district is referred to in the county as trailblazing the way through Common Core.”

Trustee Alan Kholos asked how the parents reacted to the new report cards last year.

“We did not hear complaints about report cards last year,” Petersen said. “Most of the comments were about mathematics and how to support children with instruction in the home, because it looked so different from what they were accustomed to.”