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LOCAL LIFESTYLE PUBLICATIONVOLUME 5 | ISSUE 12

Know. Your. Worth. Tiana Swank

Founding Director and President of The Symone Foundation. Page 27

THE NELSON GROUP REAL ESTATE

Keith Nelson, Broker/Owner • 619-972-2888 www.keithnelson.com DRE#01257033


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Happy Holidays, San Diego

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How Books Can Nourish and Sustain Us This Holiday Season By Jill G. Hall, bestselling novelist Cooped up at home with traditions and travel plans thwarted, separated from those we care about most, grieving the loss of income, health and loved ones this will be a difficult holiday season for most of us. There’s one thing still available to all to nourish, sustain and sooth our souls and help get us through the season -- books. Through the pages of a good novel, we can travel anywhere in the universe and explore any period of time. The San Diego Public Library system is keeping books accessible through the Covid-19 pandemic with easy pick up service. And if you’re in a position to support authors by purchasing their books, independent bookstores also have drive-up service.

Here are a few ideas for enjoying your season of jingle books. Curl up in your favorite chair and settle in for a long read in the genre of your choice. Travel to a past time and place with historical fiction or travel to the future with science fiction. Read up on a hobby you’ve always wanted to try for instance, acting, dog grooming, or soap carving. Study self-help books on happiness or getting through a rough time. Peruse inspirational individuals you admire such as the Dalai Lama, Pope Francis, or Michelle Obama. Browse your cookbooks to dream about what you might want to make next year when gatherings return. Your eyes too tired to read? Listen to an audiobook. (Might I suggest my dual-timeline novel, The Black Velvet Coat?) You can use the internet to stay connected to family and loved ones. Start a mother-daughter book club and meet remotely. Perhaps begin with a classic such Dicken’s A Christmas Carol, O. Henry’s short story The Gift of the Magi, or A Redbird Christmas by contemporary author Fannie Flagg. Nobel Prize winner, Isaac Bashevis Singer is another one of my favorite authors. For beloved youngsters in your life or young at

heartsters you can spend time together online by reading out loud a favorite picture book. If possible, record it so loved ones can watch it again and again if they wish. Turn to the joy of giving books and support your local independent bookstore in the process. Many are happy by phone or email to provide recommendations for certain age levels, interests and genre. They’ll order, wrap and mail them for you too. They might also be willing to request a signed author bookplate to make a gift extra special. While you’re at it you may also wish to order a few extra books to donate to a worthy

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organization. With extra time on your hands cull through your bookshelves, fill boxes with books you want others to enjoy. Share some with shut-in neighbors and donate others to your library, school or a worthy charitable organization. Pull out favorites you haven’t read in ages to read again. I’ve chosen Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. Filled with romance, mystery, and suspense it will keep me rapt this season. I hope you’ll be able to find these suggestions helpful. On New Year’s morning we’ll all be happy to turn the final page on 2020.

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He Built This City, She Told the Tale Staff Report

If you’ve lived in San Diego for longer than, oh, let’s say a week, you’ve heard the Spreckels name. There’s the Spreckels Theatre, the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, and the Spreckels Mansion to name a few landmarks. But few people know about the private life of John D. Spreckels, the man who almost single-handedly transformed the bankrupt village of San Diego into the thriving metropolis we now call America’s finest city. Author of the new Spreckels biography, Sandra E. Bonura, sat down with us – at a social distance, of course – and told us about her inspiration and research.

Tell us how you came to write about John D. Spreckels.

My journey to writing John D. Spreckels’s biography began when an old house in Berkeley, California, passed from one generation to the next. Tattered steamship trunks that had voyaged on a Spreckels steamer were discovered in the attic. Forgotten for more than a century, the trunks contained valuable scientific papers, rare artifacts, correspondence, photographs, old newspapers, and more. They were donated to Scripps Institution of Oceanography and I was allowed privileged access due to my friendship with the archivist. My heart, mind, and imagination were instantly captured by the hundreds of love letters sent on Spreckels’ steamships, written

in charming nineteenth-century vernacular by a homesick young teacher, Carrie Winter, on a three-year assignment in Honolulu to her fiancé, who would later cofound Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Winter was an important eyewitness to the greatest political turmoil the Hawaiians had ever experienced. Recognizing the historical significance, I got busy and in 2012, I coauthored An American Girl in the Hawaiian Islands: Letters of Carrie Prudence Winter, 1890–1893. During the research for that book, another amazing person captivated my heart. I wondered how in the world had history ignored a small and feisty teacher from Ohio who became a bold social activist, who had inspired, elevated, and ultimately sacrificed her life for an entire generation of Hawaiian women? In 2019, I was humbled when Light in the Queen’s Garden: Ida May Pope, Pioneer for Hawai‘i’s Daughters, won the top Award of Excellence given by the Hawai’i Book Publishers Association to recognize the finest books published in Hawai’i. Those forgotten steamer trunks gave me one more story to tell: that of the forgotten empire of John Diedrich Spreckels. Both of the characters in my first two books mentioned J.D. Spreckels and being a native San Diegan, my antennae went up. Being a baby boomer, I knew the significance of that name. Why was the name “Spreckels” well known among researchers in Hawai’i but over-

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looked in San Diego? I was baffled once again that history ignored this pioneer who almost singlehandedly built the infrastructure and superstructure of modern San Diego after building empires in sugar, shipping, transportation, and development up and down the coast of California and across the Pacific. Off to the computer… I needed to “right this wrong.”

What surprised you most about him?

I imagined Spreckels as an outgoing charismatic businessman before I began to seriously write his life’s story. Imagine my astonishment when my research corroborated his social anxiety. How could this larger-than-life multi-millionaire be painfully shy? He only confronted his rivals with the written word than with the spoken one, using his newspapers to speak for him. Several anecdotes in the book will surprise the reader! Never compelled to justify ANY of his actions, Spreckels simply walled himself off from the public, remaining silent until his seventh decade of life making research into his personality a challenge. His introversion explained why there were no published speeches (except one delivered with shaking hands at the end of his life, as tears fell down his face), his refusal to engage in small talk, his sparse words when speaking to people and his inabilities to address his employees when they were grouped for special occasions.

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Was there ever a time during your research when you had objections about his character? By 1910, approximately one in fifteen San Diegans worked for a Spreckels-owned company and he was at one time estimated to be paying 10 percent of all city and county taxes! Those are astonishing statistics. And because of this, he was a big target for the Industrial Workers of the World Union (IWW) when they came to organize San Diego’s workers in 1911. Spreckels hated the union’s tactics, and he believed he had to defeat them—quickly, unambiguously, and completely—no matter what the cost. He first used his newspapers to sway public opinion against the IWW, whom he viewed as thugs, but what shocked me was what he did next: he supported the use of armed vigilantes to suppress their speech through violence. Locals did not share the union’s aims but they supported the fight for free speech because they felt that if the unions’ rights could be taken away, everyone’s rights were at risk. Most San Diegans know the name of Ellen Browning Scripps, a feminist and philanthropist, who was a bystander to the dreadful attacks by San Diego’s vigilantes. Her assessment: “I think women would have managed the Industrial Workers of the World better, and less to the discredit of the city.” Spreckels’ role as owner of the San Diego Union, and the shocking events of 1912 are rehashed today as topics surrounding the constitutional rights concerned with freedom of speech, press, and public assembly. I must say, I agree with Miss Scripps over Mr. Spreckels when it comes to freedom of speech.

Happy Holidays, San Diego

craning to see the orchestra atop the pavilion. It is this black and white historical photo backdrop that is my Zoom profile when I give virtual book talks today.

If you were casting the film version of the life of Spreckels, who would play him?

Easy --Tom Selleck! Selleck and Spreckels – both high profile men in their era, maintain(ed) a high level of privacy away from the public. Tom Selleck made a choice to lay low instead of having a luxurious and phony Hollywood life and so did multimillionaire John D. Spreckels who could afford to live a luxurious life anywhere in the world but instead chose to work hard and build our city from underground up. Furthermore, they were (are) both athletic and both rocked a sexy mustache.

Were there any things about Spreckels that you could personally relate to?

All my friends and family know that I am an animal enthusiast. My heart is beyond soft for dogs in particular. Spreckels was also an ardent

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and wildcats, and we received with kangaroos, wallabies, Tasmanian devils, kookaburras, emus, water dragons, and, most amazingly of all, the elusive cuddly koalas. “Snuggle Pot and Cuddle Pie” were named after characters in a popular Australian children’s book at the time. They would become the first koalas ever displayed in the U.S., making them the zoo’s earliest attention-drawing, attendance-driving celebrities. Last year when I was at the zoo, and I was told by a zoo ambassador, that elderly Australians on holiday to San Diego have been seen crying at our koala exhibit remembering Snuggle Pot and Cuddle Pie from their youth.

Another area I personally engaged with Spreckels was his German heritage.

World War I stirred an anti-German sentiment that reached into all parts of the United States. Even though German immigrants had brought to their newly adopted homeland an expertise in farming, education, science, the arts, and more, they were often shunned. German-language newspapers were forced out of business and colleges dropped the German language from the curriculum. Even music by such German com-

If you had John D. Spreckels over for dinner, what would you ask him?

To me, it was shocking that his empire was dismantled quicker than anyone in his era could have ever imagined. But without motivated and ambitious successors among his family, it didn’t have a chance! it appears that both of his sons, John Jr. and Claus Jr. had acquired spendthrift habits early in life as a result of their father’s wealth and generous distribution of it. The sons were also womanizers prone to excess indulgences. Since his boys went wayward, I would certainly ask him to reevaluate his parenting. My first question would be, “Your father put you to work when you were a boy. Were you trying to give your own boys more of a childhood than you had?” “Did you give them too much?” “Do you regret it?” These questions would certainly bum out the dinner party, but I would want to know.

Would you rather spend a few hours at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park or Spreckels Theatre downtown? Why?

Without a doubt, it is the Organ Pavilion! Many don’t know that Spreckels was himself an accomplished organist. Music was an antidote for stress. I’m particularly impressed with the dedicated people who comprise the Spreckels Organ Society. These are awesome people actively keeping John D. Spreckels’ legacy alive with their continuous preservation, promotion, and programing of the free-to-the-public organ concerts in Balboa Park. I have dear memories of attending the 2pm Sunday concerts with my grandmother in the 1960s. I can still remember the blue “pearls” and smart white hat she wore. These were the days that all females wore dresses and I remember sleeping in curlers the night before she ironed my little dress to attend the “Shpreckels” (her German accent) concerts. In 1915, when San Diego’s Panama–California Exposition opened, the Spreckels organ was the centerpiece of the activities. There were nearly forty-three thousand attendees at the stroke of midnight

Sunrise at Spreckles Park in Coronado, California.

animal lover and this is where I found mutual ground with my subject. There are some captivating stories in my book about his anecdotes with dogs which made me relate on a very personal level. A few of my favorite stories in the book involve the founding of the world-famous San Diego Zoo. I was surprised that he gets no credit today for his contributions to the formation of the zoo. He not only gave massive amounts of money, purchased the elephants and their compounds, he sponsored the very first zoo animal exchange with Australia using his luxurious steamships, leading to a dramatic and harrowing story that gave America our first koala encounter. Readers will enjoy some of the stories about the twelve-foot alligator that escaped and wandered the decks among shrieking passengers and some other shocking escapades that did not turn out so well. Think about it, we sent coyotes, rattle snakes

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posers as Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms were removed from orchestras’ programs. Spreckels after World War 1 was forced to “over-prove” his loyalty to America time and time again. Even though his personal yacht and the entire North Island was conscripted for purposes of war, he was made to feel guilty just by virtue of being 100% German. It’s impossible to know his feelings during America’s anti-German delirium, but I only had to look at my grandmother who lived with us and know that it likely saddened him even though great patriotism for America was shown. As a result of this widespread persecution, many German immigrants like my grandmother concealed her ethnic identity by never speaking her first language in public and forbidding my mother to ever speak German outside the home fearing discrimination.

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San Diego All-Star Clown by Mia Bertelsen

Not all covid news is negative for creative preforming artists. Even though community events have stopped, the San Diego All-Star Clowns are finding new ways to make the community smile. They have a new concept of the drive-by, pop-up clown parade. I spoke to Kathy Cannon who is a member of the San Diego All-Star Clowns. “We are an organization that has been in existence for over 20 years,” Cannon said. “We have a monthly meeting and one of our other clowns suggested that we do a drive-by. So every month she picks a route and we drive around, dress up and decorate our cars and we honk and wave signs to everybody to spread a little cheer. I just do it as a hobby but a lot of the clowns do it professionally. As a group we go to the Circus Vargas when they are in town. We dress up and we greet all the people as they are coming in. The first week of August is National Clown week and every day we find something to do. We go to senior citizen places, convalescent homes, and more. We just go all over.” Their last drive by was in Normal Heights and Hillcrest areas. One of

their very favorite events is to be at the Coronado 4th of July Parade. “We were very upset that we couldn’t do it this year,” she said. It takes a special person to be a clown. You are a creative and orig-

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inal person who loves people. Cannon is an upbeat person and shared her favorite part of making the public smile. Her clown name is Grandma Huggs. “What really touches me is when I face paint kids and they see

themselves in the mirror and they are so happy!,” she said. If you hear some noise and see some clowns driving by, make sure to give them a wave. The group doesn’t give the area a head’s up on their appearance. Part of the fun is to see the surprise of the people to see a drive-by, pop-up clown parade. She added that they are taking precautions and space their cars apart. “A lot of us are older and we need to be careful,” Cannon added. From their website: The San Diego All-Star Clowns performs at health related fund raising events. We appear in most parades in the San Diego area. During National Clown Week, August 1st to 7th, we often have two events per day in the San Diego Community. The purpose of National Clown week is to promote the art of clowning. You may find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SanDiegoAllStarClownClub/ The San Diego All-Star Clowns offers clown classes annually. They cover the history of clowning, ethics of clowning, makeup, costuming, types of clowns, character development, hospital clowning, parade clowning, face painting, balloon twisting, mime, face painting, skits and more.

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Local Blood Donor Inducted Into Fresenius Kabi Donation Hall Of Fame Long-time San Diego Blood Bank donor Joe McDonald has been inducted into the Donation Hall of Fame, sponsored by Fresenius Kabi. The Donation Hall of Fame recognizes individuals nationwide who have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to blood donation. A brief induction ceremony was held today where Joe received a personalized award and was honored for his many contributions to people in need of blood transfusions. Joe has donated 99 gallons of blood with the San Diego Blood Bank to date. Joe, a Marine Corps veteran, chose this as his date for induction, as it is on the 10th of November of every year that our Nation, our Corps and our Marines pay tribute to all the Marine Corps Birthday symbolizes. Joe is one of 12 inspiring donation stories across the country selected

for the Fresenius Kabi 2020 Donation Hall of Fame. Blood centers across the country submitted nominations for this year’s Donation Hall of Fame. Winners were chosen based on their demonstrated commitment and passion to donating blood and/or encouraging blood donation. Fresenius Kabi (www. fresenius-kabi.com/us) is a global health care company that specializes in medicines and technologies for infusion, transfusion and clinical nutrition. The company’s products and services are used to help care for critically and chronically ill patients.Appointments are required to donate blood and are available at www.sandiegobloodbank.org San Diego Blood Bank Headquarters is located at 3636 Gateway Center Avenue, Suite 100, San Diego, CA 92102.

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Local Author Shares 1970s Cross-County Bicycle Trip in New Bestselling Memoir Staff Report It was the early 1970s and 23-year-old David W. Reed felt embittered by political strife and corruption. Our nation was torn apart by the Vietnam War and the massacre of unarmed students at Kent State University. President Nixon was being investigated for criminal activity and Vice President Spiro Agnew had just resigned for bribery and tax evasion. Young David wanted out. So he made two new friends, packed 15 pounds of camera equipment and camping gear on his back, and set out for a cross country bicycle adventure. Recently, the Del Cerro resident published UPHILL AND INTO THE WIND, a memoir about his life-changing journey. Reed sat down to talk to us about his book, bicycling, and what he learned along the way. Q: We know it was your disillusionment with the American political landscape that drove you to go off-the-grid for a while and bicycle across the country in 1974. But what made you decide to write a memoir about the trip now? A: As twenty-somethings, we were simply too busy living to look back. To put together an entire story into a book takes time, a lot of it: it’s a luxury young adventurers think of differently. The “now” started seven years ago when my Dad passed away. He had written a short memoir about something he did that helped to change the outcome of World War II. When I read it, I thought I should write my story. After almost 50 pages of my earliest memories, I realized, it’s the bicycle trip. I still have all my journals, seven of them, which I kept, on an almost daily basis. I transcribed them, and so it began. Q: What were some of your favorite memories from the journey? A: There are so many. We witnessed a butterfly migration and climbed a mountain at night in Shenandoah National Park. Kansas, was one

of the most transcendental places of our trip, where the wheat was turning from green to gold. Climbing Long’s Peak (elevation 14,256 feet) in Rocky Mountain National Park was a high point. We witnessed the Aurora Borealis – the Northern Lights -- in Glacier Park. Having Avenue of the Giants, in Humboldt Redwoods State Park all to ourselves was surreal. But there are so many more.

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Q: What surprised you? Did you have any preconceived ideas that were disproven about parts of the country or people who live there? A: We had not expected the way people opened up their homes and hearts to us along the way. Good Samaritans all, they gave us shelter, food, respite and friendship, embodying the very best of the American experience. As for pre-conceived notions, we thought Kansas was flat. Its not: It’s on a giant semi-continental slope. We entered Kansas at elevation 800. The elevation at the western border is almost 4,000 feet. That’s 3,200 feet of elevation gain in 400 miles, or about 3/16 inch for every ten feet. We’d come upon small rises in the land, maybe 50-200 feet long inclines of a few to several feet. A few hours later there would be another one, then another, several during the day. We’d go up, but not downhill. Q: How long did the bicycle trip take? A: This was 1974, a time when there were not many people traveling on bicycles. From start to finish (including the trip home) the journey took five months. On bicycles we covered 5,420 miles, crossing the Continental Divide 11 times. But we spent almost two months backpacking in the National Parks. Q: How did you meet your two biking companions? A; Before planning the trip I did not know Rusty and Susie. When I decided to ride my bicycle across the U.S. I thought it would be better to have a companion. Several friends had told me that there was a guy like me, also into hiking, biking, nature, and metaphysics and I had to meet him. That was Rusty Bird. (And yes, that’s his real name!) I met Susie at a church potluck, one of those communal gatherings, where we’d hold hands, offer a blessing and break bread. A young girl who sat across from me sat up and listened as I spoke

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of my planned journey. She said, “Wow, I’d really like to go on a trip like that.” I don’t know what moved me but I said, “Come along if you want.” Susie was just 19, and had never been away from home before. Q: Did you ever feel you were in danger? A: I can laugh about it now, but there were many times. Mad dogs in Maryland, Bears in the Shenandoah, getting run off the road by oversized rigs carrying pre-fab homes, tornadoes in Kansas, sudden lighting and snow storms in the Rockies, hypothermia, a white-out on a mountain climb, a moose encounter in the Teton mountain range. One of the closest shaves with death was from a logging truck on Highway One in Washington. But there was another even closer one on the trip home, which I won’t spoil for you. Q: Was there any now city or town that you wanted to stay a while longer in? A: Again, there are so many. In Abingdon, Virginia, we were adopted by a back-to-the-land family who fed us, showed us the ways of wild-crafting and homesteading. I also loved Aurora CO., Jackson Hole, WY, Marblemount and Bellingham WA, and especially Victoria B.C. Q: You recently won the Surfing Madonna Association with a Local Authors Community Arts Award. Tell us a little bit about that. A; I was thrilled that some North County surfers would single me out. The Surfing Madonna is an inspiring mural, which blends the love of the perfect wave with the iconic, venerated and one of the most sacred icons of Mexican and Mexican American Culture, La Virgen de Guadalupe. Every surfer dreams of the perfect wave, and many a mural and surf photograph highlight that perfect moment. Whenever I’m asked what makes Southern California work so well, I have always felt it was our Mexican American biculturalism.

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Q; Why did you decide to donate a portion of your proceeds to the Environmental Defense Fund? A: For me, it’s not about the money. After experiencing, through our travels, what a precious temple our biosphere is, I felt I must find a way to help save it. We’re using up this planet like it has no end. The earth is getting hotter, the poles and glaciers are melting, the oceans are rising. The earth will survive, but will humanity? What

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do you want for your children, or grandchildren? Q; Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers? A: On our trip I carried 15 lbs. of camera equipment, I have almost 200 Kodachrome slides, which document the sudden and surprising glories of nature, the raw beauty of the land and the majesty of the mountains. I have a link to the color slides at the back of the book.

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Medical Cannabis Does Not Create Cognitive Decline in Seniors By Michael Patterson NHA, OTR/L, CEAS

A recent study published in the September 2020 edition of the Drug and Alcohol Review, determined that the use of medical cannabis does not create a cognitive decline in senior citizens. The link to the study is here: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/ doi/10.1111/dar.13171 The study was performed by Sharon R. Sznitman PhD, Senior Lecturer, Simon Vulfsons MD, Director, David Meiri PhD, Lecturer, Galit Weinstein PhD, Senior Lecturer at Israel’s Haifa University School of Public Health. The study included 125 cannabis users who were 50 years and older. Out of the 125 study participants, 63 had Israeli government permission to use cannabis and 62 did not have permission. Each participant was put through a multitude of tests consisting of CogState computerized brief battery used to assess cognitive performance of psychomotor reaction, attention, working memory and new learning. Regression models and Bayesian tests examined differences in cognitive performance in the two groups. Furthermore, the associations between medical cannabis use patterns (dosage, cannabinoid concentrations, length and frequency of use and hours since last use) with cognition were assessed among medical cannabis licensed patients. Patients were tested before use of medical cannabis and after use of medical cannabis. The result of the study showed no detectable difference in cognitive ability before or after use of medical cannabis. Dr. Sharon Sznitman and Dr. Galit Weinstein noted that the results of the study do not show any widespread change on cognition in older chronic pain patients. Considering use of medical cannabis is increasing in older populations, this study could be a first step toward a better risk-benefit assessment of the use of medical cannabis with Seniors. The researchers also noted that “previous studies have shown that medical cannabis can have long-term effects on the brain when consumed at a young age. Those affects are not necessarily the same when consumed in old age.” Analysis Senior Citizens are the fastest growing demographic of users of medical cannabis in the United States. With over 435,000 medical cannabis patients in Florida and the average age of a medical cannabis patient over 50 years old, many Seniors are currently using medical cannabis. However, these numbers could be considered the “tip of the iceberg.” As more senior citizens

become comfortable using medical cannabis for their diagnoses with less side effects and more relief than traditional pharmaceutical medications, we will see many more seniors starting to use medical cannabis into 2021 and beyond. Physicians and health care organizations need to educate seniors on the benefits of medical cannabis and begin to track the data related to outcomes of seniors who take cannabis as a medicine. Not only is medical cannabis safer than traditional pharmaceuticals (for most patients), but it is also more cost effective for health care organizations (ACOs) for cost of care per patient. The evidence is in the data. As more ACOs and health care entities start to track the data around use of medical cannabis and see better outcomes and decreased cost of healthcare within their system, you will see more acceptance of medical cannabis as a medicine within the current healthcare community. Michael C. Patterson, founder and CEO of U.S. Cannabis Pharmaceutical Research & Development of Melbourne, is a consultant for the development of the medical marijuana industry nationwide and in Florida. He serves as a consultant to Gerson Lehrman Group, New York and helps educate GLG partners on specific investment strategies and public policy regarding Medical Marijuana in the U.S. and Internationally. He can be reached at mpatterson@uscprd.com

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Happy Holidays, San Diego

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Washington DC, USA, 11/06/2020: After the elections, Anti-Trump Protesters make demonstrations near White House. A young man holds a banner that says be Counted referring to vote counting.

How election officials fought fiction with fact

Freddy Brewster And Katie Licari December 2, 2020 Pet videos populate Facebook all the time, but one posted during this frenzied election season stood out: A service dog named Maggie Magoo had voted by mail in Santa Cruz, its owner said. Not just that, the owner claimed Maggie was registered to vote using her microchip number as a social security number. The story, like so much misinformation, had more bark than bite. But it was only after the video had been viewed at least 25,000 times and Gail Pellerin, Santa Cruz County Registrar, had checked voter registration and called the county’s district attorney, the local sheriff ’s department, and the Department of Homeland Security that she felt she could definitively quash the rumor. “For the record, a dog did NOT register and vote in our county,” she tweeted. “It’s really unfortunate when people just sit behind a camera and put out lies and deceit that just isn’t based on facts or anything real,” Pellerin said. “It really just sort of tarnishes the work that everybody is doing.” Not all misinformation about the election was as easy to disprove, and there was plenty. A survey by CalMatters of 54 of California’s 58 registrars of voters found that misinformation in all forms was rampant during the recent election.

Voters were subjected to everything from wrong or misleading claims from the White House to social media posts discrediting the integrity of the voting process. Registrars in both urban and rural counties said they often spent hours each day trying to get the correct information out to anxious voters. Kimberly Grady, the registrar for Amador County, said her office fielded “numerous calls daily” about “whatever was talked about on social media or the news. It was usually about fraud.” “The phones were out of control this election,” said Gregory Diaz, registrar for Nevada County, adding that his office dealt with misinformation “all the time. Every day.” In fact, much of the registrars’ time was spent addressing voters’ confusion over new election rules rather than malicious disinformation. Apart from their choice of candidates and propositions, voters had a lot to think about in this election. Not only was this California’s first year to use vote-by-mail statewide, but in a number of counties voting centers and dropboxes had replaced familiar polling places. “We had a lot of people who were upset and angry” about the move from polling places to mailed ballots, said Donna Johnston, Sutter County’s registrar. “People did not want their choice taken away from them.” Bottom of Form

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Many voters displaced by wildfires in counties like Santa Cruz needed assistance finding replacement ballots or locating a place to drop their ballot. And BallotTrax, a new system designed to assure mail-in voters that their ballots had been received and recorded, often instilled more confusion than confidence when it failed to provide prompt feedback in some counties. Still, even issues that would have been relatively straightforward in simpler times were complicated by President Trump’s false claims about a “rigged” election and the integrity of mail-in voting. Much-publicized cost cutting and mail delays by the U.S. Postal Service led voters to worry that they couldn’t count on their ballots being delivered safely or on time. They expressed doubts about the security of drop boxes, or poll workers’ ability to match signatures on mail-in ballots or the threat of illegal electioneering — advocates distributing or wearing campaign propaganda at the voting centers. “Everything prevalent in the national narrative has been questioned locally,” said Janna Haynes, Public Information Officer for Sacramento County. To combat the flood of confusion and misinformation, the largest counties deployed armies of workers. Between its phone bank and its social media team, “you’re talking about 35, 40, 45 people,” said Neal Kelley, registrar for Orange

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Happy Holidays, San Diego County, which has more than 1.6 million registered voters. The Orange County website also posted 30-plus “myths” circulating about voting. Some examples: Voters should put a stamp on their prepaid return ballot envelope for faster delivery (actually, this could slow it down); it’s okay to photocopy one’s ballot (it’s not); ballots that don’t check all the boxes will be voided (they won’t). Anticipating problems, the Secretary of State’s office had set up a dedicated email account, voter hotline and media monitoring tools well ahead of Election Day to help combat concerns about misinformation. State officials led county public information officers through a presentation on crisis communications and best practices, and equipped them with a tool kit for possible scenarios the week prior to the election, said Jenna Dresner, senior public information officer for the Office of Election Cybersecurity. “We always see an influx in misinformation around elections, but this year it was louder than ever.” For Kammi Foote, the registrar of Inyo County, the problems began during the summer, with messages coming out of the White House undermining the integrity of the postal service. She said she had to routinely deal with voter phone calls about possibly intentional slow downs of the mail and the removal of U.S. mail collection boxes. “That did not reflect the reality happening behind the scenes,” Foote said about the situation in Inyo County. “We probably had the strongest partnership with the United States Postal Service that I have ever experienced in my 14 years as a registrar.” In an effort to combat confusion, Inyo’s elections office expanded its social media reach to

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Foote said she posted at least twice a day during the busiest days of the election to deal with each new conspiracy theory. One day a number of people called her office to ask how she was preventing people from urinating in the ballot drop boxes. “I had never previously received those kinds of questions and I thought it was odd that multiple people would ask me that same question,” she said. Normally, the registrar’s office could have reached out to a wide audience by advertising on Facebook. But Facebook had imposed a ban on new political ads in the week before the election, in an effort to combat misinformation, so Foote was limited to posting only on the county’s page. “I went through so many hoops and so many hours and I even got through to real, live Facebook people and we still weren’t ever able to advertise,” she said. (The registrar for Orange County took the precaution of being certified by Facebook as an official source of election information, Kelley said, so his office was able to circumvent the ban.) “The most important thing the voter should know is that, not everything they read on social media is always true and they need to do a little research.” DEBORAH BAUTISTA, TUOLUMNE COUNTY REGISTRAR In Sonoma County, Registrar Deva Proto found herself dealing with rumors that grew out of photos taken in September of recycled materials from previous elections. “Somebody took pictures of it and started spreading misinformation, saying that they were worried that we were dumping ballots from this election, even though our ballots haven’t been sent out yet,” said Proto. “And so

VOL. 5 ISSUE 12 13 that took quite a bit of time, just responding to phone calls, and then media requests.” In Tuolumne County, Registrar Deborah Bautista spent time every day scrolling through Facebook groups that were spreading misinformation. One individual, she recalled, posted an obviously false claim that in-person voting had been canceled. She responded that some polling places were closed due to consolidation efforts but that there was still, in fact, in-person voting. “But the good news is that there were a lot of people that said that [the claim] wasn’t true and to contact the [elections] office,” she said. Bautista said she is lucky, because Tuolumne County is a small area where people tend to know each other. She said she was often tagged on some of the misleading posts and was able to rebut them before they were able to take root. “The most important thing the voter should know is that, not everything they read on social media is always true and they need to do a little research,” she added. “If it doesn’t sound right, it probably isn’t right.” Requests for interviews with Facebook went unanswered as of publication time. This story has updated to reflect additional counties responding to the survey. Freddy Brewster and Katie Licari are reporters at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. Votebeat reporters Lewis Griswold, Michael Lozano, and UC Berkeley Journalism School reporter Aaron Leathley contributed to this story. This coverage is made possible through Votebeat, a nonpartisan reporting project covering local election integrity and voting access. In California, CalMatters is hosting the collaboration with the Fresno Bee, the Long Beach Post and the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.

”Simple. Secure. Trustworthy. Counted.” A sign reads in Spanish encouraging voters to vote by mail Off I-5 on November 3, 2020. Photo by Clara Mokri for CalMatters

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Happy Holidays, San Diego

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In last month’s article I introduced The Language of Appreciation, offering a foundation to easily create authentic and meaningful relationships with family, friends and colleagues; a way of communicating with others that inspires and encourages mutual gratitude every day. If learning to speak this way is the cultivation of great relationships, then the Art of Apology is the groundskeeping that maintains it; the pruning and refinement that deepens trust. Yes, I’m aware there is a persistent belief that apologizing somehow makes us weak as an individual or lessens our footing within a relationship, but both of these concerns center around wanting to maintain control or power within your relationship, and to be more pithy; if you’re consistently vying for control or power in your relationship, it’s likely not truly a relationship. Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away, and while the holiday tends to promote gratitude, perhaps it’s also a wonderful time to consider personal humility and rebuilding bonds. Let’s breakdown what an apology is and its purpose. When there is a perceived breach of trust of any kind, the objective of the apology is a process for repair and reestablishing trust. I use the word “perceived” because this is the first pitfall where things go awry; debating whether the issue is correct or not. Who cares?

I suggest placing your need to stand on principle or be correct aside. Buy it a cup of tea or coffee and ask it to sip slowly, we’ll come back to that (pride) in a forthcoming column. For now, what’s important is somebody that you likely love or value in some way is hurt. This is a moment to choose love over the need to be correct. The benefit of love is emotional closeness, the byproduct of needing to be correct is emotional distance. Which do you prefer? I imagine a thought that may floating through your head is something like “why should I apologize if I didn’t do anything wrong?” Other common concerns are simply wanting to avoid conflict or not appearing weak. Please allow me to shelve these two concerns: the willingness to have conflict is healthy, seeking it out is not. In other words, conflict is a natural way in which we attempt to understand someone else’s beliefs or experience while upholding our own. Essentially, it’s foreign to us, so we’re defending against it. There’s also the aforementioned pride being encouraged by that clever ego of ours. Whether small or large, both of these are very human and will subside with consistent effort towards focusing on these four steps. If you want to learn how to effectively apologize, you’ll want to be adept and sincere at each of the following stages.

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AWARENESS – Before any misconduct can be repaired and trust restored, you’ll have to understand it. This first step requires a commitment towards caring and empathy. You’ll need to be willing to step outside your own experience – even if just for a glance – and attempt to see from the perspective of the other. If you don’t see it immediately, stay with it. I have found the less need you have to be correct, the quicker this occurs. ACCEPTANCE – Building on your increased awareness, this is the step where you accept responsibility for your contribution in the matter. Embrace and connect with it. This is vital to it not recurring. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT – This is the point to voice your apology. When You speak the words “I am sorry” they will be underwritten with a sincerity that is often missing from near-reflexive apologies. I invite you to go deeper and extend the declaration by recognizing how you hurt the other and immediately proceed to the next action. AMENDS – A critical and often overlooked aspect of an apology. At this stage, the person that seemingly created the offense inquires with the offended to seek what would be required to rebuild trust. The request and resolution should be directly related to the infraction. Each step is successive and requires the preceding one be completed to move forward. You cannot offer and complete a honest amends without genuine acknowledgement of the matter; you cannot have a true acknowledgement of the matter without sincere acceptance of your responsibility (for your portion); and you cannot have a sincere acceptance of your responsibility without having real awareness to see what has occurred. Done earnestly, this process will allow offer opportunities for increased trust, respect and closeness. Daniel Allen is a writer, speaker, and spiritual & emotional counselor on the subject of relationships (including the one we hold with ourselves), and an advocate for Love and raising consciousness. For more information or article suggestions please visit www.SoulExpansion.com, email info@ SoulExpansion.com or call (619) 832-2750.

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Happy Holidays, San Diego If there’s one thing we can all agree on- 2020 has been an unprecedented year. In Numerology, we look at numbers and how they tie into an individual's unique traits, but we also look at cycles and how it impacts us collectively. The numeric vibration for 2020 is 4. How do we find this out? By adding all the numbers in the current year (2+0+2+0 = 4) and deducting it to a single digit, 1-9. 4 is highly detail-oriented and at times can result in a restrictive energy. The double 2’s in 2020, which is the number of patience, has given us the opportunity to see things clearly now, more than ever! 4 has a tendency to inspect misconceptions with the objective of keeping things in order. The 4 enables us to organize while providing us with great determination and tenacity. 4 needs a meaningful goal to focus on, combined with hard work and commitment, it allows for breakthroughs and success. 20/20 was inevitable. It needed to happen and has been a pivotal time for humanity’s transformation to reach a new level. 20/20 means looking not only at the effect that we are currently going through, but more importantly, what caused it. To find our way forward, we have to be truly aware of past lessons, so that we don’t keep repeating them. 4 is the number of precision. Never before has humanity been so consistently bombarded with all kinds of verbal and visual misconceptions...or perhaps it’s been there all along? Old systems and beliefs are now fighting off the persistent 4 which does not let us get away with deliberate distortion of the truth. The old system feeds on the mistaken belief that it’s “us against them”. The old system is a vast competition of the “human race” – the only species that is at war with itself. The human race is this self-destructive system in which we are all trapped, yet trying to escape. COVID-19 has peeled away the layers. It has shown us systemic racism is rampant, justice is fragmented, our economy is in disarray and Mother Earth is demanding our attention. COVID-19 has also shown us how each and every one of us

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play a role, and how critical it is that we work together in order to take steps forward. We are being asked to examine the details carefully, or we could get caught up in the great slew of misinformation that presents themselves as ‘truth.’ There is little difference between capturing our attention – and capturing our hearts and minds. Many theories floating around thrives on our need to be entertained, and have other people think for us. This prevents us from seeing the actual information. 2020 is a pivotal point that will help us evolve from subjects of this self-destructive system, to intentional beings determined to free ourselves and one other. We are in the interstitial space – ‘no longer and not yet’ of freeing our collective and individual wills. The will is our yin energy, emotions, urges, sensations, and instincts; the part of us that has been kept bottled up for far too long. So, in a world that unfolds according to the laws of cause and effect, what’s happening now was destined to happen, we just didn’t know exactly how and when. And as we all start to free itself, the pushback from the old system is more desperate, more forceful, and more senseless. September 18, 2020, which was a 22/4 Universal Day, Ruth Bader Ginsberg transitioned. She was a force to be reckoned with. She was a beacon of truth and feminine energy, intent on freeing the human will. She fought a good fight. If 2020 is teaching us anything, it’s that now is the time to pick up where she and other amazing human beings left off. A collective effort is needed when 22 is activated. 2 is the number of partnership, cooperation, and consideration. 22 brings these qualities to global proportions. 2020 has shaken us awake – because we have been sleeping for far too long. 2021 is a 5 Universal Year. It welcomes freedom, change and facing our fears. Stay tuned to find out what’s in store for 2021! And if you want to know how the 5 energy will impact you personally, you can get a 2021 Personal Year Forecast. Use LUCKY5 at checkout to receive 20% off. Visit: www. numerologycatalyst.comww

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Happy Holidays, San Diego

Tis The Season to Shop Local!

Stephanie Langlois of Time Wise Jewelers in Clairemont By Jeanne Rawdin Classic gift-giving remains a time-honored holiday tradition – even in the midst of these unprecedented pandemic times. Time Wise Jewelers honors that classic gift-giving tradition with great opportunities to buy jewelry at some of the most competitive prices anywhere. Time Wise Jewelers is offering 25 to 50% off any item in the entire store for this holiday season (excluding watch bands, chains, repairs and findings). It’s the perfect time to buy a gift for a loved one or even to splurge on a special piece for yourself. Owner Stephanie Langlois is offering excellent holiday deals because she understands what her customers are going through. “I have completely changed the way I do business during this pandemic. I’ve made many cuts and sacrifices in order to keep my doors open. I’ve had to lay off staff members and increase my own hours. I’ve sought out more reasonably priced vendors and suppliers. I’m facing challenges during this pandemic just as my customers are, and we’re in this together.” Stephanie has also invested in many COVID safety measures, like installing plexiglass around the high-traffic cases in the store, supplying hand sanitizer and masks for customers who walk in, and constantly disinfecting areas throughout the day. Since the start of COVID, her business cycle has been a bit of a ride. “At the beginning of the pandemic, we had a high influx of repair jobs. Then after a month or so after being able to reopen, all sales pretty much halted. No one was really buying merchandise and most of our customers had already been in to have their items repaired. A few months after that, business started to pick back up slightly -- some anniversary gifts, missed birthday presents, graduations that still needed to be celebrated. People were slowly coming back to buying.” Stephanie fosters a sense of community with her customers, and that didn’t stop once the pandemic hit. “Many customers just came in to see how we were faring. They didn’t need much done, maybe a battery or what not. They were just concerned about how we were doing, and wanted to make sure we would still be around in the months to come,” she explains. Like many other shop owners, Stephanie has had to face the challenges of doing business during a pandemic. During the leanest months, she worked solo with her husband to keep the operation afloat. She had to lay off five employees. But she maintains a great attitude and takes things “one day at a time.” Despite the hurdles, something surprised her in a positive way during this time. “The support and love from the community,” she says. “Loyal customers just wanting to stop by to make sure we’re still open and find out how we are doing, trying to give us any business they can. I even got a few emails letting me know a certain customer would be in to make a purchase because this is where they want to spend their money.” Time Wise Jewelers has been operating for almost forty years (since 1981) in Clairemont in the Balboa Mesa Shopping Center. The previous owners, Glen and Linda Blumenthal, retired a couple of years ago after operating the story for 38 years. That’s when Langlois decided to buy the store and become its owner. “I worked for Glen and Linda for eight and a half years,” StephaLocal News > LocalUmbrellaNews.com

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nie explains. “I bought it from them when they decided to retire. I am not related to them but consider them family -- a second set of parents, if you will. I love them like they are family. They taught me everything I know and showed me how to run an honest business.” Time Wise Jewelers carries an impressive array of different jewelry and stones – some that you can’t commonly find in other jewelry stores. For example, the store has an extensive selection of Iolite, Lapis, Spinel, Turquoise, Moissanite, Appatite and other favorite stones which are unique. The store also has a wonderful array of estate jewelry and one-of-a-kind pieces. They also specialize in engagement rings and custom-designed jewelry. The store offers free jewelry cleaning and inspection while you shop. And Time Wise’s experienced appraiser can provide you with all the paperwork you need to insure your treasured pieces. They’ll even replace your watch battery while you wait, or while you get your shopping done at Vons. Stephanie strives to deliver the best customer service around because, as she puts it, “We want to be your personal jeweler for life!” Time Wise Jewelers prides itself on having the lowest prices with the best service and the most knowledgeable staff around. When COVID hit, Stephanie realized she had to take a hard look at what was important to her and make changes accordingly, just like all small business owners. She realized that her family and her business were her top priorities and worked to keep both of them safe and healthy. When asked what’s the most important thing she’s learned since taking over the business, she replied, “Take it one day at a time and believe in yourself.” Time Wise Jewelers is located in the Balboa Mesa Shopping Center at 5643 Balboa Avenue in Clairemont, right next to Mr. Fish & Chips and to the left of Vons. You can call them at 858560-5503 or go to timewisejewelers.com for more information. Store hours are 10 am to 6 pm Tuesday through Friday, 10 am to 5 pm Saturday, and 12 noon to 5 pm on Sundays. @LocalUmbrellaMedia Advertise? Press@LocalUmbrella.com

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Happy Holidays, San Diego

Leah Christensen

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What People Are Saying About Their Shopping Experiences at Time Wise Jewelers: Time Wise Jewelers is a local gem in Clairemont. From their quality jewelry to their supportive customer service, I love stopping in and finding something old or new. I don’t know that I’ve ever left the store without having purchased something or putting it on layaway. You have to act quickly sometimes because her pieces and prices are hard to pass up! I choose purchasing jewelry from Time Wise because my personal jeweler, Stephanie is relatable, creative and understands the value of helping young women like myself find new ‘forever’ heirlooms. She cares about sourcing ethical pieces that make us feel empowered and beautiful. She listens to her customers and works to find jewelry that will make a positive impact in a person’s life. Growing up, I loved my mother’s fine jewelry but never felt that it was my style. Stephanie has done a beautiful job at deconstructing outdated pieces and repurposing them to be more my style. She has such a tasteful, creative eye and I trust her implicitly. Her prices are always fair and I can’t get enough of the unique and beautiful estate gems she show cases. It is so rare to find a humble and patient jeweler – specifically those who let young professionals like myself play ‘dress up’ with the more expensive earrings and necklaces I could only ever dream of. Stephanie is the most reputable, fair and honest jeweler in all of Clairemont. She always tries to support her local clients by offering discounts and holiday specials. Not only does she care about the jewelry’s legacy and it’s story, but also the impact it has on a new owner. She quickly learns people’s taste and is keen to go the extra mile to source difficult to find gems. I’d love to see the community support Time Wise as a business during the pandemic because it’s a local, family run shop that continues to keep their prices affordable for those of us who have a passion for fine jewelry. She is very sacrificial, often not paying herself in order to continue supporting her staff and store. She puts love into everything she does and into every conversations she has. She truly bonds and connects with everyone. I have purchased a white solitaire diamond necklace, a roman coin in 24K sold gold setting, sapphire and diamond earrings, gold ring with three diamonds, 2 sets of pearl earrings, a yellow gold solitaire diamond necklace, and a gold Japanese crane ring, two white gold paw necklaces, a gold pendant and I’m sure a few others that I can’t think of. I also re-purposed my mothers sapphire into a diamond necklace.

Katie Munroe I choose to purchase jewelry from TimeWise because it is always high quality jewelry at really good prices. In addition, they offer custom jewelry and can take an older heirloom and modernize it to create something new very inexpensively. Stephanie is wholeheartedly committed to her customers and their experience. She has done amazing customization for me. My mom passed away last spring and I had some of her jewelry that meant a lot to me but was very dated. Stephanie designed and recreated several rings Of my mom’s that I probably never would have worn. Now I have amazing show pieces that have a total “wow” factor in addition to still being a part of my family’s history. I would go in with no idea of what to do with a ring or necklace. Stephanie came up with the most amazing designs which she then created for pennies on the dollar in comparison to any new piece of jewelry. She works with a small set of quality craftsman and she oversees the design process personally. Stephanie has literally created a whole collection of new jewelry for me. Why should the community support Time Wise as a business during the pandemic? Stephanie is a new business owner who is bringing life back into small local businesses. She has a young family and is devoted to her community! What kinds of jewelry have you purchased from Time Wise? When I first went into Time Wise, I was just browsing. I never thought I could afford jewelry from a “real” jewelry store. I was so surprised at the reasonable prices. I have purchased new jewelry including rings, earrings and bracelets with gemstones including diamonds, sapphires, rubies and Iolite. I have also purchased custom pieces that Stephanie has remade for me including my mother’s wedding band, my grandmother’s engagement ring, and a ring that was made out of my grandmother’s earrings and a necklace. It’s rare in this day and age to meet a truly kind person (who is also a business owner) and who strives every day to offer the best service and quality merchandise to her customers. Stephanie is just such a person!

Leah Christensen

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Funny and reflective COVID-19 quarantine stories Complied by Mia Bertelsen

Let’s all laugh a bit about the crazy and funny things that happened during 2020 the year of the lockdown. Laughter is good medicine and as this quarantine drags on and on, we could use some good stories to help us to forget how serious this virus has become. I surveyed people on social media and these are some of the stories that they shared. You probably know someone who did something similar too. Kathleen Fogarty, San Diego, “I gave myself a haircut. The garden snipping shears were at the back door. I walked in, looked in the mirror and started chopping away. The first time I cut about 3 inches off. It felt great! Now I just grab and snip if I don’t like a piece of hair.” Nicole Johnson, Coronado, “This is a funny yet sad story. I used San Di-

ego to help me to raise my kids. We were at Sea World, Dave and Busters, John’s Incredible Pizza, play dates, events and more. After COVID hit I had to raise my kids! My focus before was on everything else and it brought my family into alignment. We cook our own meals, we clean our own house, we wash our own clothes and WE are connected. So while I cry for our country’s divided COVID life, I am thankful for the lesson.” Alma Hass, Chula Vista, “Everyone is complaining about the quarantine weight gain. My husband went into our closet and put on a plain white long sleeve shirt. He got so mad thinking that he had gained so much weight that now even his basic shirts didn’t fit. I fell over with laughter when I told him to not worry because the shirt was mine not his!”

Sharon Sardina, Temecula, “My husband had to color my hair. That is how desperate I got!”

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Happy Holidays, San Diego

Heather Tanel, Chula Vista, “My 4-year old son Junior gave himself a haircut with preschool scissors because he didn’t want long hair anymore. This is what happens when daycare is closed and he is being babysat by his 15-year-old sister who is busy with on-line school. He gave himself a nice bald spot.”

Renee Tay, Point Loma, “We made new non-human friends. Since we can’t socialize anymore, we just made new little squirrel friends. We met Fat Lenny many months ago while sitting at Liberty Station. We were feeding crows and he showed up and wanted some peanuts. We fed him more peanuts and at one point he even helped himself to the bag. I fell asleep in my beach chair and Fat Lenny was so curious that he was standing up against the chair to look at me. Eventually Fat Lenny started jumping into my boyfriend’s lap. Other squirrels got to know us too. Sadly, the city recently did a squirrel number control and there are only about a third of the squirrels around. Fat Lenny hasn’t come up to us in the last month, but we still see him.”

Kathy Cannon, San Diego, “My husband is 88-years-old. Having Alzheimers and being confined to home (most of the time) has been difficult at times and funny at other times. He has lost (and hid) some crazy things. We find his keys, glasses, Depends, remote control and lots of other stuff in funny places. We still can’t find his cell phone yet. I filled a container of my husband’s pills for the month and accidentally tipped it over. When it happened I yelled ‘Don’t move’ and he froze for about 15 minutes while I picked up all the pills. Later I asked him why he wasn’t eating and he said, ‘you didn’t tell me I could move yet.’ It took a while, and some tears, but I got them all back in the right squares. I only lost one.”

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Colleen Pratt Worth, Scottsdale, Arizona, “I work medics and at the start of the quarantine I was testing and I would come home and strip off my clothes in the unattached garage and then run through the backyard in my undies to the shower. I got caught a few times, but everyone was so understanding. My kids’ friends learned quickly to stay in the room when mom got home!”

Courtney Buell, Zachary, Louisiana, “I have had fun playing dress up with all the fancy dresses I never get to wear anywhere.”

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MEET THE ARTIST

 Seasonal Decorator Gabriela Ferrara By Mia Bertelsen Tis the season to make your house look merry and festive. The sales of Christmas trees and decorations have increased almost 30% this month. Economists predicted that with the crippled economy from the COVID-19 shutdown, all areas of Christmas sales would suffer. But our desire to be festive and have beautiful homes has not died

during this season. I have heard of people complaining that they can’t find the pre-lit, artificial trees in the stores anymore. All Christmas decorations are going fast. I am not sure if you are like me. I am not good at home decoration and when the Christmas season is on us, I try to find excuses to not drag out the boxes and boxes and try to make some-

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thing wonderful happen in my house. Mostly it turns out okay. I do end up having fun putting it all together, but honestly it just feels like another thing on my never-ending to do list. I was thrilled to learn that there are solutions for people like me. I sat down and talked with the most talented seasonal decorator Gabriela Ferrara. She has always liked art and she grew

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Happy Holidays, San Diego up taking all kinds of classes and learning. Her professional career was very different than what she is doing today. In Mexico she studied to be a lawyer. Good for us, she found her true inspiration in decoration and hasn’t looked back. “I have been decorating professionally for three years now. My friends encouraged me to do this because they told me that I have so much talent,” Ferrara said. “At first I thought that no one would want to hire me. But then I got excited about it and started to promote my services on Instagram. I posted pictures of my tables, flower arrangements and the decorations I made in my house. Then people started to look for me.” As a seasonal decorator and she stays busy all year long. Ferrara is hired to go into people’s homes and create a beautiful scene or theme. It could be for a special holiday or a party. Her services are in high demand right now to decorate Christmas trees. To decorate a tree the price begins at $150 for a 7-foot tree. If you would like her to bring decorations with a certain theme, the client pays for the decorations as well. “My last client didn’t have any decorations for her two trees nor an idea of what to buy,” she explained. “I went and bought everything and she was so happy with the result.” She really enjoys decorating dining room tables with varied themes. If you go to her house, there is always a new theme for every month of the year. In the Summer time you will find a beach theme, picnic theme or 4th of July. Once a client explains to her what theme of decorations is needed, she will go out and buy all the items to create the experience, or she will make them herself and then Ferrara arrives at their house to set it all up. She is a Chula Vista resident and works all over San Diego county. Her services are so valuable for people who have busy schedules and don’t have the time to dedicate to planning, purchasing and setting it all up. Even some people who are in the decorating industry call her because they appreciate her work. After it is all over, the people generally keep the items and put it away themselves at their own leisure. Her passion is to study the trends of decoration and find out what is the latest style. She follows many famous decorators on Instagram and in return they follow her too. She especially admires Jennifer Houghton from Turtle Creek Lane and gets feedback from Houghton on her own posts. “They are decorators who have more than 500,000 followers and they have put likes and comments on my posts and pictures,” she beamed. “I am very proud. My Fao Schwarz inspired Christmas tree was even liked by the actual store’s Instagram. I had the good luck to be trained by a celebrity stylist who I met at my daughter’s preschool. Her name is Sarah Eaton and she is a professional florist and is part of Jeff Leatham’s team. They do all of the floral arrange-

ments for the Kardashians.” Another important teacher for her was Brad Schmidt who is a celebrity designer in West Hollywood and Hong Kong. She was one of his students. Currently Schmidt is featured in People Magazine this month. She leaves us with a tip for those of you who haven’t decorated your tree yet. “To decorate your pre-lit tree, first start with ribbons, next place the tree topper, then place the big ornaments and next the small ornaments.”

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VOL. 5 ISSUE 12 21

Her favorite stores are Hobby Lobby or Michaels to find everything you need to decorate. “This year I have been more busy than past years,” she explained. “People wanted to put up their Christmas decorations earlier and in the stores all of the decorations are sold out.” Ferrara is all smiles this season. Business is good and it is fills her spirit to create beauty in this world. You can find her on Instagram at: decorbygabyferrara

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Medical tourism- a lower-cost option for patients who cross the border By Mia Bertelsen

The border with San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico is the world’s busiest border crossing in the world. Many of the thousands and thousands of people who cross the border daily are medical tourists. They are patients from the US and some from Canada who have decided to seek medical care in Mexico. The doctors on the border are very prepared to help these patients. They speak perfect English and cater to the needs of these unique patients in their modern clinics and hospitals. Some of the more popular medical procedures performed are plastic surgery, bariatric surgery, dentistry, cancer treatments, aesthetic procedures, hormonal treatments and much more. Patients are pleased to find a high level of care, doctors with excellent training, and a much lower cost than what you can find in the U.S. Some patients report a savings of over 50 percent. With the ever-rising costs of the U.S. health care system, it is not a surprise to learn that more and more patients are willing to cross the border to seek other options. However, it is not without its risks, especially when a patient is considering surgery. One should research extensively the doctor and his or her reputation. The Corona virus has hit the medical tourism industry hard too. Many patients have elected to wait until the virus in under control before venturing down south. This article features two doctors who treat medical tourists and gives tips on how to safely cross and enjoy the discounted services. Knowing how to navigate the border is the first step. You need a valid U.S. passport. Only U.S. citizens and permanent residents are able to

cross back into the U.S. from Mexico during the COVID-19 restrictions. Most patients drive to the border area and park their cars on the U.S. side. They cross the border on foot and once in Mexico, they call an Uber to get to the medical office. The majority of the medical offices are located close to the border and only require a quick Uber ride. Once patients have a better feel for the locations of the doctors, some will drive their personal cars to their offices where there is secure parking. If you drive your own car, it is best if you have the Sentri border crossing card to avoid long lines when you return to the U.S. The Sentri program prescreens applicants and their vehicles with an extensive background check. Once approved you are allowed to cross the border northbound into the U.S. in special lanes that are more efficient. Crossing by car in the normal border crossing lanes can take hours at peak times. If you don’t have the Sentri, the fastest way to cross back to the U.S. is in the pedestrian border lanes at the San Yisdro Port of Entry. There are no guarantees of wait times at the border. Always plan ahead and give yourself a cushion of time to get home. Periodically the U.S. Department of State will issue travel advisories for Mexico due to crime and violence. The doctors I interviewed have never had a patient who has reported to them of any problems with their safety in Mexico. They feel that since their offices are located in a safe area of Tijuana, it makes a difference. I spoke with Dr. Paola Rosales who is a doctor of regenerative medicine, anti-aging and is a sexologist. Her clinic is located minutes from the border in the Cosmopolitan Tower in the Zona Rio area of Tijuana. She was born and raised

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in San Diego and completed medical school in Tijuana. Her training includes the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine and general education with anti-aging in the U.S. She is completing her master’s degree in sexology to combine regenerative medicine with regenerative sexology. Dr. Rosales found her love of anti-aging medicine while being trained in a clinic in Costa Rica. “Doctors get taught that you have to think of medicine as a square and you can’t go out of there,” she explained. “And then you are reading all these articles about preventative medicine and how we can make a better quality of life. I love this and I have been practicing regenerative medicine for five years now and most of my patients come from the U.S.” Anti-aging and regenerative are terms that work together. Anti-aging is preventing the damage from starting or continuing. Regenerative medicine is healing the damage that is already present. A typical patient who sees Dr. Rosales complains of being tired all the time. She examines their diets, hormones, menopause and more. “Fatigue is the main complaint,” Rosales said. “They have to take naps when they never had to before. Naps are good, but these patients have never had the need to take a nap and they need to refuel. If they don’t rest, they don’t want to do anything for the rest of the day.” Most of her patients find her on-line by googling hormone replacement therapy or growth hormone replacement therapy. They come from the San Diego and Los Angeles areas and also from Arizona or even Texas. Dr. Rosales explained that, “Growth Hormone replacement therapy has the ability to regenerate

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Happy Holidays, San Diego cellular damage. It gives you sense of well-being, better concentration, better memory, quality of skin, better hair, even less gray hair and boost your metabolism. The goal for the patients is to keep the hormones at the correct levels to regenerate cellular damage throughout the whole body.” Dr. Rosales explained that many of her patients are frustrated with doctors in the US because they are not offering help with their hormones. “With men you have to be below the lowest

Knowing how to navigate the border is the first step. You need a valid U.S. passport. Only U.S. citizens and permanent residents are able to cross back into the U.S. from Mexico during the COVID-19 restrictions.

range in testosterone before they will help you in the US,” she said. “Between 250 and 900 is the range in the lab. Most of the patients below 600 already have symptoms of low testosterone. And they need to be below 250 before insurance will cover it.” There are many studies that show how replacing testosterone in women will help with concentration, memory, muscle mass, motivation and sex appetite. Many people think that testosterone is just for men. Women need it too. A general consultation costs $40. Hormone treatments range from $150- $350 for women for about 3 to 4 months. It includes creams, pills or pellet therapy. The pellet therapy is bioidentical, which uses the same chemical structure as the one found in your body. The small pills are inserted under the skin on the buttock area and they last 3 to 4 months and the body absorbs it as needed. Not everyone is a candidate for the pellets, so Dr. Rosales does a complete clinical history of the patient first. For men, the hormone treatments can run between $300-$900 for 3 to 4 months. Men have more hormone options with creams, injections, or pellets. She also offers IV therapies that can help with autoimmune diseases and degenerative diseases and stem-cell therapies to her patients. Dr. Rosales works with a local pharmacy and can get the patients the needed prescriptions during their visit. Patients pay with credit cards or PayPal so they don’t have to carry cash on them. Dr. Leticia Harrison is a Gynecologist and an Aesthetic Doctor who runs Harrison Medical Spa in Tijuana. Dr. Harrison’s original medical training was in Mexico in Morelia, Monterrey and Mexico City. She also attended UCSD and earned a specialty in lactation. She has been practicing medicine for more than 20 years. Dr. Harrison’s spa is very busy treating patients from all over the United States and Canada. Due to the strict quarantine in Canada, she hasn’t seen Canadian patients for a while though. The majority of her patients come to see her for esthetic medicine. This can include botox, fillers, Venus Freeze (a machine that uses radio

frequency to tighten skin and reduce fat cells), liquid facelifts, facial, chemical peels, Iip fillers, monothreads, acne treaments, IV treatments and massages. Her favorite treatment is the liquid facelift. “It is very beautiful and it is a rejuvenation for patients who don’t want to go under the knife,” Dr. Harrison explained. “It involves botox in several areas and fillers for cheekbones, chins, laugh lines and lips.” A starting price for a liquid facial at her spa is around $1,200. It depends on how many syringes the doctor uses. Patients who fly in to see her will get all the treatments done at once. But if you are local, you can do it in parts. “I love liquid facials because I love to see the transformation,” she said. “The patients will often tell me that they look sad, they lost volume and they have wrinkles and sun damage. One patient even did a happy dance when she looked in the mirror after the treatment was done.” Patients of all ages are seeking treatment from her. “Right now people are so informed and they already know what they want,” Dr. Harrison added. “But we do guide them because sometimes they have an unrealistic expectation. The youngest patient I have had recently was 16 years old and she came in with her mom. She had a non-surgical nose job. Patients are getting preventive botox too. They don’t want to wait until the wrinkle is deep. They prefer to treat it now.” Treatments for esthetic medicine can be pricy, especially in the Los Angeles area. Fillers for the cheekbones, lips and chins are sought-after to restore volume. A syringe of Juvederm averages around $350 in her office and could be $600 or more in other cities of the U.S. Dr. Harrison explained that it is the same product from the same lab as you could buy in the US. Patients get to

enjoy the discounted prices because the labs sell to Mexico at a better price point. Dr. Harrison’s facials are very popular. A patient who comes to see her will often get multiple services done and maybe even a massage too. She sells quality beauty products from France and Spain that are reasonably priced. Getting to Harrison Medical Spa is easy. She is located on the 6th floor of the Cosmopolitan Tower just below Dr. Rosales. They collaborate together and many patients visit both doctors in the same day. If you drive your car to see them, there is affordable valet parking at the entrance to the building. Patients pay for their treatments at the spa with cash, credit cards and Zelle.

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VOL. 5 ISSUE 12 23 Mexico is taking COVID-19 precautions seri-

ously all over. When you are out on the street or in a business, masks need to be worn at all times, your temperature is taken before entering buildings and shoes are disinfected at the doors.

One of the best ways to end your day is to eat at one of the Tijuana’s amazing restaurants. Tijuana is full of creative, fresh talent across the culinary scene. Some of the best chefs in the world have created one-of-a-kind restaurants in Tijuana. Please stay tuned for more about entertainment and good deals to be found in Tijuana. More stories are coming about patients who save on dental care and veterinary treatment for their pets. To contact Dr. Rosales: 1(888)458-4325, tj@ antiagemedical.com To contact Dr. Harrison: (619) 409-2319, lharrison_09@yahoo.com, Instagram: harrisonmedspa

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newsbriefs San Diego State University faculty lead collaborative COVID-19 research efforts By Kellie Woodhouse | SDSU

San Diego State University has become the site for dozens of COVID-19 research projects, an urgent response to the pandemic that is probing its impact on individuals, health care professionals and communities while looking ahead to possible interventions and solutions. More than 40 COVID-related projects span all seven of the university’s academic colleges as well as SDSU Imperial Valley. Much of the work draws upon SDSU’s deep roots in the community, allowing investigators to collaborate with local government agencies, health care providers, medical companies and nonprofits and ensure their work has the widest reach and greatest impact possible. “During the pandemic SDSU faculty have risen to the occasion and leveraged their expertise, connections, scholarship and research interests to shed light on the coronavirus and support vulnerable communities, especially those here in San Diego,” said Hala Madanat, interim vice president of research and innovation and the leader of multiple COVID-19 research endeavors. The vast array of projects considers how the virus affects the body and lingers in the environment; how the pandemic has affected health care, under-resourced communities and mental health; and how schools, government agencies and individuals have responded to the crisis.

Meet California’s state dinosaur

By Emily Hoeven | CalMatters If you’re looking for a fun — and quirky — holiday gift for someone who loves California, look no further than this figurine of Augustynolophus Morrisi, California’s state dinosaur. (As my editor joked, “the first Californian.”)

Custom-designed for the California State Capitol Museum’s gift shop, the figurine can be purchased individually or as part of a set with a sticker and keychain. Proceeds from sales help the Developmental Disabilities Service Organization, the gift shop’s parent company, said manager Stacey Hilton. Augustynolophus Morrisi was a duck-billed, plant-eating dinosaur apparently exclusive to California, clocking in at 10 feet tall, 30 feet long and around 6,000 pounds. Its fossilized remains were first discovered in Fresno County in 1939, according to an accompanying fact sheet.

Port of San Diego approves Harbor Park Coastal Development Permit As part of the transformation of the Chula Vista waterfront on San Diego Bay, the Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners has approved a Coastal Development Permit (CDP) for the future Harbor Park. Planned for the central portion of the Chula Vista waterfront as an expansion and improvement of the current Bayside Park, Harbor Park will provide signature amenities and recreational opportunities. Harbor Park, along with the previously-approved Sweetwater Park, will account for more than half of the new park space planned for the Chula Vista waterfront. The parks design teams are KTU+A and Petersen Studio who were selected for their extensive urban park and waterfront design expertise – with an emphasis on local landscape architecture and natural resource management experience. Anticipated financing for the Gaylord Pacific Resort and Convention Center will include funding to complete the design for and construct the first phase of Harbor Park. Construction for the first phase is tentatively scheduled to begin in early 2023 and completion is anticipated in early 2024.

San Diego MTS approves $911 million bus service contract with Transdev Services

The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) Board of Directors approved a new bus services contract agreement with Transdev Services

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Inc. The six-year agreement includes two two-year options that could bring the total value of the contract to $911 million over 10 years. The contract was awarded after a competitive bidding process. Under this agreement, Transdev will operate 52 of 95 bus route services from MTS bus divisions in Chula Vista and El Cajon, using MTS buses and branding. In FY 2020, 19.5 million passengers were carried by MTS out of these two divisions. Transdev has been under contract with MTS to provide similar services for the past 13 years. “This is great news for MTS and for our riders,” said Nathan Fletcher, MTS Board Chair and District 4 County Supervisor. “The Transdev team is a reflection of the diverse communities we serve in the South Bay and East County.” As part of the new contract, MTS will provide 332 buses and two stateof-the-art Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified facilities for operations, maintenance and fueling. The contract also includes funding for more than 750 Represented and 65 Non-Represented employees in the San Diego region.

Nonprofits may qualify for share of $4 million from County of San Diego Nonprofit organizations that serve low and moderate-income people may qualify for a share of $4 million from the County Housing and Community Development Services’ Community Development Block Grant. The funds are available for projects in the following areas: • Public services such as grocery delivery, food pantries, rent or mortgage assistance programs, diagnostic testing and health care job training. • Construction or rehabilitation of testing or treatment community facilities. • Acquire or rehabilitate housing related to isolation and quarantine. All activities must benefit residents in the unincorporated areas of the region, as well as the cities of Coronado, Del Mar, Imperial Beach, Lemon Grove, Poway and Solana Beach. Projects or programs funded with CDBG funds must benefit at least 51 percent of residents whose incomes are at or below 80 percent of the Area Median Income. Additionally, the project must

serve people and families who have been affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. Applications are now open online and will be available through Jan. 8, 2021 at 5 p.m. Completed applications can be sent to: County of San Diego Housing and Community Development Services Community Development Division, 3989 Ruffin Road, San Diego, CA 92123.

USD ranked among top green MBAs in nation

The University of San Diego offers one of the nation’s top green MBAs, according to The Princeton Review. The education services company chose the USD School of Business for the list Best Green MBA, appearing at #7 in the nation and #1 in California. The ranking is based on a survey of 17,800 students at 244 business schools in the U.S. USD was included as a Best Green MBA based on students’ assessments of how well the school is preparing them in environmental/sustainability and social responsibility issues, and for a career in a green job market. The USD School of Business requires master’s in business administration students to take three courses focused on ethics, corporate social responsibility and/or sustainability. The program also offers research opportunities in sustainability and a concentration in Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable Enterprise. All students must complete 15 hours of community service helping a local non-profit solve a business issue.

Platt/Whitelaw Architects promotes Rick Strickland to CFO

Platt/Whitelaw Architects Inc., a San Diego-based architecture firm, has promoted Rick Strickland to chief financial officer. His duties include management of all financial and human resources activities. An employee of the firm for more than six years, Strickland was promoted from chief financial manager. Previously, he served for seven years as controller for another San Diego-based architecture firm. “We’re elevating Rick’s position to reflect the value he brings, his years of experience and his unwavering commitment to our firm,” said Platt/ Whitelaw co-owner Sandra Gramley.

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newsbriefs NASA picks 4 San Diego university graduates to train for missions to the moon

UCSD graduate Jessica Meir has been chosen to train for a NASA mission to the moon.

By GARY ROBBINS NASA has included 4 San Diego university graduates in a group of 18 astronauts who will train to fly to the moon and land on its rugged, alabaster surface by 2024. The space agency on Wednesday formally named Kate Rubins, Jessica Meir, Matthew Dominick, and Jonny Kim members of Project Artemis, the first effort to place Americans on lunar soil since Project Apollo ended in 1972. The announcement came as Rubins, 42, was conducting research aboard the International Space Station and while Meir, 43, was training for a return trip to the orbiting outpost. Kim, 35, and Dominick, 39, are training for their first missions in space. Rubins, who earned a bachelor’s degree in microbiology at UCSD in 1999, is in the midst of her second mission aboard space station. In 2016, she spent 115 days there and became the first person to sequence DNA in space. Meir (pronounced Meer) travelled to the space station in September 2019 and became part of the first all-female team of astronauts to walk in space. She earned a doctorate in marine biology at UCSD’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography in 2009. The news stirred pride at UCSD, where Chancellor Pradeep Khosla said, “Astronauts Meir and Rubins embody the Triton spirit, quintessential explorers planting flags of firsts and lifting all of humanity further and higher. ” Of the nine men and nine wom-

en chosen by NASA from across the United States, two are UC San Diego alumnae, and I’m not surprised. UC San Diego is first in the nation for enrolling and graduating the most women with majors in science, technology, engineering and math. In addition, UC San Diego’s proportion of STEM graduates is three times the national average.” Kim earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of San Diego in 2012 and a medical degree from Harvard in 2016. He also served as a Navy SEAL and was awarded the Silver Star. Dominick also attended USD, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 2005. He was a Navy test pilot before joining NASA. NASA said the Project Artemis astronauts also include: Joe Acaba, Kayla Barron, Raja Chari, Matthew Dominick, Victor Glover, Woody Hoburg, Christina Koch, Kjell Lindgren, Nicole Mann, Anne McClain, Jessica Meir, Jasmin Moghbeli, Kate Rubins, Frank Rubio, Scott Tingle, Jessica Watkins, Stephanie Wilson. The team members were announced by Vice President Mike Pence, who said, “It is amazing to think that the next man and first woman on the Moon are among the names that we just read. The Artemis Team astronauts are the future of American space exploration – and that future is bright.” Astronaut Megan McArthur, who earned a doctorate in oceanography at UCSD in 2002, is scheduled to fly to space station in 2021.

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San Diego MTS approves $911 million bus service contract with Transdev Services The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) Board of Directors approved a new bus services contract agreement with Transdev Services Inc. The six-year agreement includes two twoyear options that could bring the total value of the contract to $911 million over 10 years. The contract was awarded after a competitive bidding process. Under this agreement, Transdev will operate 52 of 95 bus route services from MTS bus divisions in Chula Vista and El Cajon, using MTS buses and branding. In FY 2020, 19.5 million passengers were carried by MTS out of these two divisions. Transdev has been under contract with MTS to provide similar services for the past 13 years. “This is great news for MTS and for our riders,” said Nathan Fletcher, MTS Board Chair and District 4 County Supervisor. “The Transdev team is a reflection of the diverse communities we serve in the South Bay and East County.” As part of the new contract, MTS will provide 332 buses and two state-of-the-art Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified facilities for operations, maintenance and fueling. The contract also includes funding for more than 750 Represented and 65 Non-Represented employees in the San Diego region.

Nonprofits may qualify for share of $4 million from County of San Diego Nonprofit organizations that serve low and moderate-income people may qualify for a share of $4 million from the County Housing and Community Development Services’ Community Development Block Grant. The funds are available for projects in the following areas: • Public services such as grocery delivery, food pantries, rent or mortgage assistance programs, diagnostic testing and health care job training. • Construction or rehabilitation of testing or treatment community facilities. • Acquire or rehabilitate housing related to isolation and quarantine. All activities must benefit residents in the unincorporated areas

of the region, as well as the cities of Coronado, Del Mar, Imperial Beach, Lemon Grove, Poway and Solana Beach. Projects or programs funded with CDBG funds must benefit at least 51 percent of residents whose incomes are at or below 80 percent of the Area Median Income. Additionally, the project must serve people and families who have been affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. Applications are now open online and will be available through Jan. 8, 2021 at 5 p.m. Completed applications can be sent to: County of San Diego Housing and Community Development Services Community Development Division, 3989 Ruffin Road, San Diego, CA 92123.

Port of San Diego approves Harbor Park Coastal Development Permit As part of the transformation of the Chula Vista waterfront on San Diego Bay, the Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners has approved a Coastal Development Permit (CDP) for the future Harbor Park. Planned for the central portion of the Chula Vista waterfront as an expansion and improvement of the current Bayside Park, Harbor Park will provide signature amenities and recreational opportunities. Harbor Park, along with the previously-approved Sweetwater Park, will account for more than half of the new park space planned for the Chula Vista waterfront. The parks design teams are KTU+A and Petersen Studio who were selected for their extensive urban park and waterfront design expertise – with an emphasis on local landscape architecture and natural resource management experience. Anticipated financing for the Gaylord Pacific Resort and Convention Center will include funding to complete the design for and construct the first phase of Harbor Park. Construction for the first phase is tentatively scheduled to begin in early 2023 and completion is anticipated in early 2024.

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Celebrating with Seniors During Covid-19 If you turn on the radio, you can hear it. When you switch on your television, you can see it. The holidays are upon us! And this year is going to be drastically different. The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted our way of life since mid-March when we were first asked to quarantine in place. What does it all mean for this holiday season? More specifically, what can we do for our senior family members who may reside in assisted living, memory care or in the skilled nursing setting? And how about our aging neighbors who may not have family visiting this year - or may not have family at all? We are learning that isolation and loneliness are having increasingly negative health implications in our aging population; and with the holidays right around the corner, we could see a dramatic worsening of our senior loved ones’ mental and physical health and wellbeing. Additionally, our aging population is at the greatest risk for severe illness and/or death caused by Covid-19. This increased risk is what is currently causing assisted living, memory care and Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) resident to have to quarantine in place with limited opportunities to get out of their immediate environment. So how can we “be with them” without really “being with them”? Here are some suggestions for celebrating this holiday season with senior loved ones:

☑ Send cards and photos to your senior loved

ones; let them know you are thinking about them. If you have young ones, put them in charge of making cards and holiday decorations for your senior loved one to enjoy.

☑ Arrange a virtual gathering (i.e., Zoom, Face-

time, Skye and Google Hangout) to include your senior loved one in the festivities; reading a classic holiday tale, a bible verse or a passage from a special book may be the perfect way to start the festivities.

☑ Create a CD or cassette tape with their

favorite holiday music; music stirs the soul and brings back fond memories of days gone by. Reminisce with them if they feel like talking.

☑ If you have a special holiday movie tradi-

tion, send your loved one the movie so they too can enjoy it. Better yet, share your screen during a virtual visit and you can watch it together.

☑ Create a schedule of calls to your loved one–

have members of the family call at prescribed times throughout the days or weeks to maintain ☑ Have a holiday meal delivered to your loved that feeling of connection. one if they are in assisted living, memory care or ☑ Go virtual caroling – send a holiday singing a SNF; many of these places will be preparing message to Grandma Rosie so she can hear your special meals for the holidays yet it may be missvoices or have a virtual sing-along with your family, ing Aunt Mattie’s secret ingredient mashed potafriends, and neighbors alike. toes and Uncle Joe’s favorite huckleberry delight. ☑ Create a photo album using a service like Check with these places to ensure they will allow Shutterfly or Costco; include photos of holiday you to bring in outside food and drink (and make sure you won’t be breaking dietary restrictions your meals and traditions from years past. loved one may have).

Get creative. Think outside the box. We all may be facing hurdles and challenges when it comes to the holidays this year – likely, most of us have never dealt with anything quite like this. Give yourself and others grace. Love on your friends, family, and senior neighbors just a little extra this year. It has been a doozy of a year; let your love and some creativity light the way. Hopefully, we are close to the end of this tunnel.

We assist seniors in finding independent living, assisted living, memory care and in-home care to fit their unique care needs.

Julie Derry MBA, CSA

Kie Copenhaver

MA, RHIA, CSA, RCFE, SHSS

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619-378-6895

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Happy Holidays, San Diego

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Know your worth. Know. Your. Worth. What if that was a universal slogan that we used in direct response to what's broken? Or better yet... to who’s broken… Imagine a world where when a daughter of God—a woman; a sister; a girl—walks into a behavioral health practitioner’s office, or a psychiatric hospital, the number one goal for each team member, from the highest paid doctor down to the intern, is to remind her of her incredible value! For example, she walks in after yet another load of intake paperwork is filled out. Same questions as the last breakdown, and the one before that...and the one before that... The doctor closes the door. She's a new client of his. This doctor is married. He's held his beautiful wife’s hand through twenty-five plus years of the natural struggles and pains of navigating womanhood. He's seen her lose sight of reality through her grief after miscarriage. He's witnessed her pain through a live birth. He's intently succored her through a major episode of postpartum depression. He's genuinely loved the shape of her body through every phrase it's sustained, in all its miracles it has performed! And he's always made sure she knows he's her number one fan. Imagine that he's promised himself, as a man so close to witnessing the preciousness of womanhood— what women can do; what women can endure—and as a doctor who has women of all walks and all ages and all backgrounds of life come into his office— Imagine he's promised himself that each morning when he rises, he gets on his knees, and in his routine morning prayers, after thanking the Lord for all his blessings—his wife, his children, his clients—he commissions, “And Lord, please bless me that I may see Your Daughters with perfect eyes, so I can express to them just how divine they truly are... Amen.” Now, having said that prayer, he is prepared and qualified to warmly and properly greet each one of his clients. And today, as this valuable young woman walks into his office, he sees her—not as a “client”, but as a woman of great worth . And after closing the door she takes her seat, seizes ample time to express in pain where she’s currently at, and then she pauses for him to respond… “May I ask you just one question?” he humbly petitions. Puzzled at how pleased and certain he appears in this unexpected response, she waits for his query. “Do you know your worth!?” Confused still—and a bit taken aback—at the question, she is anxious to understand where this is leading. She's never had a session like this before. And he continues. “Has anyone ever bore firm witness to you, personally, of the incredible value you have just by being a woman?” “Did you know that you are capable of impeccably remarkable things?” “Did you know that?”

And for the first time in her life, she is hearing a different story. A new conceptual framework is being constructed. Her first of many pertinent paradigm shocks with her new doctor is already underway. So, a long awaited tear wells up in her right eye, and the session continues in a forward direction of incredible hope, validation, and—for the first time in years—peace. This woman walked into the office feeling broken; and she walked out feeling truly empowered, enriched and enlivened. My name is Tiana Swank; Founding Director and President of The Symone Foundation. I felt broken for so long. I've been homeless, I've been abused, and I have suffered. Luckily for me, the right people came into my life at the right times to introduce me to a new schema (conceptual framework). These “right people” simply were genuinely good humans who understood the value we have as women ! Powerful people who understood the infinite and equitable value of each human soul. Their belief and contagious certainty rubbed off on me and I caught hold of that fire—that knowledge; that power .

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In good time, I asked the daring question, “Where do I go? Who do I serve? Who needs this message the most?” In persisting, our vision got clearer, and we understood that it was women in crisis and deep emotional need who we were called to help. Thus, The Symone Foundation was born. Symone: deriving her roots from listening, being in tune , becoming polished, of a community, Sisterhood, and oneness. And no sooner did we expect than one day, on a candid jaunt—just months after laying the foundation for our nonprofit—my guided daughter would lead me directly to it: a shelter by the bay, right here in downtown. We retrieved the necessary contact information, and as excited as ever, I shouted to our outside-seated neighbors without homes, “I've been homeless too . I believe in you! ” And within a few weeks’ time, something truly powerful was formed… Over the past couple months, we have been working with a handful of women who are an active part of programs sponsored by the shelter we found ourselves at over the summer. And in listening to these women, and

others alike, the blocks that contorted their path began at a young age, in homes where the concept of love was a convoluted principle at best. Thus, the question was shaped, “What these women need is a new story, a new schema, a new paradigm. How can we do that for them?” And inspiration took over. What anyone in pain needs—especially if in the backseat while their deeply wounded inner child is still in command, lamenting for help—is play ; and some colorful creation for added fun. For, we...are... creators! These women I’ve had the recent opportunity of getting to know on a beautiful level could have easily been the young woman in the vignette at the beginning. They could have walked into the right place at the right time and heard from someone who knows , that they have value ; that they are beings worthy of great things by divine nature. Unfortunately, their stories of visits to psychiatric hospitals and behavioral health practitioners' offices over the years didn’t head in that direction. But, we have found each other, and we have faith in a new chapter being written, with unbridled possibilities. Know Your Worth . That is the name of this program. It reminds our houseless neighbors just what they are capable of when received with eyes that can see value in everyone . They have taken their own vignettes, memoirs, pains, unique experiences and personalities, and they have layered them, slathered them and poured them onto a 40”x30” stretched canvas for the purpose of paying their own way to this paradigm shock: a retreat built to gently and lovingly walk each individual woman through a new sense of what it means to be alive. This is just the beginning—not only of a paradigm shock for them, but a paradigm shift for us all . Visit symone.org/gaslamp or scan the code below to seize an important role in a program that starts at the grassroots, and succors some women I can bear firm witness of have inestimable worth .

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Happy Holidays, San Diego

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BY BART MENDOZA © MUSICSCENESD // MUSICSCENESD.COM

DECEMBER 2020

TOP TEN SAN DIEGO

HOLIDAY MUSIC GIFTS 2020 With the current state of the world, never has it been more important to shop local. Here are ten fun options that any music fan would be thrilled to find under their Christmas tree, with something for just about any price range. 1 - Look Out! The San Diego Scene 1958-1973 – Rock & Roll, Garage, Psych, and Soul From America’s Finest City: Album of the year for San Diego music fans, this terrific compilation collects rare gems from our scenes early days. An essential listen with top notch packaging, the foundations of our modern day music community can be heard here. https:// thesandiegoscene.bandcamp.com 2 - RSSM Guitar: Want to sound like Paul McCartney? San Diego’s Taylor Guitars can help a little. McCartney has recently been photographed and video’d playing their Richie Sambora Signature Model Acoustic Guitar, notably in GQ Magazine, as well as his collaboration with Rhianna and Kanye West, “FourFiveSeconds”. www. taylorguitars.com

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3 - Ugly Things Magazine T-shirt: Let other rock fans know you read one of the best music mags on the planet with this stylish shirt http://webstore. ugly-things.com/uglythings-t-shirt-women-scardinal-red-p440.php

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6 - Alicia Previn isn’t just an acclaimed violinist. She’s also the writer of children’s books. Her latest, What Paradise Found helps youngsters deal with moving and relocation. www.amazon. com/What-Paradise-FoundLove-Nature/dp/0984710736

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7 - Padres / Switchfoot Jersey: Two San Diego legends team up for this limited edition shirt https://switchfoot. com/collections/all/products/ sf-collectors-jersey

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8 - Blink 182 Cube – for puzzle fans who also enjoy pop punk https://blink182merch. com/products/blink-18cuberubiks-cube

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4 - Jason Mraz Cord Organizer: A great stocking stuffer, help your favorite musician keep their cables in order with this nifty avocado shaped organizer. https:// jasonmraz.shop.musictoday. com/product/JZAM068/avocado-shape-cord-organizer?

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5 - Whitney Shay Coffee – How to beat the blues in the morning? How about with a cup of Whitney Shay Coffee? Issued just in time for the virtual album release show on December 20 for her latest album, Stand Up, which entered the Billboard Blues chart at #1. https://entertalkmedia.com/product/ whitney-shay-organic-coffee

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9 - A Casbah Coffee Mug – Our venues could also use our support. This cup is designed by Rick Froberg (Hot Snakes) and pairs well with #5 https:// casbahmerch.com/products/ froberg-mug 10 - Theory Thursday Strings: It doesn’t matter the genre, guitarists need strings and Curt Mangan is amongst the finest makers, including a stocking stuffer worthy series for Mike Ruggirello’s Theory Thursday program. https:// www.curtmangan.com/theory-thursday-with-mike-ruggirello-10-46 @LocalUmbrellaMedia Advertise? Press@LocalUmbrella.com

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Chris Leyva’s Hard Day’s Night There’s prolific and then there’s Chris Leyva. Hot on the heels of his band Falling Doves recent Pacific Records single, “Be My Lover” from their upcoming album, Skylark 69, Leyva has already recorded a new album, Liverpool, at legendary studio, Abbey Road.

Working with noted engineer, Chris Bolster (The Beatles, Kate Bush, Oasis), Leyva laid down ten basic tracks in one session “I came to Liverpool in late September to just relax and one thing led to another,“ Leyva said. Long headquartered in Ocean Beach, Leyva has strong connections to Liverpool; he’s an Ambassador for the Beatles Liverpool Museum, working directly with Roag and Pete Best and is also curating an special exhibit celebrating The Beatles early days at The Sefton Park Hotel , a former home of original Beatles bassist Stuart Sutcliffe. Meanwhile, the album’s title comes from a remark made by a friend and staff member at the Cavern Club, drummer Connor Colford. Noting Leyva’s love of the bands who have recorded in Merseyside, “You ready to make a Liverpool record yet?” he remarked. When Leyva replied he didn’t have anything prepared, “… Connor said just ‘write something and well see where it goes,” Leyva recalled. A recent European publishing deal with Sony, got him two days at Abbey Road. Before the end of the session, everything was in the can. “We demoed the whole album with him engineering,” he said. Additional overdubs were done remotely, including keyboards by San Diegan James Ferguson and production Local News > LocalUmbrellaNews.com

work by Skyler Lutes. Keeping the Beatles connection strong, those overdubs were done at The Sefton Park Hotel. “The owner let me do some additional music in there without disturbing the tenants,” Leyva said. “I put a studio together with Warm Audio’s help and then finished everything up at the Liverpool Sound Distillery and Motor Studios. No release date for Liverpool is set, but photo realistic cover art by acclaimed artist Shannon, has been commissioned. While Leyva is a seasoned studio pro, he admits he initially felt intimidated by the Abbey Road date. “You have to understand that this is like going under a microscope sitting in at a university going for your doctorate degree,” /LocalUmbrellaMedia

he said good naturedly. “Throw in mixing and it’s kind a like getting graded in front of your professor.”

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Happy Holidays, San Diego

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SAN DIEGO

Music for the Holidays

Anyone familiar with music in December knows holiday music has no expiration date. Most of the songs we love to sing this time of year are from decades, if not occasionally, centuries past. That said, it’s always nice to hear some new gems amongst the evergreens and several San Diego based performers have released music for the season. “I like the idea that if you write a good one or even do a good cover it kinda becomes timeless,” said bassist Sol Turpin of beach rockers, Safety Orange. The trio recently issued a new single, “Christmas With Friends,” with other new Christmas based releases this year also including Josie Day’s single “I Can’t Wait For Christmas,” and Garden MSC with their album, “In Case You Didn’t Hear,” which includes indie rock versions of classics such as “Joy To The World.” Meanwhile, anyone looking for instrumental music will want to hear The Tourmaliners whose Surfin’ Christmas Carols is just about the perfect soundtrack for a California Christmas. The surf-centric combo have issued their latest, Surfin’ Christmas Carols, on the Altered State of Reverb label, available on white vinyl. What inspired the band to release an album of Christmas album? “I’ve always loved Christmas albums like The Ventures Christmas Album,” said guitarist Deven Berryhill. “Hearing some of my favorite artists like U2 doing “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” or The Pretenders with “2000 Miles” made me want to record our own Tourmaliners versions of some of the holiday classics.” Their choice of cover tunes was pragmatic. “We choose all the public domain Christmas songs we could find. It turns out that most of the old classic Christmas carols like “Joy to The World,” “Silent Night and “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” are public domain, so there were no publishing fees.” With no lyrics a good hook was needed. “Since the album was going to be a completely instru-

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mental album, we needed songs that had very strong melodies. Songs like “Greensleeves (What Child Is This)” have extremely iconic melodies that go way back to the 60’s…I mean the 1560’s,” he joked. Also this year, singer Audrey Callahan has released a five track EP, The Magic of Christmas. Wonderfully produced, arranged and orchestrated, it includes covers such as “You’re A Mean One Mr. Grinch,” but focuses on her originals, including lead track “My Christmas Wish For You.” “This has always been my absolute favorite time of year,” she said. “Watching all of the Christmas parades and specials on TV through the years cemented it in me early on that I’d love to one day have my own Christmas music.” Why did she choose to release an album like this now? “This year just felt like the right time” she said. “With so many hurting around the world this year, I wanted to do my best to add some happiness back into the world.” Berryhill considers the opportunity to release holiday music to be special. “I love how the Christmas brings people together,” he said. “Christmas music in particular has a way of bringing people together on an emotional and personal level that is magical. Christmas time still seems to be that one time of the year that we all are a bit kinder and loving to one another.” Callahan concurs on the season. “I like the joyful nature of it,” she remarked. “It’s hard to be in a bad mood with so much beautiful lighting, festive decorations and nostalgic music on the radio. It just feels like a kinder time of year.” Additionally, anyone who’d like a round-up of local holiday tunes is directed to Cathryn Beeks Listen Local Podcast, which has two new episodes devoted to seasonal favorites for area performers. https://soundcloud.com/listenlocalradio/listen-locals-holiday-show-2020

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San Diego Music Notes Winston’s may be closed at the moment, but that hasn’t stopped Grateful Dead tribute group, the Electric Waste Band from continuing their weekly Monday night residency at the beloved venue. Fans can now watch the band live stream from the club. Electric Waste Band started the month with performance #1492, in a row. www.electricwasteband.com

Pacific Records closes out the year with a trio of new releases this month; two singles: The Moonjacks – “Dirty Ass Car,” and The Wildflowers – “Teenage Love,” as well as an album Tough Stuff, from 2019 SDMA Best Pop Artist Winner, Jonny Tarr

Untouchables (July 23), Magic: Tribute to Bruno Mars (July 30) and Pine Mountain Logs (August 6). “Being proactive in protecting the safety of the Point Loma community remains our top priority, we hope you all stay safe and healthy through this season and we look forward to seeing you all in the summer of 2021!” said event organizers. Hard rockers Stone Horse, led by singer Danielle Spade, have a new video and single out this month, “Losing My Way,” while duo Spiritual Motels have released a video for their song “The Hardest Route” Indie rocker Scott West has released a video for his song, “Fallback.” The recording features a line-up of notable guitarist’s including Frank Hannon of Tesla on 12-string guitar, as well as Tim Barnes of Stoneground and Dan Bauer of Steel Breeze.

Former San Diegan Chris Hillman (Scottsville Squirrel Barkers / The Byrds) has a new biography out this month, Time Between: My Life as a Byrd, Burrito Brother, and Beyond, published by BMG Books. Ron Steven Houston, will have a new album out soon, A Long Road Home. Produced by Jeff Berkley, the album features an all-star cast including guitarist Doug Pettibone (Lucinda Williams, John Mayer etc), drummer Josh Hermsmeier, singer Cathryn Beeks and multi-instrumentalist Dennis Caplinger Singer-Songwriter-Rocker Dave Howard has reissued three of his albums via Bandcamp; Your Pretty Packages, Unbelievable Unknown and Into the Wind. Howards songwriting credits show up on albums by the likes of A.J. Croce, Gregory Page and Berkley Hart. Hard rocker Roni Lee’s latest single and video is a version of “Love Somebody” originally by Rick Springfield. Fingers crossed, The Point Loma Summer Concert Series will be back for Summer 2021. The free, Friday evening shows in Point Loma Park will feature: Elton – The Early Years featuring Kenny Metcalf (July 9), Cassie B’s 90s Remix (July 16), The Mighty

Three of this year’s Grammy nominees have San Diego connections: Sitarist Anoushka Shankar is nominated for Best Global Music Album category for her album, Love Letters. Meanwhile, banjo player Alison Brown shares a Best Bluegrass Album nomination for appearance on the tribute album, The John Hartford Fiddle Tune Project, Vol. 1. Finally, vocalist Gregory Porter’s new album, All Rise, is nominated for Best R&B Album nomination. Adding significance to the latter, four of the album’s songs were co-produced by UCSD professor Kamau Kenyatta.

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Recent single and EP releases include, Alde with “We Have Landed,” The Herb Ensemble with an EP, The Funky One, while roots rockers Jackslacks, aka Chris Giorgio, have released a tribute EP, When Pigs Fly, in honor of late, great bassist Billy Bacon, Justin Linn with “Demons. “It’s about my own personal struggle with mental health, with a positive turnaround in the lyrics,” Linn said. “I’ve partnered with @charitybomborg (A wonderful LA based non-profit) to donate 50% of the profits from the initial Bandcamp release to their wonderful organization.”

New albums include Nicey Nice World with Obelisks and Asterisks, Cults with Host, pianist Ed Kornhauser with The Short Years, punk quartet Nowhereland with Raw Honey

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