Pet Care Lectures to Be Held at Drake Center

Three lectures will be held in the upcoming months at the Encinitas based Drake Center for Veterinary Care concerning pet health. The free lectures will be in Carlsbad at the Whole Dog Sports Center but a suggested donation of $10 would be a welcome gesture, which will go to animal related charities.

Dates for the lectures:

January 23, 2013

"Western, Eastern, Holistic and Integrative Medicine: What’s the Difference?" The lecture presented by Dr. Kathy Boehme will be centered on the incorporation of alternative treatments for pets. It will cover food therapy, herbs therapy and acupuncture being presented into the mainstream Western veterinary practice as well as how these therapies can help your pet’s health and well-being.

February 27, 2013

"Solving Your Pet’s Skin Issues" The lecture presented by Dr. Michele Drake will discuss the causes of skin problems found in pets like allergies, infection, and parasites as well as the treatments and alternatives to address these issues.

March 27, 2013

"Nose for Needles: A Look at Veterinary Acupuncture" The lecture will be presented by Dr. Amanda and will explore the usage of acupuncture with pets for conditions like ligament injury, tendon injury, arthritis, diarrhea, and kidney disease to name a few.

The lectures will begin at 6 p.m. at 6241 Yarrow Dr, Carlsbad.

If Carlsbad sounds like the perfect place to call home, contact one of our Realtors today and be introduced to your new home by calling 888-865-5055.

Carlsbad to be home to the First US Legoland Hotel

The very first Legoland Hotel for the US has chosen its opening date and location. The location: the entrance to the Legoland theme park in Carlsbad, California The date: April 5, 2013

The announcement of the new Legoland Hotel will mark the third of its kind with one in the UK and another in Denmark. The hotel staff will be Lego built employees that are life size and will include bell hops and even a dragon.

The hotel will have 2500 rooms that are created to resemble one of Lego’s most popular product lines, which include Adventure, Kingdom, or Pirate. Each room has unique features like kids only bunk areas, mini refrigerators, queen beds for parents, and in room treasure hunts. Along with these features, guests will enjoy HD flat screen with On Demand, free Wi-Fi, and Lego bricks.

One addition reward that guests are sure to love is the VIP entry to the rides and attractions at the Legoland Park before it opens to the public.

Other features include a bar, restaurant, swimming pool, and has rumored it will hold the Junior Concierge contests that will provide 6 winner between the ages of 8 and 12 a free weekend stay along with Lego products for sharing their love for the park with other kids.

The rates at opening will be $199 per night.

Carlsbad is a wonderful place to call home for families. For those looking for place to call home that will provide everyone with entertainment opportunities year round, contact one of our Realtors today by calling 888-865-5055.

Carlsbad Desalination Project Closed Successfully

The San Diego County Water Authority announced on December 24 that project financing for the Carlsbad Seawater Desalination Project closed successfully. This gave $734 million in tax-exempt bond financing to construct the largest seawater desalination plant in the United States along with a 10-mile pipeline.

The closing financially was the last step that was needed before the construction could begin on the project. Grading will start within the next 10 days with an estimated completion and the beginning of operation in 2016.

Thomas V. Wornham, Chairman of the Water Authority’s Board of Directors and a retired banker stated, "This is a major milestone in the development of this historic project. Closing the financing on an approximately $1 billion project is no small feat, and to do so just three-and-a-half weeks after the Water Purchase Agreement was approved required a monumental effort by all involved."

"I congratulate the Water Authority management team and its advisers, project developer Poseidon Resources, our host city, Carlsbad, and the project site owner, NRG Energy, for coming together to make this project a reality for our community."

Carlos Riva, chief executive officer of Poseidon Resources, stated that closing on the finances is long 10-year effort to develop the project.

"We began developing this project in 1998," Riva explained. "Developing a project of this size, complexity and scope requires a great deal of risk-taking, resources and perseverance, and, for our project site owner, NRG, a good deal of patience. We appreciate the commitment NRG has shown for this vital water supply project."

Matt Hall, Carlsbad Mayor, stated the announcement was "a historic day, not only for the City of Carlsbad, but for our entire region."

"Our economy and quality of life simply do not exist without a reliable water supply," Hall stated. "That’s why the City of Carlsbad has been a tireless advocate for this project, and why we’re willing to host this regional project in our community.

"It’s one thing to say you want a project like this in your city, but it’s quite another thing to be willing to site a project on your private property, and NRG stepped up and made that commitment. ‘Corporate citizenship’ is often a vaguely defined term, but NRG shows what it means to be a good corporate citizen."

The Water Authority and Poseidon Resources a private developer sold bonds to finance the project with an interest rate of 4.78%. That rate was lower than estimates presented earlier which will save close to $200 million over the next 30 years. This will lower not only the cost of water from the project to around $125 per acre-foot but will decrease the price of the water from the plant to somewhere between $1,917 and $2,165 per acre-foot.

The 30-year purchase agreement was approved by the Water Authority’s Board of Directors with Poseidon on November 29 to purchase up to 56,000 acre-feet of water each year. The plant is permitted and is believed it will begin producing 50 million gallons of water a day in 2016. By 2020, it is estimated that the plant in Carlsbad will meet around 7% of the demand for water in the region.

A collaboration of Kiewit Infrastructure West Co. and J.F. Shea Construction will design and construct the Carlsbad plant along with the Water Authority’s pipeline. Israel-based IDE Technologies will design the highly developed water treatment system for desalination and run the facility for Poseidon, bringing several years of experience on similar projects around the world.

The desalination plant will be constructed next to NRG’s Encina Power Station in Carlsbad. The project will also include a 10-mile pipeline that will connect the new plant to the Water Authority’s aqueduct in San Marcos.

Desalination is just one piece of the Water Authority’s continuing strategy to reduce reliance on the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. During the last 20 years, the Water Authority has devoted in water storage, conservation and new sources to expand its portfolio. That helps safeguard the region’s 3.1 million residents and $186 billion economy by providing a safe and reliable water supply.

If Carlsbad sounds like the perfect community for your family or your retirement years contact one of our professional real estate agents today to see the homes available in the area by calling 888-865-5055.

Dogs banned from Hunting in California

As of January 1st in the state of California, it will no longer be legal to hunt bobcats and bears with dogs.

Gary Ramey and his grown daughter traveled to hunt California bears in November to participate in the traditional bear hunt. The father and daughter hunters traveled 2,500 miles enjoy this tradition.

"When you think about it, hunting with dogs is probably the oldest hunting in history. I’m sorry to see it end," stated Gary Ramey of Gainesville, Ga.

Other supporters of the sport noted that there was an increase in the interest during the last few months that the practice will be allowed. Critics of the hunt state it is unsportsmanlike and cruel.

"This may be the last opportunity for them to use hounds to go bear hunting," explained Josh Brones, president of California Houndsmen for Conservation, which was against the new law.

Houndsmen use their dogs to track a bear and then chase it up a tree. Then the hungers can get an easy shot at the bear that is steady in the tree. For some houndsmen, the chase is the fun part and often allows the bear to go free instead of shooting.

Democratic state Senator Ted Lieu of Torrance, whose bill, SB1221, banned the hunting practice, equated killing a bear in a tree to shooting a bear in a zoo. The bears are often hunted to sheer exhaustion, packs of dogs can tear bobcats apart, and bears can injure or even kill the dogs that are chasing them.

At this time, 17 states in the US still allow the use of dog to hunt bears but 15 other states have banned the practice. The other 18 states in the United States do not permit bear hunting as reported by the Humane Society of the United States, which pushed for the law in California.

On the other hand, California and a few other states allow the use of dogs to hunt other animals, which includes various animals from birds to feral pigs. A judge in Wisconsin has for the time being banned using dogs to hunt wolves before the ban will be permanent next year.
Nevada game officials are also considering a petition to ban hunting bears with hounds.
Bear season in California closed 2 ½ weeks early this year when hunters had reached the limit of 1,700 bears. Just a little under half of the bears were tracked with dogs as noted by the figures, which is about the same as seen in previous years. California has an estimated 70,000 bobcats. They issued around 4,500 permits to hunt bobcats in 2011. Around 11% of the bobcats were killed with the use of hound dogs.

State wildlife officials believe that California’s black bear population is around 26,000, which is an increase of about 10,000 in the 1980s. Some critics question the accuracy of that figure. Brones believes lawmakers will reconsider the ban if there is an increase in troublesome bears as the population increases.

Lieu and Jennifer Fearing, the Humane Society’s California state director, stated they are not surprised by the late increase in interest in the practice.

"We’re just relieved and heartened that this is the last bear season where this cruel and unethical practice can be utilized," Fearing stated.

Ramey bid at a charity auction 18 month ago prior to the ban being enacted. He stated, "It just sounded intriguing." He also explained he had never before seen a bear outside a zoo.

Holly Heyser, a journalism teacher at California State University, Sacramento that also blogs about hunting, signed up 2 weeks ago to experience a hunt while she could. She explained that even hunters speak about lazy hunters that make the dogs do all the work for them.

She and Ramey said their hunts overturned those stereotypes as they followed the baying dogs.

"It was up and down ravines, cliffs, you name it to get there," stated Ramey. "It was physically exhausting."

He and his daughter, Grace, 20, each killed a bear, but only after letting three others go free. It seemed unsporting to shoot a bear that was cornered in a culvert, he said, and they did not feel right about shooting a mother and young bear that were in trapped in a tree.

Heyser and Ramsey both explained that using dogs to track the bears allowed them to be selective about what to shoot and it seemed more sportsmanlike than using bear bait which is also banned in California. Both stated that shooting the bears in the tree gave them clear clean kills and both use dogs to flush out pheasants.

"The difference is no one feels sorry for pheasants," Heyser stated. "They’re really pretty, but they’re chickens."

Contact one of our professional real estate agents today to see the homes available in the Southern California area by calling 888-865-5055.

Christmas Boat Parade Sets Sail

Newport Harbor will be full of Christmas Spirit with Christmas themed canoes, kayaks, boats, and yachts.

It is believed that thousands of individuals will be attending the Christmas Boat Parade even though a local group has been trying to lower the enthusiasm for the tradition.

The 104th annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade sets sail December 19, which is the first night of the five-night event. A large array of watercraft will light up the Newport Harbor with lights, music and holiday cheer. This year, those in attendance will be the first to see the fireworks display, which will open and close the event.

The parade, which charts a 14-mile route through the harbor, will run every night through Sunday beginning off Bay Island at 6:30 p.m. every evening and finishing at around 9 p.m.

The boat parade was recognized in 2011 as one of the best holiday events in the US but was targeted in December by a group known as
Stop the Dock Tax.

This group contacted homeowners along the route to turn off their Christmas decorations and take their boats out of the parade to protest the dock rents hike, which was approved last week by the city council.

Even with the controversy, the organizers of the event expect the parade will go on without any problems.

Gary Sherwin, president and CEO of Visit Newport Beach Inc., the city’s destination marketing group stated, "This event belongs to Newport Beach. No single group can take it hostage and threaten to hurt others because they have their own issue to resolve. "The Christmas Boat Parade will shine on, so bring your friends, family and guests to come down for a great show."

The Newport Beach police will be out monitoring the traffic in the area of the boat parade and stated that left-turn lanes from westbound East Coast Highway to southbound Jamboree Road and the right-turn lane from eastbound East Coast Highway onto southbound Jamboree may be closed if needed.

All parking lots in the city will be open during the parade to accommodate spectators.

If Newport Beach sounds like the perfect community for your family or your retirement years contact one of our professional real estate agents today to see the homes available in the area by calling 888-865-5055.

Poway Events

Lightbridge Carolers

Staff at LightBridge Hospice & Palliative Care along with volunteers sang at the Solaris Senior Living Community on Garden Road and Gate Manor on Gate Drive on December 12. The group did a 3-day caroling trip around the county to entertain hospice patients in San Diego. The carolers brought along gingerbread houses, treats, and of course tambourines. They even took requests from the audience. One resident even got out of bed to sing along.

Discovery Isle Child Development Center Pancake Breakfast

Students at Discovery Isle Child Development Center donned chef hats and created a pancake breakfast for family and friends at the preschool as a kick start to their Isabella’s Gift Drive. The students are collecting robes, slippers, and pajamas for residents at the Rady Children’s Hospital. In addition, proceeds that were collected at the breakfast were donated.

Isabella’s Gift is a charitable foundation with the mission to help children be as comfortable as possible while being treated for cancer. The foundation was organized by the family of Isabella Zouvas, who passed away due to cancer at 4 years of age, 16 years ago. She was a former student of Discovery Isle Principal Melinda Carvalho. The students will be collecting articles for Isabella’s Gift through this Friday at the preschool.

San Diego Humane Society Presents for Paws

The San Diego Humane Society is helping animals have a happy holiday by trying to raise $10,000 for the animals during the season. The information provided is that it cost $25 for kitten milk replacement for 20 young kittens for one week, it cost $40 for basic preventative care and $125 to provide spay or neuter services.

If you are looking for perfect community for your family or your retirement years, Poway may just be the community you want to call home. Contact one of our professional real estate agents today to see the homes available in the area by calling 888-865-5055.

Chula Vista Rebirth

If all goes well, during the meeting of the California Coastal Commission, San Diego Unified Port District and Chula Vista will get the okay to being on a project that some have been waiting to start for close to 40 years – the rebirth of the Chula Vista bayfront area. The project will turn the industrial area which is nothing more than a dead power plant to a wonderful waterfront paradise.

The Chula Vista Bayfront Master plan will be presented at the commission in Santa Cruz which describes the refurbishing of the waterfront in various phases spread out over the next thirty years with a resort conference center, public parks, homes, hotels, and commercial shopping.

The plan will cover 556 acres making it the largest new coastal project in California. The plan by port staff and Chula Visa has been on paper for ten years and is backed by an environmental impact report that is 12,000 pages. The plan has the support of several chamber of commerce members, organization, as well as other business groups such as the San Diego Coastkeeper, San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, the Surfrider Foundation, and the San Diego Audubon Society.

The way the commission will vote cannot be speculated, but the reality is that the reasons for approval are enticing.

Within the 556 acres, 88 acres would be dedicated to public parks, 70 to wildlife preserve, and 75 acres for open space. The project will be centered on the resort conference center. In order to help pay for the project the plan proposes 15,000 square feet of retail space, 1,500 residential units, and 3,100 hotel rooms.

The plan estimates that the project would provide 2,200 permanent jobs and 7,000 construction jobs.

Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox, who supports the master plan explains that this project would help boost the city east of bayfront; "This is such an extraordinary opportunity to be a catalyst for helping build the western side of Chula Vista."

Former Chula Vista city attorney, Ann Moore now representative of the city on the port district board, stated, "This is the time for the South Bay region to actually have its day in the sun."

If all goes as planned, the development will begin in about two years. The power plant on the other hand, will be removed between the end of the bird nesting season in September and before it begins again in March. The demolition will be one to see with a dramatic implosion which will symbolize the rebirth of the area.

With plans like these in the works, home buyers will be flocking here to find great deals on homes. If you are looking for a home in Chula Vista contact a real estate agent at 888-865-5055.

Hotel La Jolla Debuts

Hotel La Jolla has been officially launched again by Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants which will bring a coastal chic design to the shores of La Jolla. This is the 3rd Kimpton hotel in the San Diego area with the other two being the Palomar San Diego and Hotel Solamar.

The investment of $4 transformed the property with new spaces like a lounge, pool deck, lobby, fitness center, and meeting space all involving light and space. The landscape received alterations as well as the guest rooms. The hotel will feature a new coastal Mediterranean restaurant.

Hotel La Jolla is owned by Westport Capital Partners and Cove Equity Group, LLC and designed by Gulla Jonsdottir and Claude-Anthony Marengo. The hotel features 110 guestrooms with their own balcony or patio offering wonderful views of the sunset. The choices include a deluxe king or queen room or a 900-square-foot apartment luxury suites featuring flat panel TVs, Bigelow bath products, Frette linens, and Kimpton’s signature animal-print robes.

The new lobby has an elegant but comfortable atmosphere with a ground floor venue, Hiatus offering 2,000 square feet of open air space complete with chaise lounges, bar, and fire pits.

The renovations include the Cusp Dining & Drinks restaurant on the 11th floor as well as a fully equipped event space on the 11th floor.

"We are thrilled that the time is finally here for us to share this magnificent new hotel and all of its exceptional amenities with our guests and the local community," stated Caroline Dyal, general manager for Hotel La Jolla. "Our goal is to make our guests’ experience special and I know we have just the place and the team to make that happen."

Along with the renovations and upgrades, the hotel has a new fitness center offering a business center, yoga mats, hula hoops, and workout equipment. The landscaping features a motif combining tropical and exotic vegetation with sculptural elements.

"The hotel is poised to provide the ideal setting for both the business and leisure traveler to experience La Jolla in wholly new way," stated Sean Armstrong, principal, Westport Capital Partners LLC. "We are very proud of the result of efforts by so many talented people who made this happen."

The new management will bring the promise of Kimpton to provide an atmosphere where guests feel pampered with programs such as wellness offerings, customer care, and daily hosted wine hour.

To ensure the guests can live "Like a Local" as well as support the community, the hotel has partnered with various La Jolla based organization which include OEX Dive & Kayak, La Jolla Playhouse, and Birch Aquarium to offers packages along with creating awareness for the organizations and to enhance the community. To encourage outdoor activities in the community running maps and beach cruisers are complimentary.

As a celebration for their grand opening, the hotel is offering their "Hang Ten" opening package, which includes deluxe accommodations at $10 off Best Available Rate, $10 off parking, $10 credit to Cusp Dining & Drinks, $10 credit to Hiatus Lounge and 10 percent off any service at OEX Dive & Kayak.

La Jolla is growing and is perfect place to call home in Southern California. If you are looking for the perfect place to call home, contact a La Jolla Realtor today at 888-865-5055.

Oceanside International Film Festival

The Oceanside International Film Festival will host a military themed preview party on August 11 for the upcoming film festival. The party will be a three hour event beginning at 1:00pm at the Oceanside Library located at 330 North Coast Highway.

Two feature length documentaries will be screened intended at honoring military veterans – Flat Daddy & Voices of a Never Ending Dawn.

Flat Daddy

Flat Daddy is a documentary by Nara Garber & Betsy Nagler. The story is of four families that use cardboard cutouts that are life sized to symbolize their husbands, wives, parents, and children serving overseas.

Dmitriy Demidov, organizer of the festival, stated that this documentary qualifies as an "outreach program, because as troops return home in growing numbers to a stagnant economy and grapple with the physical and psychological tolls of their service, their families need our support more than ever."

This is a Brooklyn made documentary that has not been released to home video at this time. The film will also be shown again during the festival with the hopes of receiving the Audience Choice Award.

Voices of a Never Ending Dawn

Pamela Peak’s Voices of a Never Ending Dawn has had quite a bit of exposure due to its airing on PBS. As stated by OIFF, "The film tells an emotional story of men, officially designated the American North Russian Expeditionary Force and also known as ‘Detroit’s Own’ and ‘Polar Bears’, who were sent by President Wilson to North Russia where they fought the Bolshevik Red Army from September 1918 through June 1919."

This event is completely free of charge to veterans, military and families as long as they provide military and register in advance. Civilians can receive admission for only $5 when they register in advance. Walks in will be available according to the availability of seating. The OIFF will be held from August 16 to 19.

Oceanside offers a wide array of family events throughout the year. If this sounds like a community you would like to call home, contact a real estate professional at 888-865-5055.

Encinitas Bus Driver Wins Competition

Antonio Perez, San Dieguito Union High School District bus driver, showed the world he is the best in the industry.

Antonio Perez spent the majority of his summer training for the 42nd annual School Bus Driver International Safety Competition. The competition took place in Milwaukee earlier in June.

During the event, dozens of best drivers from the US and Canada had to prove their ability behind the wheel on a closed course. Perez said the competition was tough but he brought home the 2012 title in the category of transit bus which is one of the hardest of all categories as it involves the largest vehicles.

He talked with a reporter from the Patch on his experience and the competition. When asked how long he had been driving school buses, he replied, "I started driving buses when I was 20, and I’ve been doing this for 20 years. I’ve spent the past 10 years driving buses for the San Dieguito Union High School District."

He was then asked about his win and if it was the first national win. Perez stated, "Yes, but I’ve competed three times. I competed once in 2006 and again in 2007. I guess the third time’s the charm. This year I also won my third state title, and I started competing in local bus rodeos in 2006. "

The reporter than asked about his strategy and he replied, "Practice really does make perfect, so I did a whole lot of that. I was putting in about ten hours a week, mostly on the weekends. Whether it was parallel parking or student loading, I’d just break down each maneuver step-by-step until I perfected it."

Next, the reporter from the Patch asked if natural talent may have helped with the competition. Perez explained, "I was asked to start training other bus drivers a year-and-a-half into my career, so I grasped it pretty quickly. My father also drove buses, so I’m thinking maybe genetics have something to do with it."

To answer the question about the challenges of driving a bus, Perez stated, "The amount of blind spots. I don’t think most people realize how many there are. As bus drivers, we depend on our mirrors. It’s important we set them up just right because we have trust what we see in those mirrors."

How does it feel to be considered the best bus driver was the next question. Perez stated, "It feels awesome. I do this to test myself, to find out how good I can really be. Ultimately, the goal is to also keep all the students on my bus safe, and I do my best to relay that message to every bus driver I train."

The last question was if Perez would return next year to defend his title and he replied, "Oh yeah—I don’t plan on stopping. I’ll keep doing this as long as I still have it in me."

If you are looking for the perfect home with quality schools and of course the best school driver in the nation, then you will want to take a look at the homes in the Encinitas area. An Encinitas real estate agent, would love to show you all the homes available. Contact a professional at 888-865-5055.