Peninsula Briefs: Whale watching season, $2.7 million in scholarships for higher education, REAL ID and more


Bike lanes coming to W. Point Loma Blvd.

The City of San Diego will repurpose West Point Loma Boulevard, between Nimitz Boulevard and Adrian Street, by installing bike lanes and designing on-street parking. The repurposing is known as a “road diet.” Construction is anticipated to start between December 2019 and February 2020, dependent upon weather.

On April 18, 2019, the Peninsula Community Planning Board voted to support protected bike lanes or cycle tracks.

For more information, contact Esmerelda White at (619) 533-3198 or or visit

City seeks comments on housing policies

The City of San Diego is asking residents for their input on a draft document (found at outlining its future housing policies, goals and activities. Comments will be accepted through Friday, Dec. 20 by e-mail to Elizabeth Dickson at or

City planners want innovative ideas to incentivize homeowners to build companion units and new ways to help elderly residents.

This input opportunity is part of an effort to refresh the Housing Element of the City’s General Plan. The Housing Element is updated every eight years,and considers the City’s needs regarding housing access, inventory, affordability and quality. For this cycle, the City will need to plan for approximately 108,000 new housing units serving all income groups by 2029.

The curtain calls at Point Loma Playhouse

Point Loma Playhouse needs volunteers for marketing, hospitality events, pre-show meet-and-greets, group sales, tech (lights and sound), costume and props, set painters and various other positions.

If you’ve ever wanted to be involved in the theater, this is your big chance! RSVP with your name, phone number and e-mail address to The first meeting (TBD January 2020) will include refreshments and a time to share ideas, at Point Loma Assembly, 3035 Talbot St. (619) 800-5497.

OB winemaker becomes certified wine judge

The American Wine Society (AWS) recently honored the Certified Wine Judge Class of 2019 at its national conference in St. Pete Beach, Florida. Among eight graduates, only winemaker Keith Rolle of Gianni Buonomo Vintners at 4836 Newport Ave. is from Southern California. There are only 86 Certified Wine Judges in the country.

The three-year Wine Judge Certification Program trains students to make educated, objective evaluations of wines and be able to articulate their findings. They must demonstrate competency in evaluating not only vinifera wines, but also hybrid, native American and fruit wines. The certificate allows Rolle to judge in wine competitions at home and abroad.

Maritime Museum sets docent training dates

Maritime Museum of San Diego is opening its next docent training program to new volunteers beginning Tuesday, Jan. 7 on the upper deck of the 1898 steam ferryboat Berkeley, 1492 N. Harbor Drive.

Those interested in the history of exploration and engaging with the public are urged to attend. Training is carried out through a series of lectures, suggested readings and walking tours.

The training takes place once a year for 13 weeks. Training sessions are on Tuesdays at 9 a.m. with a short meet-and-greet social. Classes conclude at noon, followed by a 45-minute walking tour of one of the ships. Volunteers interested in the program, but unable to attend the Tuesday classes, may participate in the mentorship program wherein recruits work one-on-one with an experienced docent to build the necessary skill-set.

Membership in the Maritime Museum of San Diego is required to be a docent. For more details, contact docent chair Margaret Clark at (858) 245-4406 or

Patagonia will match donations to Groundswell program

Groundswell Surf Therapy for Women seeks financial help to reach its 2020 goal: to raise funds for 100 eight-week Surf Therapy Scholarships and keep the Peru Groundswell Casita open year-round. Patagonia has agreed to match all donations:

1. Donate now through Dec. 31 at

2. When shopping on Amazon, shop Amazon Smile (sign in at and select Groundswell as the non-profit of choice.

3. Make Groundswell your Facebook Donation Button, inviting the community to support the organization. (Learn how to make a donation button at For more ways to get involved, e-mail founder Natalie at

Californians will need REAL ID to fly for holidays 2020

The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) reminds Californians that new federal ID requirements to fly within the United States or enter secure federal facilities take effect Oct. 1, 2020. Californians who fly to visit friends and family should be aware of the new federal requirements and begin making necessary preparations for a REAL ID so next year’s travel arrangements are not derailed.

“Let this holiday travel season be a reminder to all Californians that the October 2020 federal enforcement date will already be here by this time next year,” said DMV Director Steve Gordon. “If your identification card or driver license expires after the federal enforcement date, and you need a REAL ID sooner, we encourage you to apply now.”

As a reminder, a REAL ID driver license or identification card can only be obtained by visiting a DMV field office with the required documents:

• An identity document (valid passport, birth certificate, etc.)

• A document with a Social Security number (Social Security card or W-2 form showing entire number)

• Two hard copy documents showing California residency (utility or cell phone bill, bank statement, mortgage bill, etc.).

A list of federally accepted application documents and other information can be found on the California DMV REAL ID website.

To save time, the DMV encourages residents to fill out their application prior to visiting their nearest DMV office and to consider those that offer Saturday and extended morning hours.

Californians can also check the status of wait times at their local branch by visiting

For the complete document checklist, and the interactive quiz to find out if it’s time to get a REAL ID, and a list of other federally approved identification that can continue to be used after Oct. 1, 2020, such as a passport, visit

Registrar asks: Can you vote in the next presidential election?

Postcards are showing up in the mailboxes of 1.8 million registered San Diego County voters alerting them to political party rules on voting for president in the March 3, 2020 primary election. Political parties decide who can vote for their presidential candidates.

Anyone who is registered as nonpartisan — also known as independent, no party preference or decline to state — will not see the presidential race on their primary election ballot at all. To vote for president on March 3, 2020, they must act to get that option.

The American Independent, Democratic or Libertarian parties are allowing nonpartisan voters to cross over and vote for their presidential candidate. But they must request one of those ballots.

To vote for a presidential candidate with the Green, Peace and Freedom or Republican party, nonpartisan voters must re-register with that party.

Voters who are already registered with a political party will get only that party’s ballot with their presidential candidate. To vote for a candidate in another party, the voter will need to re-register with that party.

Voters who have moved, changed their name or visited the DMV recently will also need to re-register.

One can double check their registration, re-register and register to vote at

Jennifer Campbell: Support ‘YES for a Better San Diego’

District 2 City Council member Jennifer Campbell announced Dec. 4 her support for the YES for a Better San Diego initiative, which increases the hotel tax paid by visitors to fund critical San Diego needs.

“We know what happens when you just leave people to live on the streets, and it’s bad for all of us,” Campbell said. “It’s not safe — and just as importantly, it’s not humane. We know what we need to do to help San Diegans off the street, and this measure goes a long way toward funding effective programs.”

Campbell’s endorsement came ahead of a community workshop she hosted that night on homelessness in her district, held at the Crown Point Junior Music Academy in Pacific Beach.

YES for a Better San Diego, on the March 2020 ballot, increases the hotel tax on visitors to fund the expansion and modernization of the San Diego Convention Center, fix city streets and address homelessness. It would create the City’s first dedicated funding source for proven homelessness solutions, generating $147 million in the first five years alone.

The measure includes strict accountability measures to ensure the money raised will be spent only to fund these critical needs, with mandatory audits and oversight built in — and violations subject to criminal prosecution. Learn more at

San Diego Airport continues noise study with public input

In an ongoing effort to identify current and future noise impacts in neighborhoods near San Diego International Airport, the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority is seeking FAA review of maps that illustrate noise exposure levels, known as “noise contours.”

This effort is part of the Airport Authority’s Part 150 Noise Study.

As part of the study, the Airport Authority has enlisted the help of a citizens’ advisory committee made up of residents living in key communities such as La Jolla, Ocean Beach, Point Loma and La Mesa. Together, the group is working to identify ways to either mitigate the aircraft noise already occurring or abate the aircraft noise at the source.

To learn more about the Part 150 Study, visit To learn more about SAN’s noise mitigation program, visit

Foundation offers $2.7 million in scholarships

The San Diego Foundation reports that hundreds of scholarships are available through the Community Scholarship Program for local students pursuing higher education during the 2020-2021 school year.

Students can access more than $2.7 million through the online application for 140 types of scholarships, including those for four-year universities, two-year colleges, graduate and vocational schools. Scholarships are available for graduating high school seniors, undergraduates, graduates, medical and professional school students and adult re-entry students.

The Common Scholarship Application can be accessed at For more information, contact

Whale Watching season begins

Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego and Flagship Cruises & Events have teamed up to offer whale watching adventures. The 20th season of this partnership began Dec. 14 and the twice-daily cruises continue through April 12.

Led by naturalists from Birch Aquarium, guests will witness part of the longest marine mammal migrations in the world, when 20,000 semi-truck-sized Gray Whales pass San Diego on their 10,000-mile round-trip journey from the Bering Sea to Baja California’s tranquil lagoons. Passengers may even see newborn calves.

The three-and-a-half hour cruises (departing 9:30 a.m. and 1:15 p.m.) include a San Diego Bay harbor tour, which may also give guests glimpses of dolphins, seals, sea lions and more.

Tickets are available at or (619) 234-4111, or at the Flagship Cruises & Events Kiosk on the Embarcadero, 990 N. Harbor Drive, downtown San Diego. Advance purchase is recommended. Adults: $50 (weekend) and $45 (weekday). Ages 4-12: $25 (weekend); $22.50 (weekday).

Maritime Museum, library partner on Litera-SEA

The Maritime Museum of San Diego announced its sponsorship of the first year of San Diego Public Library’s Winter Reading: Litera-SEA. The program runs Jan. 1-31 to encourage all ages to pick up a book and improve their reading skills. According to the 2018 Smarter Balanced Assessments, about half of all San Diego Unified School District third-graders did not meet English Language Arts/Literacy standards and the numbers are lower for many students in disadvantaged areas.

Participants who read five books or for five hours will receive prizes donated by the Maritime Museum and Subway restaurants. Prizes include a pass for free admission plus a guest at the museum, a free six-inch sub and a free kid’s meal. To register, visit or stop by OB Library, 4801 Santa Monica Ave., or Point Loma Library, 3701 Voltaire St.

Have a local news tip or story idea? Call Point Loma-OB Monthly at (858) 875-5950 or e-mail the details to


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