20% of America’s Olympic athletes come from San Diego

This has become the world’s five-ring capital, a place where the Olympic flame is more like a raging beach bonfire, a place that increasingly produces more Olympic athletes in more sports on a more regular basis per capita than anywhere else maybe on the planet. The 2012 Summer Games begin Friday in London, and San Diego — a city of 1.3 million, a county of 3.1 million — can claim 80 athletes who either grew up here or currently live and train here.

And that doesn’t include another two dozen rowers who have wintered on Lower Otay Reservoir for the past several years, which would push the number north of 100 — or roughly one in five members of the U.S. Olympic team. San Diego County has roughly one-hundredth of the U.S. population.

Jarred Rome, a discus thrower who moved here in 2003 and like Schmidt is headed to his second Olympics, put it like this: “When you’re around greatness, you become great.”

There are race walkers and kayakers, a fencer, an equestrian dressage rider, a track cyclist who cut her teeth on the oval in Balboa Park. The U.S. women’s field hockey team relocated here in 2008.

 

Keep reading: U-T San Diego – San Diego: America’s Olympic capital

 

 

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Local tribe of Chumash Native Americans goes all-in on sustainability

In perfect step with the wisdom and heritage of their ancestors — who lived in relative harmony with nature for thousands of prosperous years — the Santa Ynez Band of Mission Indians is turning its 130-acre reservation into a trailblazing example of sustainability in action.

During the past five years, with very little fanfare or recognition from the outside community, the Chumash people (as they are better known these days) have greened up every corner of their land, from the very public casino all the way down to their individual homes. With so many solar panels, biofuels, drought-tolerant plants, and creek-restoration projects underway — not to mention practical training for tribal members and loads of money being allocated to the cause — the Chumash efforts are not only at the forefront of what anyone else is doing in Santa Barbara County; they appear to be leading the state in this sort of development, as well.

“They are an actual vision of what can be achieved, and that is something the environmental movement needs. … It’s amazing and inspiring.”

And better yet, to hear the tribe tell it, they are just getting started.

Keep readingThe Sustainable Chumash

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Beach Report Card – for Los Angeles, San Diego, & Orange County (2012)

San Diego County

San Diego continued to exhibit excellent beach water quality, with 93% of all monitoring locations receiving an A grade during summer dry weather.

Winter dry weather water quality was also excellent with 93% A grades. During wet weather 77% of locations received an A or B grade, besting both the five-year average for San Diego (68%) and this year’s statewide average (64%).

 

Orange County

Water quality in Orange County was excellent this year with 94% A or B grades (89% were A grades). Beach water quality during the winter dry weather was also very good with 87% A or B grades. Wet weather grades were fair (69% A or B grades) and bested the five-year average by 15%. Two Orange County beaches appear on the dreaded Beach Bummer list: Doheny State Beach at San Juan Creek outlet and Poche Beach.

 

Los Angeles County

Summer dry weather water quality in Los Angeles improved 7% from last year with 82% A or B grades. Winter dry water quality was nearly the same as summer dry water quality with 81% A or B grades (besting the five-year average by 13%). Wet weather water quality in Los Angeles continues to be poor overall with 49% of monitoring locations receiving F grades this year (27% worse than the state average).

Los Angeles County was also host to seven out of the 10 beaches on the statewide Beach Bummer list this year: Topanga State Beach at the creek mouth (No. 10), Escondido State Beach at Escondido Creek (No. 9), Cabrillo Beach harborside (No. 6), Dan Blocker County Beach at Solstice Creek (No. 5), Surfrider Beach at the Malibu Lagoon outlet (No. 4), Puerco Beach at the Marie Canyon storm drain (No. 3) and Avalon Harbor Beach on Catalina Island (No. 1).
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