Factory Vintage Joins the festivities at San Diego’s Earth Fair

On Sunday April 20th Thousands of people saw varying shades of green at EarthFair yesterday at Balboa Park in San Diego.

On a nice cool, cloud-free day, the 19-year-old festival that organizers call the largest environmental fair in the world probably lived up to its billing. Traffic backed up for miles on state Route 163 before noon with visitors trying to reach the fair.

When people finally arrived, they found showcases for green technologies, artwork made from recycled materials, a children’s parade, live music and “The Cleaner Car Concourse,” featuring vehicles that run on alternative fuels.

They also may have spotted a vine-draped child on stilts, free belly-dancing lessons and a few environmental juxtapositions, including gas-powered generators spewing fumes next to the Zero Waste San Diego booth.

Exhibitors form the heart of EarthFair, and this year there were more than ever – nearly 340. Some, including the Defenders of Wildlife and the Sierra Club, have well-established emerald credentials. But a new crop of startups – a fair-trade-chocolate maker, an eco-caterer and a soy-candle maker – were there trying to make green names for themselves.

Aslo amoungst the participants A new Vintage Clothing store in San Diego named Factory Vintage attracted a number of patrons to their booth with a bright colored spinning wheel, and wonderful prizes including sun flowers and Gift certificates to their eco-friendly shop. Once the wheel was spung you might loose a turn, hit the jackpot, or have to answer a question related to textiles and their effect on the environment.

“There’s been an explosion of green businesses,” said Carolyn Chase, one of the fair’s founders. “It really demonstrates to us the green movement has arrived in the marketplace. Green capitalism has taken root.”

But the green hues with some of the exhibitors were not always easily spotted. The San Diego Union Tribune pointed out that There was the chiropractor offering free computerized screenings, and the San Diego Middle Eastern Dance Association showing people how to do those belly dances. They were selling reusable tote bags.

Northrop Grumman, a $32 billion defense and technology company, had a booth in the children’s activity
area to help children make paper airplanes. Next door was Bank of America San Diego, where children spun a wheel for a chance to win pencils, an Earth Day necklace, sunscreen, lollipops or Frisbees. The flying disks were made from recycled tires.

All in all it was a great time

Fatal Shark Attack Closes N. SAN DIEGO Beaches This Weekend

With the weekend forecast promising dry winds and summery temperatures — classic Southern California beach weather — the thousands that typically would be expected to throng the Pacific shoreline will have to decide whether ignoring authorities and taking a dip is worth risking the danger officials believe still exists.

I guess that it was bound to happen some time, but no one new just when. Friday Morning at 7 a.m. a shark arose from the deep and snagged a swimmer about 100 yards of the California coast, at Fletchers cove in Solana Beach, just 15 miles North of San Diego. It is the first time that such an attack has occurred in Southern California in nearly fifty years.

The victim – David Martin – was swimming with a group of tri-athletes off Solana Beach at the time. Martin, 66, died on the beach Friday morning after a shark, presumed to be a great white, lifted him out of the water with his legs in its jaws, leaving deep lacerations and shredding Martin’s black wetsuit.

Martin, a retired veterinarian, was the first shark fatality in San Diego County since 1994. Prior to that, the last known fatal attack in the area was in 1959.

Even die-hards said word of the attack gave them pause. Sharks are rare in Southern California, though female great white sharks sometimes come south from their usual territory in the cooler waters of the central and northern coast to pup. Few make the mistake of attacking humans instead of seals or sea lions, their usual prey.

Earlier this year, stories of shark sightings swept the coast from San Diego County north through Orange and Los Angeles counties, the Los Angeles Times reported in late March.

The last fatal shark attack in California, according to data from the state Department of Fish and Game, took place on Aug. 15, 2004, off the coast of Mendocino County. The victim was a man diving for shellfish with a friend. On Aug. 19, 2003, a woman swimmer was killed by a great white at Avila Beach in San Luis Obispo County on the central California coast.

Overall, shark attacks are extremely rare. There were 71 reported worldwide last year, up from 63 in 2006. Only one attack, in the South Pacific, was fatal, according to the University of Florida.

The university’s International Shark Attack File has counted an average of 4.1 people killed by sharks annually worldwide in the past seven years.

$20 Million for Renewable Ocean Energy

The Scottish Government has created the opportunity to award one of the biggest international innovation prizes in history through its plans for the Saltire Prize – a £10 million ($20 million) challenge prize for advances in clean energy.

The Saltire Prize draws inspiration from great innovation prizes of the 20th century including aviation prizes that led to the first crossings of the English Channel and the Atlantic, the Ansari X Prize that led to the first private spacecraft launch and, more recently the Virgin Earth Challenge which saw Richard Branson challenge scientists around the world to come up with a way to remove CO2 gases from the atmosphere.

The details of the prize are still being worked out, so if you have got any great ideas you better get to work.

Teens Turn to Thrift as Apparel Prices go Up

Another like-minded friend of ours turned us on to this Article in the Associated Press about Teens Turning to Thrift as Jobs Vanish and Prices Rise. The Article was written by ANNE D’INNOCENZIO, with contributions from Writers Lisa Cornwell and Marcus Kabel of the Associated Press. It touched on the subject of kids having to turn to thrift shopping and DYI projects to adjust to the flailing economy. You can view the article in its entirety at Yahoo Business News.

The Article states that, "The souring job market and rising costs of the usual teenage indulgences a slice of pizza, a drive to the mall, the hottest new jeans are causing teens to do something they rarely do: be thrifty.

It’s a far cry from the freewheeling spending of recent years, when teens splurged on $100 Coach wristlet handbags, $60 Juicy Couture
T-shirts and $80 skinny jeans from Abercrombie & Fitch.

Now jobs for teens are less plentiful, and parents who supply the allowances are feeling the economic pinch themselves.

The stalwart retailers of teen apparel, such as Abercrombie and American Eagle Outfitters Inc., are reporting sluggish sales, defying the myth that teen spending is recession-proof: It holds up longer, but can eventually fold.

It’s even becoming cool to be frugal.

Last week, Ellegirl.com, the teen offshoot of Elle magazine, launched a new video fixture called Self-Made Girl, which shows teens how to make clothes and accessories. The first video offers tips on how to create a prom clutch.

“It’s a little tacky in the economic unrest to tote a big logo bag,” said Holly Siegel, the site’s senior editor. She said it’s no longer about teens “one-upping each other,” but rather where they can get it cheap.

Teen hiring has slumped by 5 percent since March 2007, with many mom-and-pop stores, which typically hire younger workers, laying off employees. Hiring in the overall job market fell by just 0.1 percent during the same period.

That’s still not as bad as the 13 percent drop in teen hiring in the early 1990s. That means that if the larger job market mirrors the last teen hiring slump, “we’re not out of the woods,” said Michael P. Niemira, chief economist at the International Council of Shopping Centers.

Secondhand clothing chains have seen business surge this year as teens and their parents buy popular brands like Gap, Banana Republic and Juicy Couture at a fraction of the regular price.

“It is way cooler to get a super deal on that shirt rather than being able to spend the most money on something,” said Anna D’Agrosa, director of Consumer Insights at The Zandl Group, a market research company focusing on teens. “Kids are becoming really aware of what is happening to their economy and to their families.”

Perhaps something good can come out of this, that will stick with he teens in to their adult life.

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