Cute Cakes relocates

Cute Cakes TripticEscondido’s favorite bakery has just reopened their doors in a much larger, homey location right in the heart of Downtown.  Now located at 345 West Grand Avenue, Jill Reilly has worked hard to transform this corner side suite that truly needed a heavenly touch to become home for any thriving business.

The new location greeted customers with color and smiling faces as employees graced each visitor with a free coffee in hopes they might feel welcome to take advantage in the array of lounge space now available.  The shop has been divided into two sections: bakery & cafe and the wedding gallery, which is still being cosmetically finessed to fit the ambiance by the gracious Urban Barn.

Both of these Escondido based companies serve wedding venues throughout the year.  As Cute Cakes has faithfully met with and served up to 1,000 bridal parties every year, they have established plans to share their space with other vendors who are interested in utilizing the location for display, sales, events, meetings and so much more.

Cute cakes is full of delectible sweets; now serving beverages, including coffee and teas; along with breakfast items and snack foods.  It would be a fantastic location to consider making a regular morning stop before carrying on with the daily grind.  Their outdoor patio space allows room for friendly pup companions to keep people occupied.

Look for exciting events and offers from this sweet spot!  A grand opening is scheduled to come soon!  For more information, visit http://www.cutecakes-sd.com/

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Geeks for Peace

DAiLhMHv7NuJ5BMDZKjTHtgU18KymIYW6v8ZrKfWcgijYMKGq-bzYxreUKeEEALruxMZe2F5P6cAtfZuvrDbropjvp5ozom_d51Xq_e-fUb96vU4OPQYJ0E8WosuQTJKKqGcJxNlZBjZ1yeb9NY9TZJWd6WR6lNh5nsuLpXfA7ey8ygUtBIxcdxn4RRVTjUCUfGLhcs3iGSbPwPMyEJxB6nmd3mSBHRuuIMorgan Spurlock, American documentary filmmaker, producer, screenwriter and political activist is calling for heroes to join forces with him and his harmonious team in support of future generations and the nurturing of a better world as they celebrate the very first Geeks for Peace gala on July 10 at 7 pm in San Diego’s Moniker Warehouse.

Geeks for Peace became a vision of Spurlock’s shortly after he was presented with the Peace Hero Award in 2013 by the young children of Kids for Peace, a nonprofit organization home based out of Carlsbad, California.  Spurlock was recognized for his work addressing society’s struggles and support of ecological preservation.  Kids of Peace presented the award “for his commitment to kids, peace, healthy living and using his voice for good,” as stated in the current press release.

Kids for Peace has been in operation since 2006 and focuses on working to teach children kindness, fairness, equality and to spread human decency.  Their motto, “Uplifting our world through LOVE and ACTION,” and to “foster peace through cross-cultural experiences and hands-on arts, service and environmental projects,” is presented on their official web site.

The evening’s entertainment includes co-hosts, Kevin Smith (writer, producer, actor) and Gotham Chopra (producer, director whose latest work includes Kobe Bryant’s Muse); along with guests, Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad); Frances Fisher (Catherine Hardwicke’s Plush); Greg Grunberg (Heroes, Star Trek); Scott Grimes (Justified, Robin Hood); Efren Ramirez (Napoleon Dynamite, Crank); Eddie Matos (Finding Carter); and Adrian Pasdar (Heroes, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.).

The events proceeds will go towards helping Kids for Peace to assist children in the United States, Pakistan, Iraq, Liberia and Kenya.

The evening’s events include musical entertainment by Band From TV, a silent auction, art auction, along with organic food and libations.

For tickets visit http://www.geeksforpeace.org/ and to learn more about Kids for Peace, visit http://kidsforpeaceglobal.org/

Geeks for Peace

DAiLhMHv7NuJ5BMDZKjTHtgU18KymIYW6v8ZrKfWcgijYMKGq-bzYxreUKeEEALruxMZe2F5P6cAtfZuvrDbropjvp5ozom_d51Xq_e-fUb96vU4OPQYJ0E8WosuQTJKKqGcJxNlZBjZ1yeb9NY9TZJWd6WR6lNh5nsuLpXfA7ey8ygUtBIxcdxn4RRVTjUCUfGLhcs3iGSbPwPMyEJxB6nmd3mSBHRuuIArticle submitted to OsideNews.com for details and further information about Morgan Spurlock’s inspiration by Kids for Peace.  Visit geeksforpeace.org for tickets to this fantastic event taking place during ComiCon festivities in San Diego.

My little piece of social justice

I spent the last few months researching a long time concern of mine for a friend and acquaintance I had met in college that experienced an injustice right before graduating. While researching what really happened to him, I found some very interesting details, had he and his team had known, might have changed their last experience at CSU San Marcos for the better and made their outlook on life a little more positive.

I had submitted the article to my editor-in-chief at OsideNews.com and sadly ran into a time-frame where he was too sick to fact check and publish fast enough for the article to make real news. Once I had let the cat out of the bag, legal actions were taken to alleviate the situation and stop the injustice.

So, enclosed is my original article:

Headline: A loss for the community
Byline: Theft of intellectual property creates lack in economic progress
By: Anne S. Hall

Mario Clay, Veteran, CSUSM Graduate, and co-creator of Cougar List

Mario Clay, Veteran, CSUSM Graduate, and co-creator of Cougar List

Southern California and San Diego County residents, Mario Clay, Brendan Bass and Brandon Baker were featured in California State University San Marcos’ Cougar Chronicle at the end of spring semester 2013 for completing an E-commerce business project that would help community sales for both businesses and students attending any college campus.

This web service was called, “Cougar List,” as their school mascot is the cougar. I personally wrote the features article as some of these gentlemen are fellow Veterans whom I had met through the campus Veterans Center and became aware of the web page as they were promoting the url to Veterans on campus.

After writing the article, I had further helped these gentlemen by creating small flyers to promote the web site on campus public announcement boards at CSUSM. Upon our return to campus the following fall semester we were, once again, in the Veterans Center while a number of students came in announcing that students were tearing down the Cougar List flyers all over campus and replacing them with another that promoted a web site with a service to help allow students resell their textbooks titled, “books4csusm.”

“One of my colleagues showed me an advertisement that had been spread all over campus. they had suggested I was copied. After reviewing books4csusm’s website and offerings, I saw that the website resembled mine,” said Mr. Clay, a business major at the time .

The web site appeared as though it was owned and operated by CSUSM. Thus, Clay chose not to challenge the action and assumed that his teams hard work had been taken without credit by the campus, as student projects created on campus can be considered property of the University. With graduation approaching, they chose not to take further action.

“I was never contacted by the university,” said Mario Clay, and when asking Brendan Bass the same question he replied with, “Not to our recollection.”

“When direct quotes were taken, ‘By students for students,’ the quote along with the school’s site creation did not seem coincidental. Someone with more technical resources used our idea to launch this site,” said Bass, another business major and partner in the development of the website.

“I’m not shocked that this happened, and it was upsetting. Because I had to focus on graduating, I did not feel that I had the time and resources to fight this,” said Clay.

The whole purpose of this website, originally, Cougar List, was to allow students easy access to networking to sell books and other items on a social media platform being developed by Clay, Bass and Baker through their own web design and development. They took the concept of CraigsList and social medial networks like Facebook to reconsider ideas of how to help their peers as the assignment for the project, issued by Professor He of Cal State San Marcos, was to create prototype websites. As the group considered, “What would be a good service for students,” Cougar List evolved.

 

www.books4csusm in its original form

http://www.books4csusm in its original form with the use of CSUSM promotional material and State University information.

“After our initial group idea was presented, students realized potential, not only in our idea but it’s income potential,” said Bass.

“There was a cost to running the website, and we discontinued once the project was graded because our idea had already been taken,” said Clay.

Books4csusm mirrored the work presented on Cougar List: from the main page layout, graphic art, to the text and what the current web site had to offer without the groups developmental ideas for personalizing the page for users.

“I felt that there was a potential for this sort of thing to happen because we had to reveal everything about our project to make the grade, of course, but the consequence is that if you have a great idea anyone can take it before you’re finished working on it,” said Clay.

“I was upset, yet inspired that our team’s creativity was being imitated by someone who obviously lacked the talent,” said Bass.

Unfortunately, Brandon Baker could not be reached in order to gain his statement about this event.

Books4csusm was not created by California State University San Marcos. When notifying the web administrators about the article, I received no response. There was no origination date of the website posted on the page, or copyright statements. Observing the site, I was led to a Facebook page titled, “books4csusm.com.” This Facebook page was linked to a closed group that was created in 2013, as the Facebook business page for books4csusm.com was also created in 2013. The name of the closed group was called “CSUSM students!!!! sell your books through Facebook.”

Facebook Page

Facebook Page

The administrators were listed as Jon Lighthill and Dana Hall, former student of CSUSM and an intimate couple. Both the Facebook page, books4csusm.com and the website books4csusm.com showed images from California State University San Marcos, use of the campus logo, photos taken by the campus communications department staff and images of students on campus.

The books4csusm website was plain and had very little activity since its promotion in 2013. Because the creators hesitated to respond to my inquiries, I contacted Cathy Baur, the head of CSUSM’s Communications Department to inquire about the creation of both the website and the Facebook pages. Upon notification of its existence, Mrs. Baur informed me that the school was unaware of the websites existence.

“Our office has contacted them and advised them to stop. They are not authorized and there is a perception of an affiliation with the University that does not exist,” stated Mrs. Baur.

I was then forwarded a letter directed to Mr. Lighthill stating, “The name “California State University” and the names and abbreviations of all of the CSU campuses are the property of the state of California and your use of this name is illegal. (see, California Education Code Section 89005.5). The seal, logo and spirit logo of the California State University University San Marcos is likewise protected property of the State and your use is unauthorized.”

Shortly after, the books4csusm web site took down all images affiliated with the college and quoted a statement on the main page stating that the website has no affiliation with the University, but the url continues to operate even though CSUSM exists in its name and email address.

books4csusm_web_page_May_10_2015books4csusm_web_page_after_University_Letter

The website appears to presently remain in operation despite the notification of grievance from both the school and the originators of the idea. The creators have declined to respond to any of my questioning regarding the creation of the website and the idea behind its development.

The Cougar List was intended to be a hub for forums, blogs, chat, and eventually save music playlists, store favorites for book titles and movies and become a regularly used web page for students anywhere. As I said in my first article, “All of North County has the potential of benefiting from this website. Businesses outside of the school that focus sales towards student demographics can advertise and promote their companies. The main focus from the creators of the Cougar List is to remain open to promoting student endeavors and providing a pleasant user experience.”

The original URL for the web site was http://www.cougarlist.ning.com. You can visit the original features article at http://csusmchronicle.com/home/2013/05/cougar-list-students-can-sell-textbooks-through-csusms-own-craigslist.html
Though the web site for Cougar List was taken down, the originators have kept all of their work for the development of the original project from 2013. Whether further action is going to be taken against the originators of books4csusm.com by the alumni or the school remains in question.

Since submitting this article, the creators of books4csusm.com has left the URL entirely blank.  The URL still exists but opens up to a blank page (at least from as far as I can see).

Another detail that stood out for this case is that obtaining personal information for the books4csusm web page was not necessarily difficult.  I found that in a day on the internet because all the information was made public on Facebook as the security settings to the creators accounts were not set to private.  What did take the longest amount of time was reaching out to the University’s Communications Department as we spent weeks playing phone tag so that I could get a statement about the situation on the Universities behalf as they had appeared to be the creators of the web site and supporters for the Facebook page.  Once this was confirmed to be negative information everything else happened very quickly.

De La Rosa Birthday Party

1,000 images later and they’re finally finished. Here are some teasers from the beautiful beach side event.

Birthday celebration for Dr. Jacob De La Rosa's family May 9, 2015.  Photographs by Anne Hall of Syrenia Imagery at La Jolla Country Club in La Jolla, CA.

By Anne S. Hall of Syrenia Imagery

Birthday celebration for Dr. Jacob De La Rosa's family May 9, 2015.  Photographs by Anne Hall of Syrenia Imagery at La Jolla Country Club in La Jolla, CA.

By Anne S. Hall of Syrenia Imagery

 

Birthday celebration for Dr. Jacob De La Rosa's family May 9, 2015.  Photographs by Anne Hall of Syrenia Imagery at La Jolla Country Club in La Jolla, CA.

By Anne S. Hall of Syrenia Imagery

Birthday celebration for Dr. Jacob De La Rosa's family May 9, 2015.  Photographs by Anne Hall of Syrenia Imagery at La Jolla Country Club in La Jolla, CA.

By Anne S. Hall of Syrenia Imagery

Birthday celebration for Dr. Jacob De La Rosa's family May 9, 2015.  Photographs by Anne Hall of Syrenia Imagery at La Jolla Country Club in La Jolla, CA.

By Anne S. Hall of Syrenia Imagery

Birthday celebration for Dr. Jacob De La Rosa's family May 9, 2015.  Photographs by Anne Hall of Syrenia Imagery at La Jolla Country Club in La Jolla, CA.

By Anne S. Hall of Syrenia Imagery

Birthday celebration for Dr. Jacob De La Rosa's family May 9, 2015.  Photographs by Anne Hall of Syrenia Imagery at La Jolla Country Club in La Jolla, CA.

By Anne S. Hall of Syrenia Imagery

Birthday celebration for Dr. Jacob De La Rosa's family May 9, 2015.  Photographs by Anne Hall of Syrenia Imagery at La Jolla Country Club in La Jolla, CA.

By Anne S. Hall of Syrenia Imagery

Birthday celebration for Dr. Jacob De La Rosa's family May 9, 2015.  Photographs by Anne Hall of Syrenia Imagery at La Jolla Country Club in La Jolla, CA.

By Anne S. Hall of Syrenia Imagery

Birthday celebration for Dr. Jacob De La Rosa's family May 9, 2015.  Photographs by Anne Hall of Syrenia Imagery at La Jolla Country Club in La Jolla, CA.

By Anne S. Hall of Syrenia Imagery

Birthday celebration for Dr. Jacob De La Rosa's family May 9, 2015.  Photographs by Anne Hall of Syrenia Imagery at La Jolla Country Club in La Jolla, CA.

By Anne S. Hall of Syrenia Imagery

Birthday celebration for Dr. Jacob De La Rosa's family May 9, 2015.  Photographs by Anne Hall of Syrenia Imagery at La Jolla Country Club in La Jolla, CA.

By Anne S. Hall of Syrenia Imagery

Birthday celebration for Dr. Jacob De La Rosa's family May 9, 2015.  Photographs by Anne Hall of Syrenia Imagery at La Jolla Country Club in La Jolla, CA.

By Anne S. Hall of Syrenia Imagery

Birthday celebration for Dr. Jacob De La Rosa's family May 9, 2015.  Photographs by Anne Hall of Syrenia Imagery at La Jolla Country Club in La Jolla, CA.

By Anne S. Hall of Syrenia Imagery

Some of the photos were designed for artistic purposes.  I love the lighting during the after dinner party and couldn’t resist playing with the glow.  Lots of great textures and shadows!

Bullying goes to a whole new level

“Unfriended” puts cyber bullying in your nightmares

My article for “Unfriended” apparently never made it to print, so I’m sharing it a month late here. The film really needed the press exposure, so I’m hoping this still offers something for viewers.

Mixed feelings arise when that all mighty friend button gets un-clicked in this society run by mass media and Facebook dominating our content fixes. THE VERGE claims “Unfriended” accurately depicts our cyber existence, but I highly disagree. Sure it draws the attention to the reality of cyber stalking and dangers of not paying attention to your security settings and checking in to places for everyone on the world wide web to know where you’ve gone, where you’ve been and where you’re going. The reality that we’re monitored all the time and everything we do on the world wide web is tracked and recorded is not what this movie covers.

“Unfriended” uses the idea that a young girl who shot herself in the face after being cripplingly humiliated online has come back to get even on the one-year anniversary of her death. The story builds with mischievous friends breaking into their evening routine skypeing together and having a run in with an intruder who exists as a suspicious ‘nobody’ that just happens to know all of their embarrassing little secrets.

When the film was open for screening at WonderCon, Anaheim, April 4, the theater was filled. People were freaked out about the idea that a ghost was taking over their media outlets and keeping them from being able to free themselves from the situation, or else, death. Like a hacker dominating their domains; this ‘ghost’ calls them, instant messages them, controls their cries for help and brutally punishes their every attempt to find release.

The entire film: all i could think of was, “where the heck are these kids parents.” Every time a delete or cancel button was missing I just thought of how ridiculous it was. Then the story got more interesting when the characters started getting into the victim, Laura’s (played by Heather Sosssmann), back story. Now, that made you wonder if the culprit was even a ghost at all. Who would want revenge for Laura’s death? And who would work so hard to punish the so-called friends that drove her to her demise?

Now that’s a detail that makes it all worth while.

This horror/thriller was a low budget film that focused on the frontal view of the characters to provide the realistic image of being involved in their Skypeing. This bothered me, as this angle is primarily the only view the spectators get. I would have found the movie far more interesting if the creators had used the angles from inside the bedrooms; or even as the perspective of the killer sneaking up to them (more than one time in the entire film) to be far more scary and interesting. Because of that perspective, I truly lost my attention in the actual task of watching the film. Listening as a radio murder mystery would have probably been more exciting and interesting.

Yet, based on the storyline, quality of the acting and production work, I have to give the film a 4 out of 5 in terms of ratings. The only true blemish was the camera angles and creativity in that work. I’m much older than the generation that this film targets in regards to relate-ability. The lack of knowledge in security and identity protection is something I find no excuse for, yet that was the main selling point for the producers as they opened to talking about the film during the panel of “Insidious III” at WonderCon prior to the showing. Half the panel members immediately pulled out their phones to change their security settings after the concept was addressed. Constantly being exposed to the digital world apparently has caused users to loose concern for these little details of life. The film helps to readdress the possibilities in a whole new light.

To think of a ghost being able to control our digital worlds in order to break through the barriers to between this plane and another was a very unique concept. Finally, someone thought of something new. “Unfriended” was released worldwide Friday. Despite my feelings about the film, it’s definitely worth seeing. It’s different, addresses real issues despite its horror line…much like “Nightmare on Elm Street” was when it first released in 1984.

Happy movie going. Don’t forget to reset your security settings on your digital devices. Laura might come for you for not being so nice.