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Japan Society brings 7th beer, sake festival

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The Japan Society of San Diego and Tijuana will host its seventh annual Beer & Sake Festival on June 25 at the San Diego Marriott Del Mar.

The Beer & Sake Festival is a charity tasting event that brings experts from the Japanese culinary and sake traditions together to showcase their knowledge and talents to the San Diego community. All proceeds support the society's educational programs that build bridges between the people of Japan and the San Diego/Tijuana region, including language competitions, internships, educational exchanges and sports exchanges.

The 2009 Beer & Sake Festival has also been designated the official host of the SushiMasters California Regional Competition presented by the California Rice Commission. This nationally acclaimed event features California's top sushi chefs in a live competition that challenges their mastery of sushi art and style.

"The Japan Society of San Diego and Tijuana is excited to host its seventh annual Beer & Sake Festival and to be named the official host of the SushiMasters California Regional Competition," said Aya C. Ibarra, program director. "It's an honor to bring such a renowned event like SushiMasters to San Diego, and it is a huge win for our tourism, culture and dining industries, which will receive national recognition as a result."

In addition, the festival will showcase imported Japanese beers and local microbrews, multiple flavors, styles, and quality levels of sake, "Japanese rice wine," and culinary creations from the most talented chefs in San Diego.

The festival will be held from 6-10 p.m. at the San Diego Marriott Del Mar. Tickets are $60 per person or $40 for JSSDT members.

In an effort to encourage local students to create a sustainable future in San Diego, the Barona Band of Mission Indians has introduced the Barona Sustainable Environment Scholarship.

The scholarship is the latest initiative as part of the Barona Valley Environmental Sustainability Program on the reservation and at Barona Resort & Casino. The program includes a state-of-the-art water reclamation plant, water recovery program, landscaping and wildlife preservation, golf course turf reduction, resort conservation programs -- carpooling, recycling and energy efficient practices -- and community outreach to increase awareness of eco-friendly events and awards.

The scholarship is available to college students with a passion for the environment who are pursuing careers in horticulture, turf grass management, natural resources, or environmental sciences industries. The Tribe will award four finalists $1000 and one of the four finalists will receive an additional $1000 based on a personal interview. The scholarship funds can be used to supplement costs incurred through tuition, books and living expenses. The application deadline is July 15 and the winners will be announced on Aug. 1.

"Our respect for the environment is an important part of our Tribe's heritage," said Edwin "Thorpe" Romero, chairman of the Barona Band of Mission Indians. "This scholarship was created to inspire future generations of San Diegans to help protect our region's precious resources."

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