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Palomar Observatory, located at Palomar Mountain in north San Diego County, California, is a important center of astronomical research. Come and see it!

This image was taken from their website

Owned and operated by the California Institute of Technology(Caltech). The Observatory is home to three active research telescopes: the 200-inch (5.1-meter) Hale Telescope, the 48-inch (1.2-meter) Samuel Oschin Telescope, and the 60-inch (1.5-meter) telescope. Research at Palomar Observatory is pursued by a broad community of astronomers from Caltech and other domestic and international partner institutions.

Conceived of almost a hundred years ago, Palomar Observatory has been at the forefront of astronomical research since mid-century. Today, the Observatory operates every clear night and is an iconic facility for scientific advancement, instrument development, and student training.

The different sections of this website touch on the various aspects of the Observatory—the place, the science, the tradition, and the people who have made it special—as well as provide information on visiting logistics and how to get involved in its continuing mission.

Palomar Observatory is among the most iconic scientific facilities in the world, and a crown jewel in the research traditions of the California Institute of Technology. Conceived of nearly 100 years ago, the observatory has been in continuous scientific operation since the mid-30s, and remains productive and relevant today. Palomar is most directly the vision of George Ellery Hale (1868–1938). In a tour-de-force effort framed by the challenges of the Great Depression and the Second World War, Hale and a dedicated group of astronomers, engineers, technicians, and builders secured funding, designed the telescopes and site, and created the Observatory in much the same state as it exists today.

George Ellery Hale was the person most responsible for the building of Palomar Observatory. A graduate of MIT and a founder of Caltech, in 1928 he secured a grant of $6 million from the Rockefeller Foundation for the fabrication of a 200-inch reflecting telescope.[1] During the 1930s, he assembled a remarkable team of engineers and designers from academia and industry. Under his direction, these people set to work on the mirror, on the mounting, and on the dome and its support facilities on Palomar Mountain. A triumph of innovation, insight, persistence, and precision the telescope was dedicated in June 1948 ten years after Hale's death. This is the Hale Telescope at Palomar Observatory, an instrument that after many decades of service continues to play a leading role in the advancement of astronomy and astrophysics.

The Observatory is open from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm in the Summer time.

For further information visit

The Craft Beer Capital of America

Updated October 9, 2015

In this month’s newsletter, we explore why San Diego County is known as "the Craft Beer Capital of America." San Diego is home to more than 100 breweries, microbreweries, and brewpubs.

Since 2009, San Diego has promoted a ten-day county-wide festival, held in early November aimed at both local residents and tourists. It showcases the local beer scene and fosters knowledge about the area's brewing heritage. The festival kicks off with the San Diego Brewers Guild Festival and continues with hundreds of large and small events hosted by breweries, nano-breweries, pubs, and alehouses. In 2012 there were more than 500 events scheduled during Beer Week.

Some Calbiotech staff favorite local beers are featured below:

David Barka, Vice President: Sculpin IPA, Ballast Point

Ninos Sipo, Quality Assurance Manager: Day Time, Lagunitas Brewing Company

Amar Dawood, Warehouse Manager: Stone IPA, from Escondido

To know more about our local

We invite you to visit...and the beer's on us!


Below is a listing of San Diego's various Oktoberfest Celebrations

Date: Second to last Sunday in September
Six blocks of music, crafts from over 200 vendors, authentic German food, beer, a parade and a family fun zone.

Oktoberfest in El Cajon
Dates: Friday-Sunday, first and second weekends of October
Traditionally held on the first two weekends in October, dance to the sounds of an honest-to-goodness Bavarian band at the two-weekend Oktoberfest in El Cajon.

Oktoberfest in La Mesa
Dates: Friday-Sunday, first weekend of October
The granddaddy of San Diego Oktoberfests, La Mesa's two-day version is essentially a giant block party in the town "village" area.

Oktoberfest in Carlsbad
 First Saturday of October
Carlsbad's annual Oktoberfest celebration features live music, traditional German food and games.

Ocean Beach Oktoberfest
 Friday-Saturday, second weekend of October
San Diego's annual Oktoberfest takes to the streets of Ocean Beach once again in this uniquely Southern California salute to the celebration of German culture and fun.

Oktoberfest on Coronado
Dates: Late September through Early October
Experience a Bavarian-style beer garden on the Hotel del Coronado's Sun Deck with bratwurst and sauerkraut, Munich-style pretzels, schnitzel and more, plus select specialty beers from breweries like Paulaner and Karl Strauss.


GaslampFor this month's Calbiotech Local,  we feature San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter, one of the most visited areas in the entire county. 

The Gaslamp Quarter brings together many different people from around the world looking for culture, romance, shopping and fun for families, couples, students, business people and party-goers alike.

The Gaslamp Quarter extends from Broadway to Harbor Drive, and from 4th to 6th Avenue, covering 16½ blocks. It includes 94 historic buildings, most of which were constructed in the Victorian Era, and are still in use with active tenants including restaurants, shops and nightclubs. When development of the area began in the 1860s, the area currently known as the Gaslamp Quarter was known as New Town, in contrast to Old Town, which was the original Spanish colonial settlement of San Diego. The name "Gaslamp Quarter" is a reference to the gas lamps that were common in San Diego in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Four new gaslamps have been installed at the intersection of Market Street and 5th Avenue to evoke that time.

Gaslamp is listed as an historic district on the National Register of Historic Places as Gaslamp Quarter Historic District. Its main period of development began in 1867, when Alonzo Horton bought the land in hopes of creating a new city center closer to the bay. Alonzo chose 5th Avenue as the district's main street. After a period of urban decay, the neighborhood underwent urban renewal in the 1980s and 1990s.

Today it is the site of several entertainment and night life dozens, as well as scheduled events and festivals, including Mardi Gras in the Gaslamp, Street Scene Music Festival, Taste of Gaslamp and Sham ROCK, a St. Patrick's Day event and part of Comic-Con International. Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres, is located one block away in downtown San Diego's East Village. The San Diego Covention Center is located adjacent to the Gaslamp Quarter and will be the site of the 2017 AACC Clinical Lab Expo. We look forward to seeing you in our hometown soon!

To learn more about the San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter, please check out homepage of Gaslamp Quarter Association:

A little bit of Italy, in San Diego

Little Italy Sign in San DiegoFor this month's Local feature, Calbiotech presents Little Italy - a charming neighborhood in Downtown San Diego, California - where you will find great food, great wine and great people!

Little Italy is a somewhat hilly neighborhood in Downtown San Diego, California that was originally a predominately Italian fishing neighborhood. It has since been gentrified and now Little Italy is a scenic neighborhood composed mostly of Italian restaurants, Italian retail shops, home design stores, art galleries, and residential units. The area also has decoration stores, art galleries and a street fair with art, food and live music. Little Italy is one of the more active downtown neighborhoods and has frequent festivals and events including a weekly farmers market, also known as the Mercato (the Market, in Italian). 

The main street, India Street, features public art and plazas, street trees, galleries and antique stores, and numerous restaurants with outside eating areas. Most of the events center on and around India street, usually bordered by Grape street to north and Beech Street or Ash Street to the south. Every Saturday, 9:00am – 1:30pm, on Date Street; Little Italy hosts the Little Italy Mercato. This Italian farmers' market features freshly caught fish, vegetables and fruit from local farmers, pastries from local bakeries, flowers and plants from local farms, and art from local artists.

Below are some Calbiotech staff favorite Little Italy restaurants:

Bencotto Italian Kitchen:

Po Pazzo Bar & Grill:

Davanti Enoteca:

Kettner Exchange:

Craft & Commerce:

To learn more about the Little Italy Neighborhood of San Diego, please check out Little Italy Associoation of San Diego's offical website:

Old Town

old townFor this month's Calbiotech Local,  we feature Old Town, a popular tourist destination, known especially for its Mexican restaurants, numerous museums and America's Most Haunted House.

Old Town San Diego, State Historic Park, is located in the Old Town neighborhood of San Diego, California. The historical park commemorates the early days of San Diego and includes many historic buildings from the period from 1820 to 1870. In 1968 the area was established as a park and in 2005 and 2006 the park was listed as the most visited state park in California.

A little bit of history: The first European settlement on the West Coast of the present-day United States was the San Diego Presidio, a military outpost of Spanish California, founded by Gaspar de Portolà in 1769. Mission San Diego de Alcalá was founded by Father Junípero Serra the same year. The Presidio and Mission were originally built on a bluff, Presidio Hill, which is now the site of the city-owned Presidio Park and which is immediately adjacent to Old Town State Historic Park. After 5 years the Mission moved to a location several miles upriver at the present site of Mission San Diego de Alcalá. Presidio Hill remained the primary settlement for several decades because it was defensible against attack by European enemies or hostile Indians. As the need for defense decreased, settlers preferred to live at the base of the hill because of greater convenience. In the 1820s the town of San Diego grew up at the base of the bluff, at the site commemorated by Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. The Presidio was abandoned and fell into disrepair.

During the pueblo period following Mexican independence, the Old Town area was the commercial and governmental hub of the region, even though its population was never more than a few hundred. San Diego during this period is vividly described by Richard Henry Dana, Jr. in his classic book Two Years Before the Mast. In 1834 the Mexican government granted San Diego the status of a pueblo or chartered town; however, its pueblo status was revoked in 1838 due to declining population. One problem limiting the town's growth was its location far from navigable water. All imports and exports had to be brought ashore in Point Loma and carried several miles over the La Playa Trail to the town.

When California was admitted to the United States in 1850, San Diego (still largely limited to the Old Town area) was made the county seat of San Diego County, even though the town's population was only 650. The Old Town area remained the heart of the city of San Diego until the 1860s, when a newcomer to San Diego named Alonzo Horton began to promote development at the site of present-day Downtown San Diego. Residents and businesses quickly abandoned "Old Town" for Horton's "New Town" because of New Town's proximity to shipping. In 1871 government records were moved from Old Town to a new county courthouse in New Town, and Downtown permanently eclipsed Old Town as the focal point of San Diego.

Old Town San Diego State Historic Park preserves and recreates Old Town as it existed during the Mexican and early American periods, from its settlement in 1821, through 1872 when it lost its dominant position to Downtown. The Old Town area is a popular tourist destination, known especially for its Mexican restaurants. The state park itself hosts several eating establishments, and other restaurants and gift shops are found in the surrounding neighborhood. Five original adobes are part of the complex, which includes shops, restaurants and museums. Other historic buildings include a schoolhouse, a blacksmith shop, San Diego's first newspaper office, a cigar and pipe store, houses and gardens, and a stable with a carriage collection. There are also stores, with local artisans demonstrating their craft. There is no charge to enter the state park or any of its museums.

The Whaley House: Haunted or not?

WhaleyAccording to the Travel Channel's America's Most Haunted, the house is the number one most haunted house in the United States. The alleged hauntings of the Whaley House have been reported on numerous other television programs and been written up in countless publications and books since the house first opened as a museum in 1960. Although we cannot state positively that the Whaley House is really haunted, the voluminous documentation of paranormal occurances at the site makes a compelling case. To learn more about the Whaley House, plase visit it's official website:




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