A local golden retriever who helps kids with disabilities ocean surf is about to make it big in the movies. Ricochet has been chosen to co-star in “Superpower Dogs,” a 3D film for IMAX theaters and giant screen cinemas.
The celebrity dog from Escondido already has a resumé 91 pages long and has appeared on national talk shows, with Oprah, in newscasts, across magazine spreads and in mainstream cinema films, such as “Marmaduke.” She even has written her biography, “Ricochet.”
Now, owner Judy Fridono, a former service dog trainer, has teamed up with Cosmic Picture, which is producing of the IMAX film in association with the California Science Center. Funding permitting, they hope to have a giant screen theater premiere in early 2018.
Fridono says the film follows the transition of Halo from awkward puppy to urban search and rescue phenomenon. En route, Halo meets other heroic working dogs with superpower abilities, including avalanche rescue dogs in the Canadian Rockies, bloodhounds who save elephants and rhinos from poachers in Northern Kenya and wave-riding Ricochet, who can give disabled surfers a sense of empowerment. The story is told through the dogs’ eyes, ears and noses.
The bonus, notes Fridono, is that 20 percent of the project’s profits will be earmarked for working dog groups around the world,
Moving proposal: For 18 seasons, local professional dancers have given flash mob-style performances at trolley stops. Their audience includes Metropolitan Transit System passengers who bought special Trolley Dances tour tickets during two weekends every fall.
A surprise number was added to a Trolley Dances 2016 performance on the Blue Line. Bradley Lundberg, a trained tour guide who, in past years, has both danced and choreographed for the event, asked Artistic Director Jean Isaacs for a favor. He then recruited his friends in the dance community and secretly rehearsed his special number for six weeks.
It wasn’t a routine performance. It was a choreographed build-up to his surprise marriage proposal to co-tour guide Benjamin Dohrman, at the trolley’s Fault Line Park stop in East Village. The “tour guides” received a standing ovation.
WE news: A home-grown global effort to lift women out of poverty has hired its first executive director. Women’s Empowerment International (WE), begun in 2005 and run solely by volunteers, now has a paid, full-time leader with international experience and, as it turns out, local roots.
Paige Bradley is the granddaughter of Marvin K. Brown, who in 1950 founded what is now Marvin K. Brown Auto Center, currently headed by Bradley’s cousin, Jennifer Brown. Bradley, who attended La Jolla High School, most recently worked in France as fundraising director for a nonprofit group serving at-risk families.
She’ll oversee WE’s microloan and anti-poverty projects for women in Uganda, Honduras, Haiti and Mexico as well as the STAR Center in City Heights, which has helped disadvantaged women launch 282 local businesses.
WE President Winifred Cox called Bradley “a perfect fit” for the growing organization. Bradley’s husband, former Reuters correspondent Greg Frost, recently joined Renovate America here as national communications director.
Homecoming: It’s been nearly 40 years since journalist Margaret Garrard Warner covered politics here for The San Diego Union in the late 1970s. She moved on to report for The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek and PBS NewsHour where, as a foreign correspondent, she scored an interview with Benazir Bhutto after the Pakistani opposition leader was released from house arrest.
Warner returns to town Oct. 22 to share her media expertise at a San Diego Diplomacy Council event at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice.