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Starlight Circle 2016, P8-P9

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DEC. 22-28, 2016 Vol. 18 No. 16

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Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians

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NEWS In the

Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians

Viejas Christmas 2016 Tuesday, Dec. 13 • Viejas Indian Reservation, Alpine

PAGE TWO • DEC 22-28, 2016

El Cajon City Council Changing of The Guards

EL CAJON — The El Cajon City Council showed their appreciation and gave Commendation’s, as County Supervisor Dianne Jacob gave Proclamations to outgoing Councilmembers Star Bales and Tony Ambrose. Star Bales, (pictured right, center) is surprised when County Superviser Dianne Jacob (left) names Tuesday, Dec. 13 ‘Star Bales Day’ throughout San Diego County as Mayor Bill Wells applauds Bales accomplishments. Additionally, City Council held an Oath of Office Ceremony for Re-Elected Councilmember Bob McClellan, and new Councilmembers Steve Goble and Ben Kaslsho. Finally, The Veterans’ Commission announced the Veteran of the Year – Former Naval Chief Raymond Moody

From left: Viejas Tribal Councilman Adrian M. Brown; Back row: Actors Jonathan Joss (The Magnificent Seven), Jake Busey (Starship Troopers), Santa Claus (James Hoosier from The Big Lebowski), Jayne Trcka (Scary Movie) and a Minion. ALPINE — The Viejas Tribe celebrated Christmas at Viejas, Tuesday, Dec. 13, with a joyous annual celebration for the tribal children and extended community. The Oak Ballroom at Viejas was packed with excited children, celebrities and the guest of honor, Santa Claus. Festivities featured photos, face painting, balloon shapes and a parade for Santa in which Mickey and Minnie Mouse made an appearance along with The Minions. In the conclusion, Santa left with a simple message, “Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!”

City of El Cajon’s new City Council. From left: Viejas Tribal Councilman Adrian M. Brown, Tribal Executive Assistant Bridgette McCown, Councilman Kevin. Carrisoza, Councilman Gabe TeSam celebrate with Santa, Minions and Mickey and Minnie Mouse-Claus.

On The Cover VIEJAS INDIAN RESERVATION — Viejas Tribal Councilman Adrian Brown (Cover, left) and The Magnificent Seven actor Johnathan Joss (Cover, right) attended ‘Christmas at Viejas,’ Tuesday Dec. 13 in the Oak Ballroom at Viejas Casino and Resort. Monica Zech/The East County Herald See more photos at www.echerald.com

From left: Veterans Commissioner George Glover presents Veteran of The Year Award to Raymond Moody as El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells looks on.

Cover: The East County Herald Cover design: Dee Dean / The East County Herald

See more on P2, above


SERVICE DIRECTORY Herald Business

PAGE THREE • DEC. 22-28, 2016

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OPINiON

Politics and

PAGE FOUR • DEC. 22-28, 2016

The East County Herald strongly believes in the freedom of speech and the rights of all sides of an issue to be heard. The letters and guest opinions/commentaries published herein present differing points of view, not necessarily reflecting those of the publisher, The Herald or it’s advertisers. Note: Letters and opinion/commentary pieces may be edited due to space restrictions. Send all letters, opinions/commentaries to: editor@echerald.com

So Cal Focus with Thomas D. Elias Big Ground Water Find Not A Christmas Gift, After All

T

Your Senate Inwith TheSenator News Joel Anderson Local Middle School Students Give Generously of Their Time McKenzie Nelson

For The East County Herald LAKESIDE — Two students at Tierra Del Sol Middle School in Lakeside went above and beyond working diligently to make their school and community a better place. Mya Ramirez and Georgie Willis were dressed appropriately as superheroes for a spirit day at school when they were recognized by California State Senator Joel Anderson for their dedication and hard work. Ramirez and Willis have spent around 500 hours each doing weekend community service, planning and attending summer meetings, working in class as well as after school and rehearsing plays. Principal Scott Goergens gave a speech showing his appreciation for the work the Associated Student Body (ASB) class, led by Darin Curtis, does and the time Ramirez and Willis in particular helped younger students. In addition to what Ramirez and Willis did over the summer break, the ASB students reach out to local 5th graders with powerful anti-bullying plays, they teach classes at the annual STEP (Student Teachers Educating Peers) day in March, and they host incoming 6th graders at an orientation event before school starts. Goergens explained that “Coach Curtis puts students in leadership roles immediately, and that’s where

From left: Senator Joel Anderson Representative McKenzie Nelson with Lakeside students Georgie Willis and Mya Ramirez. the magic happens.” ASB students even use Rachel’s Challenge, a program to promote safe connected schools, in order to create community service clubs that meet and provide services throughout the entire year. Tierra Del Sol has a welcoming and inspiring atmosphere. The ASB class was buzzing with excitement for their two fellow students to receive an award from Anderson for their commitment. Anderson later stated, “It is inspiring and uplifting to see such young community members like Mya and Georgie actively working to positively impact their school and neighborhood.” Ramirez

and Willis, dressed as Batman and Harry Potter, were both gracious and humble in being recognized. Goergens mentioned that “Getting a special recognition from Senator Anderson honors those students who are truly doing great things.” After getting recognized in front of their class Ramirez and Willis were invited to the principal’s office where they each got to eat a California burrito while they hung out with their principal and asked the legislative intern who represented Anderson at the recognition ceremony questions about Anderson’s award-winning internship program and how to get involved.

here was big, very big, ground water news for California in 2016, but almost no one paid attention because it came in the midst of the most heated presidential campaign in modern memory. For those who did notice, it seemed almost like Christmas came early, at midyear. The news was this: A Stanford University study found huge and previously unknown supplies of ground water far beneath the surface of the ever-thirsty Central Valley. At a minimum, the newfound water supply amounts to twice the amount pumped from Central Valley aquifers since California was settled, or about 270 million acre feet (one acre foot is the amount of water needed to cover an acre of land, weighing about 10 tons). The total weight of the water on hand amounts to about 2,700 billion tons, the Stanford researchers estimated. This good news seemed to bring a sense of relaxation to big farms that have used more than 125 million acre feet of ground water over the last century or so (figures for ground water use are notoriously imprecise). But the efforts of water districts to draft new ground water rules under a 2014 state law nevertheless continued, and that turns out to be a good thing. For getting the “new” supplies the researchers found by examining data from 35,000 water wells and 938 oil and gas wells turns out to be pretty complicated and uncertain. For one thing, the suddenly discovered many, many millions of acre feet are not exactly staring anyone in the face. Most of them are pooled at depths between 1,000 and 10,000 feet below the face of the earth, the bulk at levels a mile or more down. A 400-foot water well now typically costs between $6,000 and $12,000 to drill, depending on the geology involved. Adding a well cap to keep the water supply free of vermin can cost thousands more. No one is quite clear how much a 9,000-foot well might run. There’s also the likelihood that the water might be salty, as a rule of thumb says that the deeper it sits, the saltier the water. For sure, the deeper you go, the older the water you’ll find. Researchers have estimated much of the newly-found California supply might have been in place more than 20,000 years, so there’s a good chance it would have to be desalinated. It might also need to be purified in other ways, if residue from oil and gas drilling or fracking has trickled into it. There could be a few other problems with pumping water up from thousands of feet underground. One is subsidence. The floor in many parts of the Central Valley today is about 30 feet lower than it was 1925, the result of ground water pumping. Emptying deep-down basins of the water that has filled them for eons could see far more land sinking much farther. Even without using this water, the agricultural region has seen steady sinkage every year for decades. Government pays billions of dollars every year to fix sinking bridges, cracking irrigation canals and buckling highways caused by subsidence. Pumping that water also is a one-and-done deal. Since it would take much more than 50 years to refill basins that don’t collapse, this is water that can essentially be used once, and never again. Even if it’s a little cheaper to desalinate and clean than sea water, at least the oceans are rising these days – despite President-elect Donald Trump’s claim that climate change is a scam – unlike California’s ground water levels. The upshot is that even though Californians now know there’s far more water underground than anyone thought possible a year ago, this is no easy-to-unwrap Christmas gift. Rather, it’s a supply that should only be exploited in a time of maximum desperation, a condition California has not come close to reaching. And that means the pokey timetable of that 2014 ground water law should be speeded up, its 2030 deadline for meaningful regulations moved up by a period of at least five to seven years if the state is serious about conserving and replenishing accessible ground water found fairly close to the earth’s surface.

Elias has covered esoteric votes in eight national political conventions. His book, “The Burzynski Breakthrough, The Most Promising Cancer Treatment and the Government’s Campaign to Squelch It,” is now available in a soft cover fourth edition. His opinions are his own. Email Elias at tdelias@aol.com


HEALTH

The Healthy Geezer with Fred Cietti

To Your

Sinusitis and Toothaches

Q A

.

Can a sinus infection give you a toothache?

.I can write from personal experience on

this one. I had a bad toothache that sent me to my dentist. He did some x-rays and could find nothing wrong. He asked me about my sinuses and I told him I was fighting an infection. Bingo. Yes, infection in the sinuses located in your cheekbones can cause your upper jaw and teeth to ache, and your cheeks to become tender to the touch. Sinusitis is a nasty malady that can do much more than give you a toothache. Sinusitis, which is infection or inflammation of the sinuses, creates suffering for about 37 million Americans every year. The sinuses are four pairs of cavities: the frontal sinuses over the eyes, maxillary sinuses inside each cheekbone, ethmoid sinuses just behind the bridge of the nose, and sphenoid sinuses behind the ethmoids. Each sinus is connected to the nose. Acute sinusitis lasts for four weeks or less. Subacute sinusitis runs four to eight weeks. Chronic sinusitis can continue for years. Recurrent sinusitis includes several acute attacks within a year. Unlike sinusitis, a common cold usually goes away without treatment in about 10 days. So, if you have what feels like a bad cold for longer than 10 days, go to your doctor for a check-up. Most cases of acute sinusitis start with a cold or allergy attack, which inflames the mucous membranes of the sinuses. Swelling traps air and mucus in the sinuses and they cannot drain properly. The trapped mucus creates ideal conditions for bacteria to grow. Symptoms of chronic sinusitis may be less severe than those of acute sinusitis. However, untreated chronic sinusitis can cause damage to the sinuses and cheekbones that sometimes requires surgery to repair. Most people with sinusitis have pain or tenderness. Other symptoms of sinusitis can include fever, weakness, fatigue, nasal congestion, cough and sore throat. If you have acute sinusitis, your doctor may prescribe decongestants, antibiotics and pain relievers. Many cases of acute sinusitis will end without antibiotics. Many health care providers treat chronic sinusitis as though it is an infection, by using antibiotics and decongestants. Others use both antibiotics with steroid nasal sprays. Further research is needed to determine the best treatment. When medical treatment fails, surgery may be the only alternative for treating chronic sinusitis. The most common surgery done today is functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS) to enlarge the natural openings and allow drainage. FESS is less invasive than conventional sinus surgery. With the endoscope, the surgeon can look directly into the nose while clearing the narrow channels between the sinuses. This type of surgery can be done under local or general anesthesia. One worthwhile way to help keep your sinuses clear is to use an over-the-counter saltwater nasal wash every day. Most pharmacies carry them. They help remove mucus and bacteria from the nose and sinuses. I use one myself and it has been beneficial.

Ask The Healthy Geezer a question at: fred@healthygeezer.com

PAGE FIVE • DEC. 22-28, 2016

Living with MS with Dee Dean

Powerful defenders of the brain discovered, with big implications for disease and injury

A

rare and powerful type of immune cell has been discovered in the meninges around the brain, suggesting the cells may play a critical but previously unappreciated role in battling Alzheimer’s, Multiple Sclerosis, meningitis and other neurological diseases, in addition to supporting our healthy mental functioning. By harnessing the cells’ power, doctors may be able to develop new treatments for neurological diseases, traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injuries – even migraines. Further, School of Medicine researchers suspect the cells may be the missing link connecting the brain and the microbiota in our guts, a relationship already shown important in the development of Parkinson’s disease.

Unexpected presence The cells, known as “type 2 innate lymphocytes,” previously have been found in the gut, lung and skin -- the body’s barriers to disease. Their discovery in the meninges, the membranes surrounding the brain, comes as a surprise. They were found as UVA researcher Jonathan Kipnis, PhD, explored the implications of his lab’s game-changing discovery last year that the brain and the immune system are directly connected via vessels long thought not to exist. “This all comes down to immune system and brain interaction,” said Kipnis, chairman of UVA’s Department

of Neuroscience. “The two were believed to be completely not communicating, but now we’re slowly, slowly filling in this puzzle. Not only are these [immune] cells present in the areas near the brain, they are integral to its function. When the brain is injured, when the spinal cord is injured, without them, the recovery is much, much worse.” Curiously, the immune cells were found along the vessels discovered by Kipnis’ team. “They’re right on the lymphatics, which is really weird,” noted researcher Sachin Gadani. “You have the lymphatics and they’re stacked right on top. They’re not inside of them – they’re around them.”

Important immune role The immune cells play several important roles within the body, including guarding against pathogens and triggering allergic reactions. In exploring their role in protecting the brain, the Kipnis team has determined they are vital in the body’s response to spinal cord injuries. But it’s their role in the gut that makes Kipnis suspect they may be serving as a vital communicator between the brain’s immune response and our microbiomes. That could be of great importance, because our intestinal flora is critical for maintaining our health and wellbeing. “These cells are potentially the mediator between the gut and the brain. They are the main responder to microbiota changes in the gut. They may go from the gut to the brain, or they may just produce some-

ddean@echerald.com

thing that will impact those cells. But you see them in the gut and now you see them also in the brain,” Kipnis said. “We know the brain responds to things happening in the gut. Is it logical that these will be the cells that connect the two? Potentially. We don’t know that, but it very well could be.” While much more research needs to be done to understand the role of these cells in the meninges, Gadani noted that it’s almost certain that the cells are important in a variety of neurological conditions. “It would be inconceivable they’re not playing a role in migraines and certain conditions like that,” he said. “The long-term goal of this would be developing drugs for targeting these cells. I think it could be highly efficacious in migraine, Multiple Sclerosis and possibly other conditions.” Source: University of Virginia Health System

Dean has been fighting Multiple Sclerosis for 30 years. She continually studies and researches the disease to educate herself. She writes this column as a community service to share her findings and to raise public awareness about MS. The opinions and experiences shared are her own. Dean is NOT a medical doctor. ALWAYS check with your doctor first before trying a new therapy. This column is intended for informational purposes only. Dean can be reached at ddean@echerald.com. NOTE: Dean is the recipient of the 2004 STAR Community Outreach Award by the MS Society Dec. 2, 2004, the American Red Cross Real Hero Wendell Cutting Humanitarian Award, Oct. 13, 2006 , the Stoney Community Service Award, February 29, 2008, Women in Leadership Award for Art/Media/Culture Oct. 29, 2010, El Cajon Citizen of The Year Nominee Feb. 2013 and Recipient of the National MS Society’s 2014 Media Partner of The Year, Feb. 10, 2015.


COMMUNITY Matters PAGE SIX • DEC. 22-28, 2016

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Less

Board-certified Ear, Nose, and Throat physician Dr. S. Cherukuri, a graduate of the prestigious University of Michigan School of Medicine, built a very successful practice helping patients with hearing problems. “I was often frustrated by the fact that many of my patients could benefit from the use of a hearing aid, but unfortunately couldn’t afford one. I then made it my mission to change this, making quality digital hearing aids affordable for anyone who needs one.”

It’s Nearly Invisible “I knew when I developed a new line of hearing aids that one of the most important requirements would be for the device to be hard for others to see,” said Dr. Cherukuri. “One of the biggest objections people have to wearing a hearing aid is that they are embarrassed. Our design helps people get past this concern.” Digital Hearing Aid Outperforms Competitors The new medical grade hearing aid is called MDHearingAid® AIR. It is sleek, lightweight, and full of the same advanced digital technology found in higher-priced devices, but at a small fraction of the price. “I couldn’t understand why everything in the digital world kept coming down in price, like computers, TVs, and DVD players, but not digital hearing aids,” Cherukuri said. Once the doctor started to realize his dream and was able to produce a device that costs 90% less, the industry was turned upside down.

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Wisdom for

EVERYDAY LIFE

with Pastor Drew

Why Jesus?

G

Part III

reetings beloved of the Lord, this week as we enter the Christmas season, we will continue to turn our attention to examine the question, “Why Jesus?” We will be looking specifically at why Jesus came into the world. The Bible, the Word of God informs us that there were a number of reasons for which Jesus came into the world, we will look at a few more this week. Matthew 9:13 “But go and learn what this means: “I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” Mat 18:11 “For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.” Mat. 20:27-28 “And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave-- just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Mark 2:15-17 “Now it happened, as He was dining in Levi’s house, that many tax collectors and sinners also sat together with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many, and they followed Him. And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, “How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?” When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” John 12:46-48 “I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness. And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him--the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.” 1Timothy 1:12-16 “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life. 1John 3:5; 8 “And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin.”; “He who sins, is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” 1John 4:9 “In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.” There is one reoccurring theme to all these verses, Jesus came to save sinners and I like the Apostle Paul agree that I too am the chief among all sinners. This is the thing dear ones, the more one gets to know the true and living God, the more one sees their own sinfulness and propensity to sin in word; deed; action; thought; and inaction against a Holy and Just God. The person who fails to see their sinfulness, thinking that they are a ‘good person’ really does not know God nor themselves. We also see from the above listed verses that Jesus came into the world to destroy the works and power of the Devil. There is one adversary that all of mankind has, it is the Devil. We read in 1Peter 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” What a glorious thing that Jesus has done for us in taking our place upon the Cross; receiving in His own body the due penalty for our sins; rising from the dead, defeating death and the power of the Devil and making His glorious salvation available to all that would repent of sin and cast themselves upon His throne of grace.

Drew Macintyre is associate pastor of Calvary Chapel of Alpine and can be reached at 619-445-2589, or ccalpinemac@gmail.com


DEC. 22-28, 2016

THE EAST COUNTY HERALD • YOUR COMMUNITY OUR COMMUNITY

Save the Date February 22nd

Wednesday - February 22 (5:00 pm to 8:30 pm) Town & Country Resort Hotel For Ticket & Sponsor Information: (619) 465-7700 or LaMesaChamber.com

PAGE SEVEN


THE EAST COUNTY HERALD • YOUR COMMUNITY OUR COMMUNITY

PAGE EIGHT

DEC. 22-28, 2016

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DEC. 22-28, 2016

THE EAST COUNTY HERALD • YOUR COMMUNITY OUR COMMUNITY

PAGE NINE

tee’s

Circle 2016

Nancy Hazen/Jay Renard/The East County Herald

See more photos at www.echerald.com


PAGE TEN

THE EAST COUNTY HERALD • YOUR COMMUNITY OUR COMMUNITY

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THE EAST COUNTY HERALD • YOUR COMMUNITY OUR COMMUNITY

Every Great Event Begins and Ends at Hooleys!

PAGE ELEVEN

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PAGE TWELVE

THE EAST COUNTY HERALD • YOUR COMMUNITY OUR COMMUNITY

DEC. 22-28, 2016

SDSU BEATwith Steve Dolan

Remembering Mother at Christmas A

s Pastor David Jeremiah was delivering another great sermon at Shadow Mountain Community Church, the words hit home much more than usual on a sunny Sunday in 1997. He said that if you want to ask God for something to happen, you need to pray very personally and very particularly. At that moment, it struck me that I had been praying for more than 20 years that my mother would return to church. Why hadn’t it happened? When was it going to happen? The answer came much quicker than expected. As my girlfriend Cindy (who has now been my beautiful wife for 17 years) and I were leaving the church building, guess who was waiting for us at the front door? Yes, it was my mother. Prayer/sermon answered! Sixteen years later, this sermon certainly came to mind when my mother died Jan. 15, 2013. It was a sad day for all of our family; yet a day of rejoicing in that her physical pain from the past few years was gone and she was now in Heaven where there is neither pain nor sorrow. Three things meant everything to her: Faith, family and football/sports. Our football experiences go way back to when we attended the American Football League (AFL) championship game on Christmas Eve 1961 when the Chargers lost to the Houston Oilers, 10-3. But that was all made better two seasons later when, after waiting three hours in line for tickets at the Lafayette Hotel in San Diego, our family was there when the Chargers beat the Boston Patriots, 51-10, to win the AFL title. Up until the day she died, Mom was a football fan. She also watched every last Padres game on Fox Sports San Diego. One more football note: If you ever attend a football game at El Capitan High School, my mother’s signature is written all over it. After all, it was my mother Edna and the late coach Joe Till who went throughout Lakeside in the 1960s selling lifetime passes to El Cap sporting events in order to raise money for the football stadium. Yes, there are memories galore at your first Christmas without your mother. Perhaps the memory that will stay with me this Christmas is that for the first time in three years, I will not be visiting my mother in the hospital on Christmas Day. There’s only so much space in a column, but here are some memories that will serve me best this Christmas: The times our extended family would get together on Christmas Eve with probably more than 50 people present. Having the opportunity to give my mother away at her 1974 wedding. Those occasions when we were in a Lakeside group that had 20 season tickets to Charger games. Attending every Charger home playoff game ever and the 1984 World Series with the Padres. Watching her being so overjoyed by her five grandchildren and three (now six in 2016) great grandchildren I could go on forever but am running out of space in this column. It’s going to be a sad Christmas without my mother, yet it’s going to be a special Christmas for her without sorrow or pain. I love you, Mom! Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday Season to all!

Dolan hosts a one-hour sports talk radio show Tuesdays from 6 to 7 p.m. on East County’s “The Mountain – 107.9 FM.” The show may also be heard on the Internet at www.themountainfm.com

EAST COUNTY BIZwith Rick Griffin Grossmont Hospital construction oversight group elects new chair, vice chair

The volunteer citizens group overseeing the spending of millions of dollars in taxpayer-approved bonds for new and improved patient care facilities at Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa has elected its chairman and vice chairman to serve through June 2017. La Mesa resident Glen Sparrow, a retired San Diego State University (SDSU) professor, and El Cajon resident Jeffrey Olson, division chief of assessment services, San Diego County Assessor’s Office, will serve as chair and vice chair, respectively. Sparrow, professor emeritus of SDSU’s School of Public Affairs with more than 25 years of experience in regional and municipal administration, has served on four other oversight committees: the City of La Mesa from 2008 to 2010, the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District from 2009 to 2015, the San Diego Community College District (where he also currently serves as Chair) from 2012 to present, and the Grossmont Unified High School District from 2015 to present. He is currently chair of the SDCTA’s Governance and Public Finance Committee. He has served on the ICBOC since 2011. Olson, an East County resident since 1985, has worked with the County since 1990. His career has included managing construction and information technology projects, along with real estate property appraisal of residential, commercial and industrial properties. In his current position since 2006, Olson is involved in projecting assessed value and property tax revenue for the County, as well as 18 incorporated cities and 47 school districts. He also administers the Assessor Office’s Property Tax Exemption Program, the Reassessment Exclusion Program and manages property tax appeals. He also is a member of the County’s team that interfaces with bond rating agencies. He has served on the ICBOC since 2013. The citizens group, called the Independent Citizens’

Bond Oversight Committee (ICBOC), has been meeting since June 2006 when East County voters approved Prop. G, a $247 million bond ballot measure for financing improvement projects at the hospital. Prop. G passed by more than 77 percent, well over the two-thirds required. ICBOC members are uncompensated East County residents who are charged with monitoring bond proceeds spent by the Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD), the public agency managing the bond-financed construction at the hospital. Specific seats on the ICBOC are filled by individuals representing various constituency groups, according to ICBOC bylaws. Sparrow is serving as a representative of the San Diego County Taxpayers Association (SDCTA), while Olson is representing Grossmont Hospital Foundation and Auxiliary.

Sycuan’s US Grant finishing $13 million remodel

A $13 million remodeling of The US Grant hotel, owned by the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, is scheduled for completion in January. Construction started this past summer at the property at 326 Broadway, Downtown San Diego. Improvements included updated lobby, meeting and wedding venues, fitness center and about 270 guest rooms. Other improvements included updated design elements overseen by Rodrigo Vargas Design. The new “Presidential” color scheme features navy blues and golds mixed with earthy neutral tones, along with elements honoring past and present American and Native American cultures. The historic hotel was built in 1910 by the son of President Ulysses S. Grant. The hotel is managed by Starwood Hotels & Resorts under its Luxury Collection banner.

Grossmont Healthcare District celebrated hospital off electrical grid

The Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD), the public

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agency that serves as landlord of the hospital’s buildings and property on behalf of taxpayers, celebrated the completion of the hospital’s taxpayer-funded Central Energy Plant (CEP) with a ceremony earlier this week. Construction of the $47 million new plant was financed through Proposition G, a bond measure sponsored by GHD and approved by East County voters in June 2006. With the completion of the CEP, the hospital’s normal electric bill to San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) of about $180,000 per month is now zero. “We’re very proud that the Central Energy Plant is now fully operational and the hospital is officially off the electrical grid,” said Michael Emerson, GHD board president. “Taxpayers can be assured that their publicly-owned hospital is equipped to handle future energy capacity needs with on-site electric power generation at the lowest possible cost. For decades into the future, the new CEP will save millions of dollars in energy costs, plus reduce the hospital’s emission of greenhouse gas pollutants by 90 percent. Even in the event of an outage or other emergency, the hospital will continue to operate as needed.” In addition to Emerson, another speaker at the ceremony was San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob. “I’m very proud of the efforts by the Grossmont Healthcare District and Sharp Grossmont Hospital,” she said. “Every taxpayer can be assured that their publicly-owned hospital is equipped to handle future energy capacity needs with on-site electric power generation at the lowest possible cost. In addition, I’m especially pleased that this new Central Energy Plant will save millions of dollars in energy costs, plus reduce the hospital’s emission of greenhouse gas pollutants by 90 percent. The CEP is emitting less than half of the allowable emissions, which makes its one of the five least polluting plants recently constructed in the state of California.”


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