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Volume 8. numb er 1

Getting Fit – Thinking Locally At this time, just as the New Year is beginning, many of us start thinking about ways to improve ourselves, our families, our work, and maybe even our community. Some of us keep these hopes for improvement silent and to ourselves – you know, in case we don’t quite get around to meeting all the goals we have set forth in our minds. While others jot these items down in writing and set out right away to check each and every one of them off by the end of 2013. At the top of many New Year’s Resolutions, whether private or public, is the desire to get in better physical shape. Page 10

Introducing The Critic Chick Happy New Year and welcome to The Critic Chick! I am so excited to share with you all the great deals, unique finds and, perhaps, overlooked gems that exist right here in our own 4S Ranch community! This great little town of ours is home to so many small businesses that truly have a lot to offer. I’d like to introduce you to (or refresh your memory about) a few of them. This chick is a huge geek for great products and services and I can’t help but to blab about them for all to hear! Page 11

Arch Health Partners Now Open in 4S Residents of 4S Ranch now have access to high quality health care close to their homes with the opening of the new Arch Health Partners (AHP) medical office in this family-oriented community. Page 7















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Volume 8 . numb e r 1

january 2013 editor’s corner

mike Mi njares

Happy New Year! community news & lifestyle for 4S Ranch

O ffic e

Fountain Media Group, Inc. 1501 San Elijo Rd. S, Ste. 104-202 San Elijo Hills, CA 92078 (800) 497-1309 P u b lish e r

Tim Minjares Publisher (800) 497-1309 x707 e d ito r ial

Mike Minjares Managing Editor (800) 497-1309 x712 S al e s

Melissa Granados Sales Director (800) 497-1309 x701 P r o d u ction

AJ Moreno Designer

FountainMediaGroup inc. publications that build community

Our mission for Back At The Ranch is to connect 4S residents to each other and to key resources with the goal of building community in 4S Ranch and the greater Rancho Bernardo area. Back at The Ranch is a great example of what can happen when neighbors build strong relationships and get busy putting their ideas and skills together for the good of the community. We hope you find this community publication reflective of our excitement to be in 4S Ranch and our desire to build something that brings us all closer together. We invite you to join in the fun and get involved. Copyright 2013 All rights reserved. Reproduction in any form, in whole or part, without written permission is prohibited. Back at the Ranch (BATR) is a monthly publication highlighting house, home and community building. BATR accepts freelance contributions, though there is no guarantee that unsolicited material will be returned. BATR is not responsible for the views of contributing writers and assumes no responsibility for errors appearing within. Opinions expressed are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the Publisher or advertisers. We reserve the right to restrict all advertisements to their proper classification and to edit or reject any copy.

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We have made it to the start of another year. The holidays are winding down and the time is near to begin setting out on transforming good intentions into measurable actions. At least, that’s the plan for many of us. There seems to be something about starting a new year that inspires people to embrace hope a little more tightly and believe that better times do indeed lie ahead. Now, based on how you want to define “better” the opportunity exists for all of us to go out and make 2013 better than last year. That’s the promise the opening of a new calendar brings – nothing for this year is final, we have a full 12 months ahead to live a year worth reflecting back on. Here at Back At The Ranch, we head into 2013 with great confidence and enthusiasm. We’ve continued to carve out a nice niche among your available new sources, one that regularly includes many of your contributions. We are focused on keeping that aspect of our community publication at the forefront of everything we do in the coming year. Your suggestions oftentimes allow us to spotlight people and organizations in our community accomplishing great things. The news we receive about community events and activities fill our community news and calendar files and gives us the chance to promote ways for our readers to get involved locally. Of course, we also appreciate the families and individuals who agree to be featured in our spotlight sections each month. In addition, we’ve been fortunate to connect

with some talented writers who call 4S Ranch and the local area home and welcome the opportunity to share their expertise or a well-written personal story in our community publication. For example, we thank Katie Seidenwurm for once again providing us with some great tips for gardening and planting. We also have an interesting story this month from our young writer at Del Norte High School, Uday Suresh. New this month, we bring you the first contribution from “The Critic Chick.” Look for a few articles from this local resident highlighting local hidden gems, great products, wonderful service and a whole host of other elements that make this such a great community. If you are one to make New Year’s Resolutions, we hope that you will add getting involved with our community through Back At The Ranch to the list. If you are not a writer, you can still be involved by sending in story ideas or sharing information about a local event or nominating a great family or business for us to interview. Perhaps, you and your family would be interested in being featured in our Meet Your Neighbor section. You can let us know that and how we’re doing while also making suggestions for ways you’d like to see this publication grow. Email our Community Editor at However you see fit, we invite you to help us make 2013 a great one for our 4S Ranch community.

feature - Get Fit - Think Locally Thi nki ng Locally


saving mone y & F i ndi ng a de a l


Get F it, B u t S h ou ld I s e e a D octor F i r st ?


community news O n Yo ur D o o r step News & events happening IN & around 4S Ranch


meet your neighbor Th e S kogl i n fami ly - T i m, K r isti ne , B l a k e & Lau r a


school news PU S D Pa r e nt e du cation cou r s e s comi n g u p i n Ja n ua ry


Ke l s e y Ge c kle r - S t u de nt Athletic T r ai n i e r


business highlight 4 s Ey e car e a nd optomet ry


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e m o H h c n a 4S R y Mukesh! b d l o S Just

Before selling your home as a short sale consult with a CPA and/or attorney to go over credit and tax potential consequences. All information deemed to be reliable but not guaranteed

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on your doorstep 4S Ranch-Del Sur Community Foundation Releases 2013 Grant Guidelines After five successful years of grant making, the 4SRanch-Del Sur Community Foundation has announced the release of its 2013 grant guidelines. In the current cycle, the Foundation is focusing on a Safe and Healthy community. In the current cycle, the 4SRanch-Del Sur Community Foundation will accept proposals with an emphasis in supporting projects that emphasize and focus on providing a safe and healthy community for the residents of the 4S/Del Sur community. The Foundation will accept proposal for programs that address safety and the health, well-being and self sufficiency of individuals, families and the communities in the region for 4S Ranch and Del Sur. Special consideration will be given to projects that address such issues as the prevention and or treatment of substance abuse, obesity, bullying through education, and positive alternatives to provide constructive activities for residents, especially children and teens to learn to make healthy and safer choices. Programs that address environmental strategies aimed at improving settings and conditions in which people live, work and play are also encouraged. The deadline for grant applications is January 18, 2013. Each year the 4SRanch-DelSur Community Foundation selects an “area-of-interest” based on membership input and research from the Foundation’s Grants Committee. Following the “area-of-interest” selection, the Grants Committee researches relevant national and regional materials for background and context, and conducts local level research through interviews with local community leaders, citizens and experts

in order to promote an open dialogue, collaboration and idea flow. Grant guidelines are created, ratified by the 4SRanch-DelSur Community Foundation and The San Diego Foundation Boards, and then released to the community for applications. Upon selection, grant monies will be distributed in May 2013. Grant guidelines are available online at The guidelines contain more specific information about applicant eligibility and the selection process that the 4SRanch-Del Sur Community Foundation will follow over the next couple of months. Once applications are reviewed, the members of the 4SRanch-DelSur Community Foundation will vote to decide where the grant making dollars go. The goal of the members of the 4S Ranch-Del Sur Community Foundation members is to leverage small resources and use collective giving to have a great impact in the community. The Foundation grants, have proven to have had just that sort of impact for the emerging needs of 4SRanch-Del Sur communities and are encouraging and increasing responsible and effective philanthropy by and for the benefit of all who live and give in the community. The 4SRanch-DelSur Community Foundation is part of a network of local affiliates of The San Diego Foundation, each serving the unique needs of communities throughout the region. For more information about the guidelines, please call Trudy Armstrong (619) 764 8602 at, or email trudy@

4S Ranch Men’s Adult Basketball League Teams Forming for January

Spring Girls Volleyball @ Boys and Girls Club

Team registrations are now being accepted for Men’s Adult Basketball Leagues at the 4S Ranch Sports Complex. The season is scheduled to run from January to March. The basketball league is played on Monday and Tuesday nights and is split into three divisions: A, B, and C.  A is the top level of competition, with many players formerly having played in college or overseas. The B league is an intermediate league, and the C league is a “recreation level” league for people who aren’t necessarily skilled at basketball but are looking to get a good run in with their friends. Games are played between 6 and 10pm with a 7-week regular season and every team guaranteed a playoff spot. League champions receive either custom jerseys for their team or a deduction from their next season’s registration fee. 

Registration opens in January for the Spring Girls Volleyball program at the 4S Ranch Branch of the Boys and Girls Club. The league, for girls in 3rd through 8th grade, begins in March with play continuing through May. For more information and to register, call (858) 676-2230 or go online to www.sdyouth. org/4sranch

In addition, other benefits that the local league offers to its players include stat-keeping, officiating and online registration/scheduling. Individuals not already on a team, otherwise known as “free agents”, can now place posts on the league message board with a blurb about their ability and contact information for teams to be able to reach out to them in the situation where they are looking to add somebody to their team.  More information is available online at

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library events

Library will be closed on Tuesday, January 1 in observance of New Year’s Day and Monday, and Monday, January 21 in observance of Martin Luther’s Day.

4S R A N CH L IBR A RY ( 8 58 ) 67 3 -4697 |

ADULT PROGRAMS Adult Fitness Class with Miss Aimee - 4th Wednesday of the month at 9:30 a.m. Learn about Beachbody programs and experience the Fit Club phenomenon! Sign-ups required.

Author Book Talk with Pari Hekmat - Wednesday, Jan. 23 at 3:30 p.m.

Basic Computer Training in Farsi - Tuesdays at 8:30 a.m. Open for Farsi speakers interested in learning basic computer skills.

Citizenship Class - Mondays at

First Aid and Preparing for Emergencies with Natural Remedies - Wednesday, Jan. 9 at

Yoga Meditation for Every Day Stress Reduction with Dr. Afshin Nahavandi - 1st and 2nd

6 p.m. Learn what natural remedies to keep on hand to be prepared for everything from burns, cuts and infections to surviving a natural disaster. Create your own mini first aid kit equipped with powerful, pure essential oils (healing extracts from indigenous plants).

Tuesdays of the month at 6:45 p.m. For 15 years old and above. - 3rd Wednesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. Become a member of Friends of the 4S Ranch Library and support your local library.

a.m. and 12:00 p.m. Music, Stories, Art and Fun! For children 5 years old and under.

Fundamentals of Financial Planning - Wednesday, Jan. 23 at

Fine Free Friday @ all SDCL Branches - Return your County

Open to all chess enthusiasts. All ages welcome.

6:30 p.m. Workshop on long term financial planning.

Gentle Yoga with Patty - 1st

6:30 p.m. Open for all interested in taking citizenship tests.

and 2nd Wednesday of the month at 9:30 a.m. Gentle yoga for adults and seniors.

Couponing Workshop -

Knitting Circle - Wednesdays at 5

Saturday, Jan. 19 at 1 p.m. Looking to save your family money? Come to our free Couponing Workshop, taught by Eleonor Young. You’ll learn how to save 60-100% off regular retail prices, where to find coupons, how to organize them and how to receive discounted Sunday newspapers.

p.m. Join your fellow knitters by the fireplace every Wednesday evening and knit for fun.

Family Yoga - Saturdays at 10

Naam Yoga with Kristin Mondays at 4 p.m. A scientific approach to Yoga that uses breath work (Pranayama), mantras (Sound), mudras (hand postures), laugher, and movement that will help balance your mind, body and spirit.

a.m. Yoga for the whole family.

Yoga Gals Grand Opening in January After helping a few friends get into and enjoy yoga, Janice Sherman of Yoga Gals is eager to share her instructional style with more of the 4S Ranch Community. In January, Sherman, a certified yoga instructor who specializes in yogi newcomers, will begin offering classes at 4S Dance at 10804 Willow Court. Classes will run $15 for drop-in or 10 classes for $90. On both Monday and Tuesday at 11am, Yoga Gals will hold Vinyasa Flow sessions. According to Sherman, the class is ideal for beginner and intermediate level students. Students will warm up, then move through several sun salutations to build upper and lower body strength, and finish with floor work. She offers several options for each pose so her students feel confident about their practice. Sherman also promotes a non-competitive environment with a strong sense of humor. “It is so important to be able to laugh when your body does not cooperate with your mind,” she said. Sherman loves the spiritual as well as the physical aspect of yoga. She has a Masters degree in counseling and uses this background to create mindful meditations for her students. She ends every class with an essential oil minimassage and meditation. More information can be found online at or by emailing Sherman at

Friends of the Library Meeting

owned books, CDs, DVDs, or other overdue materials on the last Friday of each month and we’ll get rid of the fines for those items!

CHILDREN PROGRAMS Spanish Bilingual Story Time - 2nd and 4th Monday of the month at 10 a.m. Spanish bilingual story and craft for children.

Baby Story Time - Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. Pre-walking babies only. Enjoy this one-on-one lapsit activity that introduces babies to stories and songs.

Preschool Story Time & Craft with Mrs. Z - Fridays at 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. For children 3 to 5. Mrs. Z’s story time engages children and focuses on the skills and concepts children need to be ready for

Kindergarten! Parents and caregivers get to see proven, modeled techniques to help their children succeed!

Play to LearnTime with Teacher Lee - Thursdays at 10:30

Chess Club - Saturdays at 3 p.m.

Crafts for a Cause - Thursdays at 4:30 p.m. Arts and crafts for K-3rd grade students.

Kids Fitness with Miss Andrea - 3rd Wednesday of the month at 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.Kids fitness class with Miss Andrea for kids ages 18 months to 5 years old. Sign-up required.

English French Bilingual Pajama Story Time - Tuesday, Jan. 22 at 6 p.m. Family pajama story time and crafts.

Homework Center - Fridays at 4 p.m. One-on-one tutoring for students from Kindergarten through 9th grade. Sponsored by Del Norte High School Education in Action Club. Registration required.

Curious About Montessori? Country Montessori School Is Here To Help Through several community-wide events this month, Country Montessori School of Poway hopes to provide answers to questions many parents have of this increasingly popular educational approach. The first event takes place on Thursday, January 10, from 6 to 8 pm. “Prospective Elementary Night” offers interested parties a great opportunity to visit the school, meet the teachers, ask questions and find out why CMS might be the right choice for your child’s future. Discussion will include information on class sizes, the focus on individual attention and discovering new ways to explore math, science and reading. The second event – Family Montessori Education Day for the community – will be held Saturday, January 26, from 2 to 4pm. Parents will have the opportunity to explore a Montessori classroom and ask questions about the Montessori method, while children enjoy games and activities with the school’s trained childcare supervisors. Finally, Country Montessori School of Poway holds its 5th Annual Walk-a-Thon on Thursday, January 31. Country Montessori School of Poway is located at 12642 Monte Vista Rd., Poway. For more information in any of the upcoming events call (858) 673- 1756 or go online to

San Diego Restaurant Week Jan 13-18 Experience cuisine that delights your palate and defines the art of dining in San Diego. Held twice annually, San Diego Restaurant Week is a beloved culinary tradition featuring discounted prix fixe menus from more than 180 of San Diego’s best restaurants in 12 unique regions throughout San Diego County. No tickets or passes are required. Food lovers may simply dine out at as many participating restaurants as they like during San Diego Restaurant Week. Two-course lunches run $10, $15 or $20; and three-course dinners are only $20, $30 or $40. For a list of participating restaurants, including several local favorites, check out the website at pag e 6 : ba ck a t th e ra n ch

www. backattheranch-online.c om

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on your doorstep Arch Health Partners Now Open in North County’s 4S Ranch Residents of 4S Ranch now have access to high quality health care close to their homes with the opening of the new Arch Health Partners (AHP) medical office in this family-oriented community. Arch Health Partners - 4S Ranch opened October 25 inside the new 4S Health Center at 16918 Dove Canyon Road near Camino del Norte, just west of Rancho Bernardo and the Interstate 15 freeway.

disease and other diseases, and patient satisfaction.

Two family medicine physicians and a longtime pediatrician are providing their services at the new 4,500-square-foot office on the first floor of the Spanish-style building, which is next to the 4S Commons Town Center. Camille Santos, M.D., and Nasrin Arbabi, M.D., both board-certified family medicine physicians, and Stuart Graham, M.D., a board-certified pediatrician, bring decades of combined experience treating patients and are being supported by medical assistants, X-ray technologists, and a pediatric advice RN. AHP specialists, including dermatologists and orthopedic surgeons will be available at the new office on a rotating basis. AHP is a multi-specialty medical group affiliated with Palomar Health, the largest public health care district in California.

Dr. Arbabi says she is looking forward to getting to know her patients and their families and “provide care for the entire family.”

4S Ranch office patients are under the care of one of the top performing medical groups in the state. AHP was recently named a “Top Performing” physician organization by the Integrated Healthcare Association of California for the third consecutive year. The award is based on performance in select quality measures such as preventive care management (immunizations and screenings for breast cancer, colon cancer and other conditions), and chronic care management of asthma, diabetes, heart

Dr. Santos says she is excited to bring Arch Health Partners’ brand of excellence to the community of 4S Ranch. “Every encounter is an opportunity for me to educate and exchange ideas with my patients,” says Dr. Santos, who lives in the area and is fluent in Tagalog. She has practiced family medicine in North County since 2007.

“I am passionate about empowering my patients with the knowledge they need to adopt healthy lifestyles that help them prevent and manage conditions such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease,” says Dr. Arbabi, who is fluent in Farsi. In addition to primary care, Drs. Santos and Arbabi will offer cosmetic fillers and light chemical peels. Dr. Graham envisions the 4S Ranch office becoming a “one-stop medical home for families.” “We wanted to open an office here because it is a growing area with lots of families,” says Dr. Graham, who is also chairman of the Arch Health Partners Board of Directors. “The people here told us they wanted to see family medicine and pediatric services,” he adds. The Arch Health Partners 4S Ranch office will open from 8am to 5pm, Monday through Friday. For more information, call (858) 924-1900 or visit

I am a local 4S ranch resident! Work with U.S. Bank Home Mortgage for all your financing needs!

Whether you’re looking to purchase a new home or improve your existing home, call me today! • Government FHA and VA Loans

• Primary, Secondary Homes and Investment Properties

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Nathan Jones Mortgage Loan Originator Direct: 858-254-0955 E-mail: NMLS #: 304056

Ask me about our U.S. Bank Platinum Package. You may save up to $1,000 on your next mortgage!2 1) Borrow up to $3,000,000 in California only. 2) Discount is calculated as .25% of the loan amount. Maximum mortgage discount is $1,000 for new home purchases and external refinances. For existing U.S. Bank home mortgages the refinance discount maximum is $300. Certain mortgages may not be eligible. Offer may not be combined with any other marketing offers, and is not valid if you have received other U.S. Bank bonus offers in the past 6 months. Other restrictions may apply. Loan approval is subject to credit approval and program guidelines. Information is subject to change without notice. Mortgage and Home Equity products offered by U.S. Bank National Association, Member FDIC. ©2012 U.S. Bank 052412-18722

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on your doorstep San Diego Soccer Club Honors a Hall of Famer and a WCC Coach of the Year San Diego Soccer Club’s Brian Quinn and Seamus McFadden, also coaches at University of San Diego, have both been recognized with distinguished honors. Brian Quinn, long time San Diego fan favorite, is a former US National Team member, and San Diego Sockers player and coach has been elected to the 2013 class of the Breitbard Hall of Fame. “Quninnie” as he is called by those who know him well, is also a San Diego Soccer Club favorite. Director of Coaching at SDSC, his consummate poise and professionalism alongside his strong ethical character and vibrant personality are what makes him a true treasure and most certainly a driving force and extraordinary influence in a soccer club that prides itself on both soccer and character development. Seamus McFadden, 35-year veteran of coaching at University of San Diego, is, alongside Quinn, a San Diego Soccer Club favorite. Seamus was

named West Coach Conference Coach of the Year for the eighth time in his illustrious coaching career. This year his team advanced to the final 8 of the NCAA Division 1 Men’s National Championship Tournament. Also a Director of Coaching at SDSC, Seamus brings to the table years of notable experience, a quiet selfconfidence and polished demeanor, and a witty sense of humor that leaves you laughing long after the fact. Seamus provides stability and incredible vision and plays a highly valued role in a very successful soccer club. Join Seamus and Brian at the 2013 San Diego Soccer Club Younger’s Tryouts set to begin on January 7 and run through February 15. The club is steeped in talented coaches and prides itself on providing players with a complete package of services, not the least of which is an arsenal of skilled coaches. Visit for all the latest times, dates and locations for the upcoming 2013 tryouts. See you there!

Studio Sweat Fitness Camps Studio Sweat is ready to assist local residents meet their New Year’s resolutions to get fit and improve their health. Their popular Fit Camp will begin on January 7. All fitness levels are welcome in this four-week session that includes fitness instructors, nutritional counseling and motivational training. The camp is great for people just getting started with their fitness routine or who haven’t worked out in quite some time. In addition, the 4S Ranch fitness studio offers Sunrise Camp for early risers, Morning Camp and Evening Camp to try and meet the needs of people with varying schedules. Registration information is available online at


858-385-1999 In 4S Ranch pag e 8 : ba ck at th e ra nch

Bring this coupon in for a free month of a dance class of your choice! Call ahead and we’d be glad to get you into the class that’s right for you. DETAILS: LIMIT 1 PER STUDENT, NEW STUDENTS ONLY. A New Student is one who has not been enrolled between 8/20/11-12/31/12. Offer cannot be combined with any other promotional offer sponsored by SEDMA or 4SDA.

For an education as unique as your child

‡Preschool through 5th Grade (2 ½ to 11 years old) ‡100% Montessori Credentialed teachers and AMS Full Member School ‡Small team taught classrooms (1:10 ratio) ‡Not-for-profit status allows for affordable private school education ‡23 years in the Poway community Call to schedule your personal tour today



Montessori School

12642 Monte Vista Rd., Poway, CA 92064 www. backattheranch-online.c om

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meet your neighbor The Skoglin Family – Tim, Kristine, Blake and Laura Over the years we have heard lots of great stories about how many of the couples in our community have met. Some are funny and unique, while others have a very similar ring to them. But Tim and Kristine Skoglin’s initial connection might be one of the most unusual and intriguing that we’ve encountered. It all began with Kristine working as a seller for a local homebuilder. At the time she was selling new homes for a development in Mission Valley. Tim just happened to be in the market, for a home that is. The two worked together on Tim’s purchase of his first home and an attraction was built. Tim and Kristine began dating and then married in 2001. When Kristine moved in she knew the community very well. “Having met Tim selling him his home, I knew every person in his neighborhood before I started living there,” she said. “It was an interesting feeling to be sure.” That sense of comfort has followed the Skoglin’s to their home in 4S Ranch. They moved into the Summerwood development in May 2004 as plans for starting a family moved along. Tim recalls that when they arrived there were no grocery stores in the area, no Dove Canyon shopping center, just lots of trails and detailed plans. “It’s been very interesting to be here and watch the neighborhood evolve and grow,” Tim said. “We used to go out hiking with our dog and see how the plan was coming together. Things are very convenient here now as this is a walkable community.” Since their initial arrival in 4S Ranch, growth and change have also enveloped the Skoglin family. Tim and Kristine moved into a new local home at the end of December 2005, just before the arrival of their son Blake. The Skoglins have also added daughter Laura to the family and have worked hard to expand the family’s real estate business. Tim, who grew up back east, has been in the real estate field in San Diego since 1995. Together with Kristine, he has built Skoglin Real Estate into one of the top businesses in the field. He takes great pride in his work with local homebuyers and sellers, knowing firsthand the great community this is. “We treat people the way we would like to be treated,” Tim shared about this business philosophy. “We try to answer the phone live each time someone calls and like that we get to specialize in the area we live. It’s neat to be excited getting up every Monday to do a job your passionate about.”

Open Saturday

Tim and Kristine are also passionate about being involved with their community. Through the business, they have worked with the HOA to assist with the Santa event at Miguel’s in December and the 4th of July festivities in the summer. The two also have supported the 4S – Del Sur Foundation. With Blake in kindergarten at Stone Ranch Elementary, the couple has become active with the local school by volunteering in the classroom and participating in field trips. One such experience reminded Tim of how

special this community is. “I was able to go on the pumpkin patch trip,” he said. “For us to see the incredible parent involvement at Stone Ranch shows us what a special community we have. There was an overwhelming response from the families in the area. It’s a special group of people in the neighborhood.” Having been a part of the community coming up on nine years now, Tim and Kristine appreciate the opportunity it provides to continue to offer a stable environment for their kids to grow. They also look forward to the chance to grow their business in the community and help owners and buyers with their needs. “Our roots are set in 4S Ranch,” Tim said. “We are fortunate to have all that we do around us.”

Lifetime MONTESSORI SCHOOL Excellence in Education

g rollin n E Now entary Elem th 1st-6 ! es Grad

One of a few AMI Certified Schools in San Diego County Highly Trained AMI teachers educated and experienced in childhood development

New General & Cosmetic Dentist at 4S Ranch Dr. Douglas Lee

USC graduate 95’ (Over 17 years of Experience) We accept all PPO insurance Free 2nd Opinion Consultation 16918 Dove Canyon Road, Suite 209 San Diego, CA 92127

Toddler and Primary programs for children 18 months through Kindergarten Children explore, discover and learn through hands-on activities and independent actions 14727 Camino de la Luna San Diego, CA 92127 858-759-0631 Serving 4-S Ranch, Del Sur, Santaluz, and Rancho Penasquitos Communities

858-798-9595 w w cka tth e ra n ch - o nli ne .co m

"Free the child's potential, and you will transform him into the world." - Dr. Montessori

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feature Getting Fit – Thinking Locally By Mike Minjares, Community Editor At this time, just as the New Year is beginning, many of us start thinking about ways to improve ourselves, our families, our work, and maybe even our community. Some of us keep these hopes for improvement silent and to ourselves – you know, in case we don’t quite get around to meeting all the goals we have set forth in our minds. While others jot these items down in writing and set out right away to check each and every one of them off by the end of 2013. At the top of many New Year’s Resolutions, whether private or public, is the desire to get in better physical shape. I’m the first to admit, I could certainly benefit from improved fitness. My athletic glory days of high school are long behind me as my kids quickly reminded me when they recently saw my high school track photo that unfortunately happened to be printed in black and white only adding to the dated nature of the photographic memory I was enjoying for an instant. If you’re like me and it’s been some time since you got serious about working out and getting in shape, now may be the right time to try something new or to return to an old favorite pastime that will assist in helping you reach the health goals you’ve set forth. A quick look around the 4S Ranch community reveals lots of avenues for reaching peak physical condition. At Velocity Sports Performance, local residents find a certified and trained staff eager to help clients reach their fitness goals. With small group classes or personal training, Velocity has a variety of programs to assist people of all athletic levels. There are even youth and team training components for the younger members of our community. Velocity offers a free trial opportunity to give newcomers a chance to see if the local training center’s mission – to offer elite level sports performance training that will teach all athletes the skills they need to enjoy sport more, avoid injury and continue lifelong habits of good sportsmanship and good health – is right for you and your fitness goals. To see the full arsenal at Velocity, go online to If working out in a group setting has appeal to you, than Studio Sweat Spinning & Training might be an ideal place to begin your journey to better fitness. The local fitness studio offers a series of workout camps that can fit in nearly anyone’s schedule. The bootcamp-style workouts include Fit Camp, Sunrise Camp, Morning Camp and Evening Camp. According to

the website,, all you need to bring is water and a towel. For those looking for a different type of path to better fitness, the opening of Yoga Gals could be the ticket to improved health and wellness. Led by Janice Sherman, new yoga instruction will be available at 4S Dance beginning in January. Ideal for folks at the beginner or intermediate level of yoga experience, Sherman’s classes focus on both the spiritual and physical aspects of yoga. Sherman, a certified yoga instructor, treats each person as an individual. For more information check out the website at In terms of youth activities, Adam Dobrowolski from the 4S Ranch Sports Park points out that there is a local youth hockey program trying to grow on Saturday mornings that is incredibly affordable ($2.50 a week) with great volunteer coaches who are passionate about the sport. The clinic is geared towards skill improvement as well as providing opportunities to scrimmage. It starts at 8am on Saturdays and runs until about 11 or 11:30. 4S Ranch Sport Park also offers equipment for rental and encourages families to attend to make it a true and great community activity where kids and adults are both being promoted to exercise and enjoy a sport they share in common.  Of course, the 4S Ranch Branch of the Boys and Girls Club also has a ton of great offerings for our youngsters to gain skills in a variety of sports while improving their level of fitness. Don’t forget about the various sports leagues around like softball and baseball, soccer, lacrosse and more. Martial arts and dance can also serve as great outlets for youth and adults to find fun and enjoyable ways to get fit. There really is no shortage of local avenues to pursue if you seriously want to commit to a better you in 2013!


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feature Saving Money & Finding a Deal in 2013 By “The Critic Chick” Happy New Year and welcome to The Critic Chick! I am so excited to share with you all the great deals, unique finds and, perhaps, overlooked gems that exist right here in our own 4S Ranch community! This great little town of ours is home to so many small businesses that truly have a lot to offer. I’d like to introduce you to (or refresh your memory about) a few of them. This chick is a huge geek for great products and services and I can’t help but to blab about them for all to hear! This month’s theme is “Health and Happiness,” and because it brings me huge amounts of happiness to share the word, let’s get started and talk about health. It’s the New Year, and if you haven’t already found a workout that you love, let me into introduce you to the butt kicking, music thumping, spin class of local spin instructor extraordinaire, Tammy Lloyd. It took months of walking by the window of her class, at LA Fitness, before I had the nerve (and interest) to try spinning (a stationary bike workout). Now, there may have been a tiny bit of peer pressure from her to try it, but I did, and I fell in love. I am not for a second claiming to be any good at it, but it was really fun, and a better workout than I could ever do on my own. I have gone for a spin in other classes, but I always come back to hers. Her music choices, and her bubbly and motivating guidance, make the time zoom by. Tammy is passionate about fitness and even more dedicated about helping you feel good about yourself, which fits so perfectly in this month’s theme of health and happiness. When someone is living their purpose, it’s contagious and you will leave that class feeling better than when you walked in. That’s a Critic Chick promise!

Another local spot to fill up your health and happiness tank is Cinnabar Acupuncture Clinic and Spa. I could just kick myself for not having given this place a try until a few months ago. This little oasis of “health and happiness” has been right here under my nose for so long and I was missing the party! In an effort to make up for lost time, I booked several much needed services! I discovered Cinnabar to be a boutique spa experience that was both peaceful and effective. Most importantly, the quality of my treatments was consistent. I know that I can preach shopping local ‘til the cows come home, but this is without a doubt, a perfect example of keeping your dollars local and getting more bang for your buck! In fact, I can argue that you could put together an entire girls’ day out. Start with a yummy lunch, spa treatment, and wrap up with perfect refreshment, all by the time school is out, and all without ever having left “The Ranch!” As I was once told, “happiness is a choice” This chick wishes you the happiest and healthiest New Year yet. The Critic Chick is a local 4S Ranch resident and a new contributor to Back At The Ranch. Look for more articles about local gems from her in the months ahead.

Discover EyeLux Optometry in 4S Ranch

Engaged in the classroom Engaged in the world Within a community of supportive teachers and eager classmates, Pacific Ridge students develop into confident and engaged young people who are prepared for college and beyond.

With the EyeLux Optometry Better Than 20/20 PromiseTM, our doctors will measure your new eyeglass prescription so accurately that if your eyes can do it, you will see beyond the 20/20 line. To help detect subtle eye health changes that can threaten sight, our exams include digital retinal imaging and external eye photography at no additional cost. Our experienced opticians look forward to helping you find eyewear that expresses your style. We have all the thin and light lenses and the latest in lens treatments. EyeLux Optometry is your trusted source to reduce eyestrain and sharpen vision for better performance at work, school, athletics and recreation.

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back at the ranch: page 11

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feature My New Year’s Resolution, To Get Fit; But Should I See a Doctor First? By Dr. Julie Keeler, Medical Director, Doctors Express Urgent Care Engaging in an active exercise routine can be the single most important thing you can do for your health and wellbeing. In fact, the American Heart Association recommends that healthy adults (age 18-65) get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. Low-to-Moderate is an intensity that can be sustained comfortably for about 60 minutes. Vigorous intensity is high enough to significantly raise both your heart and breathing rates, and usually performed for about 20 minutes before the effects of fatigue are felt. Those beginning an exercise program should begin with light-to-moderate intensity and gradually increase to personal preference and tolerance. The minimal goal should be 20 to 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity for three to five days per week. The seemingly ubiquitous disclaimer “consult a physician before starting any exercise program” is seen at gyms, exercise videos, on weight-loss pills and the like, yet heeded by few. Of course reading the fine print just as you are about to begin exercising is neither convenient nor encouraging. Fortunately, many that ignore the warnings do so without incident. Generally speaking, an extensive medical work-up is not necessary for most who wish to begin exercising regularly. However, beginners should make sure they are in adequate physical condition to engage in an exercise regimen. Some actually discover a previously unknown heart condition, get injured, or end up aggravating a pre-existing condition during exercise which can put them at risk. Age and gender are two of the factors that increase a person’s risk when it comes to starting a physical fitness plan. Barring any known health issues, those in their 20s and 30s are typically safe to start exercising, while men 40 and over and women over 50 should take precautions. Men over 45 and women over 55 are generally thought to be at higher risk and are advised to seek medical advice before exercising. Those who are 59 or older should absolutely consult with a physician before starting an exercise plan.

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To minimize the potential of causing yourself harm, there are a few basic questions that you should ask yourself: Do you feel or have you ever felt chest pain during exercise? Have you been diagnosed with a heart condition? Do you have high or low blood pressure? Do you have high cholesterol? Do you or have you experienced dizziness during exercise?  o you take prescription medication for blood pressure or a heart conD dition? Do you or have you ever passed out during exercise? Do you have problems with your bones or joints? Do you smoke? Do you have Type 1 or 2 Diabetes? Are you significantly overweight or sedentary? Do you have any recent musculoskeletal injuries? If you have answered yes to any of the questions above, make an appointment with a physician before you start an exercise program. Your doctor will obtain a thorough medical history, perform a comprehensive exam and may run a series of tests. In most cases, you will be cleared for exercise with modifications if necessary. Remember that the goal of any exercise program should be to improve your state of health and wellbeing in the safest and most effective way possible. Good luck on your new year’s resolution!

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11616 Iberia Place • San Diego, CA 92128 (858) 676-5000 pag e 12 : ba ck a t th e ra n ch

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4S Ra nch

school news PUSD Parent Education Courses Coming Up In January The Poway Unified School District regularly offers excellent programs for local parents. In January, there are a number of courses that address the challenges of talking with children of all ages. More information on each of these programs can be found online at Tuesday, January 15, 6-7:30pm – “Overwhelmed? How to Help Your Kids Handle Life’s Ups and Downs!� with Tami Chelew at the Caring Connections Center, 13626 Twin Peaks Rd. Bldg #300 Free. RSVP by calling (858) 6684084.

Thursdays, January 17, 24, and 31 and February 7 from 6:30-8:15pm – “How to Talk So Kids Will Listen� at Park Village Elementary School. Registration is through the mail.  Cost is $54 individuals (including book), $84 couples (including book).  Flyers and registration forms available at Click on Student Support Services Main Page under Departments. Tuesdays, January 22, 29 and February 5 and 12 from 6:30-8:30pm – “Active Parenting of Teens� at Meadowbrook Middle School. Registration is through the mail. Cost is $54 individuals (including book), $84 couples (including book). Flyers and registration forms available at www.powayusd. com. Click on Student Support Services Main Page under Departments. Tuesdays, January 22, February 12, 26 from 6-8pm – “Positive Parenting Program� presented by Jewish Family Services at Sundance Elementary School. RSVP by calling (858) 668-4084. Free with free childcare.

Wednesday, January 16, 6:30-8pm – “Siblings Without Rivalry� at Creekside Elementary School. Registration is through the mail. Cost is $25 individuals (including book), $35 couples (including book). Flyers and registration forms available at  Click on Student Support Services Main Page under Departments.


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school news Kelsey Geckeler – Student Athletic Trainer By U day Su r e sh

Under the bright stadium lights, all eyes tend to focus on the game and the football players, as the average person generally sees only the player participating in the game rather than the entirety of the athletics department, including the harshly underappreciated sports medicine department. A familiar smiling face from this facet of Del Norte is senior Kelsey Geckeler, whose very existence epitomizes what a student athletic trainer is. When questioned generally about her role, Geckeler articulates, “The title of Student Athletic Trainer is earned through an on-campus volunteer program where Del Norte’s Athletic Trainer, Denae Carrick, teaches a student volunteer the basics of being an Athletic Trainer.” Geckeler’s role goes beyond that of a student or an athlete. She is an elite volunteer who “spent 13 weeks learning protective taping techniques for ankles, knees, shoulders, wrists and fingers while simultaneously practicing patience, tolerance and professional social interaction.” The dedication and commitment behind such an expenditure is commendable. Geckeler is there when nobody is watching, catering to the needs of player after player who strolls through the athletic training office. Her vision extends past gauze on the green fields of Del Norte. Geckeler stresses that her volunteering “gave (her) more than the ability to angle athletic tape correctly for the perfect support; it gave (her) a career experience and more importantly, a taste of what life will be for most students (her) age in less than 10 years.” The selflessness present in Geckeler’s work shines through; as Geckeler provides health for the teams of Del Norte. She has quickly become recognizable as one of the most radiant and pleasant students on campus.

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Past her overarching unselfishness and devotion to helping others via working as a student athletic trainer, Geckeler emphasizes the benefits of her undertaking. She explains, “Kids on campus are always looking for more extracurricular activities to add to their applications, and high schools around the district boast of their Student Athletic Trainer programs’ success with high numbers in volunteers. Put two-and-two together and the campus itself will benefit from maturing students with a taste for volunteering on campus and eventually, hopefully, in the community.” Every injury, big or small, is no match for the intense efforts of the sports medicine team, and most members gain their pleasure from this solace, knowing that their work changes who recovers to play and who does not. The hard work of the program as a whole has increasingly impacted Del Norte, as the highly trained aides like Geckeler and the Athletic Trainer, Denae Carrick, attend to the injuries of the blooming athletic programs. The work that is done by athletic trainers may often go primarily unnoticed, but the secondhand effects of the team that puts players back on the field and ready for games is anything but overlooked. Geckeler even raves about the impact the program had on her personally, gushing about how the “Student Athletic Training is a great program and every hour spent in the Training Room was worth it. All in all, my time with program was an absolute blast, and I name it as one of the best experiences of my life yet.” With positive reviews from the participants and the patients alike, the health-maintaining student athletic trainer program is undoubtedly something worth considering. Uday Suresh is a Junior at Del Norte High School and a contributor to Back At The Ranch

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Something New for the New Year With the beginning of a new year, we often have high hopes for something new in our lives. What can we do that is new in the garden? What can we try in our outdoor environment that maybe we’ve never done before but have heard is great? Here are some suggestions for the “New Thing” in the garden:

Plant a Bare-Root Tree: This is the perfect time of year to plant trees because most are dormant in the winter and they develop their roots in the early spring. An even better idea is to plant it as bare-root stock which are plants that are sold without soil. Generally bare-root plants are less expensive than container-grown plants and their roots are easier to inspect. Because there isn’t any soil, they are easy to lift and maneuver as well. When planting a bare-root tree, place it higher than the surrounding soil. This is known as mound planting. This allows the crown of the plant (where the trunk meets the roots) to stay dry and not get too wet where it might rot. The roots are still allowed to grow down to reach the moist soil. Mound planting is different than the usual planting method of creating a basin where the water gets trapped. For more information on bare-root planting, refer to the San Diego Master Gardener site at Plant a Tea Rose: Roses have had an allure for centuries; the epitome of flowers. The Tea Rose (or hybrid tea) has long stems with a few flowers at the end of each stem while a floribunda rose (or shrub rose) has flowers all over the bush. The fragrances and colors of roses are wonderful and evoke so much pleasure for even the grumpiest gardener. Some may say that roses are not worth the work and necessary maintenance. Next time you purchase a bouquet of roses, think about that rose being available to you in your own backyard. Rose bushes are also available in bare-root form this time of year. After


you bring your rose home, remember to prune off any dead looking roots. In addition, cut back the branches to 12-15 inches. Remove any canes that are growing without any leaves or flowers on them. These should be cut to the soil level. The rose bush will look a bit bare for a few months until spring when the leaves and flowers grow in.

Start composting: Personally, composting is my next venture. Composting is a way to reduce the amount of refuse that goes in your trash cans and our landfills. Kitchen scraps can be combined with grass clippings and garden scraps in a compost bin to create a nutrient-rich garden soil. Micro-organisms break down the raw materials into the compost. There are numerous free workshops offered around the county each month on how to compost. Contact the Solana Center in Encinitas for further information. There are demonstration gardens as well where you can see composting in-action. Contact the San Diego Botanical Garden at, the Water Conservation Garden in Cuyamaca College in El Cajon at, or the Compost Demonstration Garden at the San Diego Zoo. I see how much vegetable and other food waste that I throw away and wonder how much soil I could make out of it. Also, my trash bin wouldn’t be as full each week and I would save money on store-bought fertilizer and soil. Whatever you decide to do in your yard this new year – whether it be to plant a bare-root tree, plant a rose or take up composting, enjoy the novelty of doing something new and for the first time. As adults, new things are not as prevalent in our daily lives as they were when we were young. New things invite risk as well as rewards. Remember, gardening is an iterative process: we try one thing, learn a lesson, then try something else. Trial and error – it’s the gardening way.

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back at the ranch: page 17

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business highlight 4S Eyecare and Optometry Walk into 4S Eyecare and Optometry and immediately something feels familiar. Absent is that typical sterile feeling found in many medical-related offices. From the very beginning, the focus of 4S Eyecare and Optometry has been on welcoming patients like family. In the past six years, Drs. Keith Wan, Jay Mashouf and Natalie Li have watched the community and business center grow around them, and at the same time have kept the practice’s emphasis on personal service dedicated to each patient’s particular eyecare needs and general lifestyle. The three optometrists are also active members of the 4S Ranch community themselves. “We always take a personal approach with each patient as each one’s needs are different,” said Dr. Wan. “We focus on different products for their individual lifestyle.” With a library of over 10,000 lenses in the office along with an onsite lab for making glasses, 4S Eyecare and Optometry caters to each of its clients with the latest technology and services. Going above and beyond the basic eyecare services, the doctors pride themselves on getting to know their clients personally. In fact, it’s one of the main reasons each of the three doctors entered the field in the first place. “I got into optometry late in the game,” said Dr. Mashouf. “My undergraduate degree is in chemistry and it was when I was working in a lab that I decided I needed more human contact. Optometry seemed like a really good fit as you work with people one-on-one and can make a difference in their lives.” Dr. Mashouf & Dr. Wan first met as classmates at the UC Berkeley School of Optometry. They first opened Scripps Poway Eyecare in Scripps Ranch before expanding into 4S Ranch in 2006. “4S Ranch really chose us,” Dr. Mashouf shared about how he and Dr. Wan were encouraged to come into what was then a new development. “We

could tell from the development plan that this was going to be a great community. We thought our practice would be a good fit and it’s proven to be a great place to be.” Dr. Li knows firsthand what a great community this is. She and her husband, orthodontist Dr. David Li, are longtime residents of 4S Ranch. With a daughter at Stone Ranch Elementary School, the local couple belongs to the Stone Ranch Foundation – one of many ways the 4S Eyecare and Optometry professionals give back to the community. Each year the practice takes donated glasses down to people in Mexico and donates items to the Lion’s Club – a service organization dedicated to vision and sight concerns. They also support local Little Leagues and a variety of community events and activities. While they are active in many community projects, providing outstanding optometry services to each and every client is their biggest contribution. “It’s not just another eye exam to us,” explained Dr. Li. “We want to build a trust and grow with a family since we’ll be seeing them around the community. I see kids in the neighborhood and they are proud to show me they are wearing their glasses.” For Dr. Wan, being in the optometry field is in keeping with the family business. Not only are his uncle and cousin optometrists, he also married one. And that personal passion is evident in how he has gone about setting up his local practice with Drs. Mashouf and Li. “With optometry you can make a big difference and change someone’s life,” he shared. “When you help someone see, it is instant jazz tiny tots gratification.” ballet 4S Eyecare and tap hip hop Optometry is located at 10531 contemporay 4S Commons Dr., Suite 168 in San Diego next to Bed Bath and Beyond and can be reached at (858) 675-2020 and online at and at

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THANK YOU for Another Great Year!

Wishing you a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year! Just Listed!

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A New Home for the New Year! 10251 Winecreek Ct, San Diego, CA 92127Čˆ$1,499,888 This beautiful single level Ivy Gate Estate Home is located on a culdesac with a panoramic view of open space and the 4S Ranch Community Park. The home is over 4,200 square feet, has 4 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms, a pool, Jacuzzi, a fabulous outside entertainment area and a large backyard. This highly upgraded home sits on almost half an acre within one of the most prestigious gated communities. It is also within easy walking distance of Oak Valley Middle School. If you are considering the Crosby Estates or Santa Luz, you need to see this home!

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Back At The Ranch - January 2013  
Back At The Ranch - January 2013  

Community news and events for 4S Ranch and Del Sur