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celebrating community news

& lifestyle for 4S Ranch


april 2011

w w cka t th e ra nch - o nli ne .co m

Volume 6 . numb er 4

Monterey Ridge Elementary Greens It Up! It came with a hefty price tag, but the 20,000 square feet of solar panels that decorate the hillside behind Monterey Ridge Elementary School are well worth the cost. The benefits are meaningful on many levels - most notable being the fact that the school is using clean renewable energy versus producing tons of carbon dioxide.

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Annual 4S Ranch HOA Spring Egg Hunt The 4S Ranch HOA is teaming up with Ranchland Church once again for the annual 4S Ranch HOA Spring Egg Hunt! On Saturday, April 23, join in a scrumptious pancake breakfast complete with pancakes, syrup, orange juice, milk and piping hot Starbucks coffee. Breakfasts are made to order by San Diego’s finest Rancho Santa Fe firefighters and will be served from 9 am until 11 am.

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What Our Kids Say About Going Green Since our world today is all about conservation, going green and being healthy, the future of this attitude will depend on our children. We decided to find out what kids think about the whole concept so we asked, “What does going green mean to you and what are you doing to help?”

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Sitella @ 4S Ranch

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Amante @ 4S Ranch $400K 2/5/11


Belle Rive @ 4S Ranch

Maybeck @ 4S Ranch

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$705K 1/18/11


Tanglewood @ 4S Ranch $419K 1/27/11


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Volume 6. numb e r 4

april 2011 editor’s corner

Are You Helping to Save Our Planet? community news & lifestyle for 4S Ranch


Fountain Media Group, Inc. 1501 San Elijo Rd. S, Ste. 104-202 San Elijo Hills, CA 92078 (800) 497-1309


Debi Renken Local Editor (800) 497-1309 x709


Karen Smith Publisher (800) 497-1309 x708 Tim Minjares Publisher (800) 497-1309 x707

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What does going green mean to you? Can you imagine what our parents would have thought when they were our age if asked to make their family home green? They would have said, “Well, the kitchen is a lovely shade of avocado green along with all the appliances. We can paint your room green if you’d like.” We’re in the 21st century and we’ve realized how important it is to change our lifestyle to benefit the environment. Going green is a conscious decision and one that has a positive impact on global warming, pollution, loss of animal habitats and more. It also saves us money and promotes a healthier lifestyle, which in the end benefits you and your family as well. Most “go green” initiatives involve steps to save energy, including taking shorter showers, installing fluorescent light bulbs, using less fossil fuels by taking public transportation or walking to work, and recycling household waste. Read the article in our On Your Doorstep section about simple ways to go green and save money, too. Hopefully, it will either jump start your family’s green efforts or help you add more ways to your current “green” list. Most people probably start their green efforts by recycling their household cans, plastics and bottles. At first in our house, it was so exciting to collect all those items and my kids would run to add each and every bottle

Debi Renken

or can that was empty into the recycle container. Later, it evolved into my kids fighting over who would have to bring the recyclables out to the recycle container and now, happily, it has settled into a routine. Another way families have easily transitioned into a greener lifestyle is by limiting their use of natural resources and increasing self sufficiency. Translated: turn off the darn lights and walk to school! Seriously though, turning off lights not only saves you money, but it cuts down on resources needed to power those lights. Walking instead of waiting to be driven somewhere is healthier for the individual and it saves gas! People are also going green by buying and using only environmentally-friendly products--such as recycled paper products, non-toxic household cleaners and personal products. It’s an uncomplicated solution and environmentally-friendly products have become so much easier to find. What I find interesting and infinitely exciting is that all this recycling, turning off lights, and using nontoxic containers is becoming our children’s way of life. They no longer have to think about turning off a light or recycling a plastic bottle, they just automatically do it. Even the Disney Channel is encouraging kids to work towards a greener world. The message is loud and clear that working together, we really can save our planet.

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


school news 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 2010. 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.





STONE R A N CH e le me ntary sch ool




DEL NORT E H IGH sch ool


people in your neighborhood St e pha ni e A lb e rts

health snor i ng , s le e p apne a , a nd y ou r h e a lth By Ashish K . Wadhwa, MD


home & garden Sp r u c e u p y ou r ou td oor l ivi ng a r e as ! From Griffin Ace Hardware, 4S Ranch Town Center


SUstai na b i l ity i n the ga r d e ni ng wor ld K atie Seid enwurm, Landscape Designer and Owner , Zinnia Design


fitness Exc e rcise ? Don’ t waste y ou r time By TK Smith, Specialist in Fitness Nutrition


business spotlight Prop e l pil ate s a nd fitne ss

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


22 back at the ranch: page 5

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on your doorstep Monterey Ridge Elementary Greens It Up! It came with a hefty price tag, but the 20,000 square feet of solar panels that decorate the hillside behind Monterey Ridge Elementary School are well worth the cost. The benefits are meaningful on many levels - most notable being the fact that the school is using clean renewable energy versus producing tons of carbon dioxide. Even though it will take years to pay off the cost of the panels, the ultimate “payoff ” is that students are learning priceless lessons about energy conservation and renewable energy. These lessons will be carried forward, which ultimately benefits generations for years to come. Also notable about the panels is that quite frequently they produce more energy than the school can use! The excess energy is not wasted; it simply cycles back into the grid. Monterey Ridge had a head start on the concept of going green, but Principal Richard Newman has laid down the gauntlet and is taking no prisoners in his efforts to transform the school, staff and students into lean green eco-friendly machines. Dr. Newman feels that “being ecofriendly helps connect the students to the world they live in and helps them realize that resources are finite. This sort of character education teaches students to give back, pay it forward and help one another. It’s a win-win for everyone.” Two years ago Dr. Newman and his staff made a conscious decision to do away with the tremendous amounts of paper that was filtering through the school. They began their e-packets which completely eliminated the need for paper, dramatically cut down the amount of labor required to produce paper packets, made it easier for parents to read about what was going on at the school (no more smashed flyers at the bottom of backpacks), and created more direct communication between the parents and the school. Here are more actions taken by Monterey Ridge to go green and become Earth partners: Recycling is big at Monterey Ridge. Collecting bottles and cans is a simple concept, but effective, and is yet another way for students to stay connected to their world.

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The Wheel of Experts (GATE Students) allows older students to go into 1st grade classrooms and share the information they have researched regarding the environment. It gives the Gate Students the opportunity to be leaders and it gives the younger students an opportunity to learn about green concepts from their older peers. Compass Learning is a computer-based and eco-friendly learning tool incorporated into the everyday routine of the school. There are no paper worksheets and the lessons are all individualized to the student. No keeping track of a sea of paperwork, no trying to keep up with a worksheet designed for the masses, just a simple, direct connect with each and every student at the school. From the tilling of the soil to the building of the fences, the school garden located in the front of the school was another conscious effort to connect students to the earth. Student gardeners were thrilled when they recently harvested lettuce and carrots and used it all for school lunches one day! Where can students grow seedlings and test science experiments? Why, in the miniature green house, of course. Yes, the school even has a small green house located behind the “C” village where students can learn about trapping heat from the sun and creating microclimates. Coming soon to Monterey Ridge will be the first ever school orchard in the district. The school recently received a grant which will enable them to literally build a small orchard on the northwest corner of the school. Each grade level will be allowed to custom select several types of fruit trees. These trees will line the circumference of the designated orchard area. The vision is to have an outdoor living classroom, complete with flourishing fruit trees, benches, and shade structures. Monterey Ridge is on a mission to defend our precious resources, captivate young minds and teach children to use the Earth with love and respect. Many schools and businesses are following similar paths. If each individual joined in with similar efforts, we would ultimately preserve a world that could be passed forward with pride.

www. backattheranch-online.c om

4S Ra nch

on your doorstep Annual 4S Ranch HOA Spring Egg HUNT The 4S Ranch HOA is teaming up once again with Ranchland Church for the annual 4S Ranch HOA Spring Egg Hunt! On Saturday, April 23, join in a scrumptious pancake breakfast complete with pancakes & syrup, orange juice, milk and piping hot Starbucks coffee.  Breakfasts are made to order by San Diego’s finest Rancho Santa Fe firefighters (served from 9 am until 11 am). The event includes jumpies, fun games, music by DJ, Photos by Suzanne (available for purchase) and, of course, the long-anticipated egg hunt! The Egg Hunt begins promptly at 10 am so arrive early, have breakfast, and enjoy the morning! The 4S Ranch HOA Egg Hunt is reserved for 4S Ranch residents. Resident IDs are required at the gate or you can pre-register online at

Pre-order Pancake Breakfast Tickets Order online by April 19 for discounted prices: $2 per person / $5 for family of four.  (Day of event pricing: $3 per person / $10 per family.)

Del Norte High School 1st Annual Pancake Breakfast

4S Ballet Academy Changes Name to 4S Dance Academy

Continuing the journey to create traditions at Del Norte High School, the first annual Pancake Breakfast will be held on Saturday, April 30 from 8 am to 11 am. Breakfast is “all you can eat” pancakes, sausages, orange juice and Starbucks coffee.

4S Ballet Academy, in order to better identify its dance offerings, announced recently that it has changed its name to 4S Dance Academy. At the same time, the company unveiled a new website, The new site prominently features a video with the co-directors talking about their vision for the studio.

Ticket prices are $6 for adults and $3 for children under 8. Advance tickets may be purchased at event sponsors’ locations beginning April 1. Stop by Shay & Associates Realtor’s kiosk at 4S Ranch Village Retail Center or Pacific Trust Bank on 16536 Bernardo Center Drive. Tickets may also be purchased at the gate. Although it’s the second year of the DNHS Lacrosse program, this is the first year for a Varsity team, which is being coached by Karin Eddy and Caroline Yeatman and the JV team welcomes their new coach, Vicky Trinh. Proceeds from this community event will benefit both DNHS Girls Lacrosse teams. The teams’ operating expenses are not supported by PUSD, so the program is funded directly by team members, as well as their fundraising efforts. For more information about the event, please contact Marika Szoke –

Moms In Touch Moms in Touch International started right here in the Poway Unified School District and is established in every US state and 120 countries around the world.  It is a network of Christian moms that meet together in area homes once a week to cover each school in prayer.  Each meeting is based on an outline consisting of praise, thanksgiving and prayer for the needs of each school, its staff and each others’ kids.  Moms from any denomination are welcome.   Currently, each school in 4S Ranch has an active Moms In Touch group.   If you would like more information or to be contacted by a local group leader, you can go to their website at www. and click on “groups” to find your school. w w cka tth e ra n ch - o nli ne .co m

Ben Houk, co-director of 4S Dance Academy enthusiastically states, “We work with some of the top people in the ballet and contemporary field. 4S Dance Academy offers a high level of dance classes to North County Inland and brings technique, artistry, strength, flexibility, coordination, poise and confidence in a positive, creative atmosphere in Jazz, Lyrical, and Hip-hop in addition to Ballet.” 4S Dance Academy has built a solid reputation as a premier dance studio in the North County Inland area. Lauri-Michelle Houk, co-director adds, “We want to ensure that our image and name accurately reflect what we do. The Academy’s ownership, excellent faculty, and strong fundamentals have not changed. Our new name now communicates we have a contemporary offering, too.” 4S Dance Academy is a sister studio of San Elijo Dance & Music Academy. The company’s previous website ( will forward to the new site, as will all e-mail addresses. To sign up for classes or learn more about San Diego’s dance academy specializing in ballet & contemporary dance, call 858-385-1999 or visit 4S Dance Academy, 10804 Willow Court, 4S Ranch or on the web at You can also visit them at or follow

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on your doorstep Ultimate Activities During Spring Break at the Rancho YMCA Spring Break is April 4-8 and the Rancho Family YMCA is ready, willing and able to keep the kids busy with a multitude of ultimate activities as they take the week off from school. Spring Break Day Camps is one option where the kids will be on field trips each day of the week. Camp times are 9 am -4 pm with an additional option for Extended Camp that runs 7 am – 9 am and 4 – 6 pm. The day camps are for ages 5-12 years old.

YMCA Healthy Kids Day The Rancho Family YMCA in Rancho Penasquitos will be holding a free, family-oriented community event celebrating Healthy Kids Day on Saturday April 16 from 2-3:30 pm. Held at the Rancho Family YMCA’s Scripps Poway Parkway location, the day

Gymnastics Clinics is another option where kids ages 3-15 years enjoy two hours of gymnastics instruction, open gym/game time and crafts. Gym clinics run from 9 am – 1 pm and are offered on a per-day basis. This program is held at the Canyonside Recreation Center.

will be filled with fun, active events promoting an active

There will also be a Soccer Clinic being offered at the Rancho Family YMCA’s Scripps Poway Parkway location. Soccer Clinic is for ages 6-11, runs 9 am - 1:30 pm and is being offered as a week-long program.

Day is just another example of the YMCA’s Activate

lifestyle for children of all ages. Featured activities include a Kids Fitness Challenge, a Family Fun Race, a Power Fit 4 Kids class demonstration, open play basketball, healthy lifestyles information booths, healthy snacks and much more. Healthy Kids America mandate to help our community and the nation live healthier, longer more productive lives. The YMCA believes that everyone should have the opportunity to

The ever-popular Splash Week returns where for the entire week, kids ages 3-12 can work on their swim strokes for one hour every day of the week.

learn, grow and thrive in today’s touch-button society by encour-

Last, but certainly not least, Lifeguard Training will be available for those ages 16 and up where certified instructors will teach kids the fundamentals of lifeguarding. Kids will also receive CPR/First Aid training under Title 22.

the path Saturday, April 16. Bring the family and discover all the

For all fees, times and more details for all the Spring Break activities, please visit, call 858-484-8788 or stop by at 9410 Fairgrove Lane in Rancho Penasquitos.

Misdirection And Hijinks On The High Seas! It’s delightful, it’s delicious, it’s Anything Goes. Mt. Carmel High School’s award-winning drama department is proud to present Anything Goes, a musical theater production that is fun for the entire family! This musical romp by Cole Porter is full of madcap antics aboard an ocean liner bound from New York to London. Stowaway Billy Crocker is in love with heiress Hope Harcourt who is engaged to Lord Evelyn Oakleigh. Come aboard as Moonface Martin aka Public Enemy #13 (Garrett Slack) etiquette and conthreatens Bonnie Letour (Emily Piotrowicz) and Billy vention head out Crocker (Dylan Gervaís) in a scene from Anything the portholes as Goes. Photo by Denise Eaton two unlikely pairs set off on the course to true love… “Anything Goes,”  “You’re the Top,” “It’s De-lovely,” and “I Get a Kick Out of You” are just a few of the memorable hits being sung.   Performances are 7 pm on April 14-16 and 21-23 and 1 pm on April 16 and 23. Ticket prices are $10 and $12 and are available at www.mchsdrama or by calling 858-484-1180 x3366. Group rates are available; please call for details. The theatre is located on the high school campus at 9550 Carmel Mountain Road, San Diego, 92129.

aging the community to get up, get dressed and get out. Join the Rancho Family YMCA for this free event to start on events and activities the YMCA has to offer! With youth, teen, adult and family memberships available, there truly is “Something for Everybody” at the Rancho Family YMCA. For more information on the YMCA, you can drop by for a free facility tour at 9410 Fairgrove Lane in Rancho Penasquitos (858-484-8788) or visit

4SRLL Golf Tourney Returns to The Crosby The 4S Ranch Little League annual Golf Tournament has become one of the favorite social events of the year. The annual event is the primary fund raising event for the League, and has been held at some of the best golf courses in the County over the last five years. Last year, 4S Ranch Little League was very excited to add Dr. Noel Moser (Moser Orthodontics) as their title sponsor for the golf tournament. In addition to partnering with Dr. Moser, the 2010 tournament was held at The Crosby at Rancho Santa Fe, one of the most exclusive country clubs in Southern California. This year, 4S Ranch Little League is thrilled that the Moser Orthodontics 4S Ranch Little League Golf Classic will return to The Crosby on Tuesday April 26. Following a great day of golf, the festivities will include a cocktail hour, silent auction, raffle and dinner. Non-golfers and spouses of the golfers are invited to join everyone for the after-golf festivities. Last year’s event was a sell out, and the same is anticipated this year. If you are interested in playing, attending the dinner, or sponsoring the golf tournament, please contact Chris Jensen at Registration forms for the golf and/ or dinner are available on the League’s website at FIRST WEEK OF CLASSES FREE Tap - Ballet - Jazz - Lyrical - Hip Hop - Contemporary - Yoga Sculpt - Voice ALL AGES creative expression, enhanced confidence, learned technique, musicality, and choreography!!! 858-613-1155 | 10750 Thornmint Road, Suite 102 4S Ranch Business Park, San Diego, CA 92127

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www. backattheranch-online.c om

April 6th - April 10th

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on your doorstep “Hope for Gavin” Golf Tournament – Payment Deadline April 10 It’s Go time for GOLF! Join supporters as they race against time for Gavin and all the other children affected with Tay Sach’s at the 1st Annual “Hope for Gavin” Golf Tournament! Tournament Details Date: May 20  here: Carlton Oaks Golf Course W in Santee  ime: 8 am Tee time (Check in T from 7 to 7:30) Cost: $500 per foursome or $125 individuals. Fee’s due by April 10 Includes: 18 holes of golf, a gift, banquet facilities with a burger bar, a morning snack pack and most importantly, satisfaction for contributing to the efforts of saving the life of an incredible little boy.


Call or visit the 4S Boys and Girls Club for more information including rates and fees. We are located at 16118 4S Ranch Parkway, San Diego, 858-676-2230. Site Supervisor is Jack T. Nguyen. If you would like information on fall or winter sports programs or about coaching a team, please contact Nate Fenlason, Sports Coordinator - 4S Ranch Branch, 858-676-2230,,

Boys & Girls Club Is Proud To Announce Summer Basketball Leagues Who: Boys League: Grades K, 1/2, 3/4, 5/6, 7/8

Girls League: Grades K, 1/2, 3/4, 5/6, 7/8 When: Practice one day/week [M-F] (Times TBD)

Games begin Saturday - June 18, 2011 All Divisions will play on Saturdays & some Weekday Games

Season will end August 13 Where: Boys & Girls Club—4S Ranch 16118 4S Ranch Pkwy. San Diego, CA. 92127

Cost: $120 per player (includes club membership & league fees)

All players will need to renew membership at registration.

Membership will be good July 1, 2011 - June 30, 2012. Signups: START: Monday - April 4 END: Friday - May 13

*Additional $10 fee for late registration: May 16 - May 20.

No late signups will be accepted after May 20.  Fees Include: 8 game season w/ a single elimination tournament, one hour practice every week, jersey, participant award, and lots of fun! SPACE IS LIMITED!    Refunds: $20 service charge for refunds made before May 21. No refunds after player evaluations, May 21.

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For more information:

Nate Fenlason—Sports Coordinator

(858 676-2230 |

The first 144 golfers to respond will have a reserved tee time and all fees are due no later than APRIL 10. If you have not paid by then, anyone on the alternate list will be invited to pay and play. Payment options: Send checks to Anthony Hemsley at 2893 McGraw Street, San Diego, CA, 92117 or you will be able to pay by PAY PAL. Please supply the email the following information to Scott Hemsley: Team Name or Individual Name, Team Contact Person, Team Contact Person Email, Team Contact Person Phone, (If team, each players name and email). Please also provide shirt sizes, burger or chicken, beer or no beer, and if you will NOT be attending the banquet. Non golfers who would like to bid on the silent auctions and attend the banquet are welcome. Cost will be approximately $20. Please notify Scott with names of all non golfer participants. For donations, information, volunteering or questions, please contact: Scott Hemsley at 858-692-5126 or email scotthemsley@andersonappraisal. com. For more about Gavin’s story visit

4S Ranch Sports Park Sports Leagues Adult Leagues Men’s Basketball

The County of San Diego is offering B and C divisions. Come enjoy one of the best facilities for basketball in the County. Bring your “A” game and see how you match up against the competition.

Fee: $425 per team + $24 per game ref fee

Volunteer Coaches Are Needed As with all Girls & Boys Club leagues, they cannot be successful without your participation. Please make the effort to volunteer your time and sign up to coach one of the teams. The only way we are able to run the leagues and keep costs low is through your involvement. The prospect may at first seem daunting but it is infinitely rewarding and the time commitment is minimal. The kids will appreciate your time and not only do you receive a great deal of satisfaction from helping you also get the added benefit of receiving 50% off your daughter’s registration fees*! If you know of someone who does not have kids playing, but would like to coach, please have them contact us. Also, it’s a wonderful opportunity for high school kids to receive community involvement credit. *Head coaches receive a 50% discount off 1 child.

Day Camp There is still one more day camp session at 4S Ranch Boys & Girls Club! The dates are April 4 – 8. Cost is $90 for first child, $72 for each additional child. Payments are due the week prior to camp - Availability is on a first come, first serve basis. Please sign up early to secure your child’s spot; payment reserves your spot.

Location: 4S Ranch Sports Park (Gymnasium) Monday, League begins April 18 Games: 6:30 pm, 7:30 pm, 8:30 pm Tuesday, League begins April 5 Games: 6:30 pm, 7:30 pm, 8:30 pm Questions?

Daniel Trautner, Recreation Supervisor 858-673-3900,


April 4 – 8 – YMCA Ultimate Spring Break Camps - For all fees, times and more details for all the Spring Break activities, please visit www.rancho., call 858-484-8788. April 9 – Propel Pilates is hosting an open house event, 11 am to 2 pm check them out and enjoy food and freshments. Register to win 5 Free Sessions! Visit www.PropelPilates. com. April 10 – Deadline to register for Golf For Gavin. Tournament is May 20. Please contact: Scott Hemsley at 858-692-5126 or scotthemsley@ Visit www. April 14-16 and 21-23 at 7 pm and April 16 and 23 at 1 pm. “Anything Goes” MCHS drama production. Ticket prices are $10 and $12 at www.mchsdrama or 858-4841180 x3366.

April 20 - Spring Fling Event, 4 pm, Make Easter hats and have photos taken with Easter Bunny! 4S Ranch Library. April 20 – Deadline for Palomar Council PTA Scholarship applications. Applications can be found at April 23 - Spring Egg Hunt & Pancake Breakfast for 4S Ranch residents, Pioneer Park, Resident IDS ARE REQUIRED, 9 am - noon (Egg Hunt at 10 am), www.4sconnect. com. April 26 - 4S Ranch Little League Moser Orthodontics 4S Ranch Little League Golf Classic at The Crosby. Contact April 30 – Del Norte Pancake Breakfast, 8-11 am. Contact Marika Szoke –

April 16 - YMCA Healthy Kids Day - 2-3:30 pm at the Rancho Family YMCA’s Scripps Poway Parkway location. Visit or 858-484-8788.

May 4 - Oak Valley Middle School Annual Benefit Concert, Food & bake sale preceding the event at 6pm. Tickets are $7 adults, $5 Students. Contact Jackie Marcum @

www. backattheranch-online.c om

4S R a nch

library events 4S R ANCH L IB R A RY ( 8 58 ) 67 3 -4697

Highlighted Events and Classes for April Special Family Programs: Spring Fling Event - Wednesday, Apr. 20 at 4 pm. Make Easter hats and have photos taken with Easter Bunny! Dia Carnival Celebration Wednesday, Apr. 13 at 6:30 pm. Come join us for carnival acrobatics and traditional Mexican dance performance by Ballet Folklórico Tierra Caliente in honor of El Día de los Niños/El Día de los Libros.

Adult Programs 4S Ranch Adult Book Club   Saturday, Apr. 2 at 10 pm. Bring your favorite book and share with other community members. Baby & Me Fitness - 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month at 10:30 am – Apr. 6 & Apr. 20. Personal trainer Andrea exercises with moms while entertaining babies 4 weeks to 1 year. ESL English Class with Mrs. K - 2nd and 4th Wednesday at 10 am – Apr. 13 & Apr. 27. Open for English learners interested in practicing English conversational skills. Basic Computer Training in Farsi - Every Tuesday at 9 am. Open for Farsi speakers interested in learning basic computer skills. Citzenship Class - Every Monday at 6:30 pm. Open for all interested in taking citizenship tests. Knitting Circle - Every Wednesday at 5 pm. Join your fellow knitters by the fireplace every Wednesday evening and knit for fun.

Knitting with Allison Saturday, Apr. 9 at 10 am. Basic knitting class for adults and older teens. Vision and Success at School - Tuesday, Apr. 12 at 6:30 pm. Dr. Harpur conducts special vision workshop to help parents learn how to determine if a visual condition inhibits their child’s learning experience. Friends of the 4S Ranch Library Meeting - 4th Wednesday of the month – Apr. 27 at 6:30 pm. Author Visit with Zohreh Ghahremani - Saturday, Apr. 16 at 3 pm. Author of Sky of Red Poppies discusses her book with readers. Call library to reserve a copy.

Children 3 to 5 ~ Mrs. Z.’s Story Time’s engage children and focus on the skills and concepts children need to be ready for Kindergarten! Parents and Caregivers get to see proven, modeled techniques to help their child succeed! Play to LearnTime with Teacher Lee - Thursdays at 10:30 am & 12:30 pm. Music, Stories, Art and Fun! For children 5 years old and under. Kids Fitness - 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month at 9:35 am – Apr. 6 & Apr. 20. Personal trainer Andrea exercises with kids ages 18 months to 5. Crafts for a Cause - Thursdays at 4 pm. Arts and crafts for K-3rd grade students. Sign up at circulation desk.

Resume Writing Workshop - Tuesday, Apr. 26 at 6:30 pm. Career Counselor Roxanne from UC San Diego teaches how to write effective resumes.

Homework Club - Fridays at 4 pm. Students from Del Norte High tutor children from Kindergarten through 9th grade. Registration required.

Children’s Program

Chess Club - Saturdays @ 3 pm. For children and teens.

Spanish Bilingual Story Time - 2nd and 4th Monday of the month at 10 am – Apr. 11 & Apr. 25. Spanish bilingual story and craft for children Baby Story Time - Tuesdays at 10:30 am & 2 pm. Pre-walking babies only. Enjoy this one-on-one lapsit activity which introduces babies to stories and songs.

Teen Programs SAT Practice Test - Saturday Apr. 23 at 10 am. Free SAT practice tests for high school students. Space is limited. Call for registration. Teen Time - Tuesdays, 4 pm Game Night - Tuesday, Apr. 5, 4 pm

Preschool Story Time & Literacy Craft with Mrs. Z Fridays at 10:30 & 11:30 am. For

1st Tuesday of the Month: Teen Game Day: Use your best moves to compete with your friends and make new friends! We have Chess, Scrabble, Monopoly and a variety of other games! Wii Tournament -Tuesday, Apr. 12 at 4 pm 2nd Tuesday of the Month: Tournament Tuesdays: Wii Gaming Day: 4-5 pm: Challenge your opponents and show off your gaming skills. Game on! TAG Meeting - Tuesday, Apr. 19 at 4 pm 3rd Tuesday of the Month: 4S RANCH TAG TEAM-Teen Advisory Group (6th Grade and UP) 4-5 pm: Our 4S RANCH TAG TEAM is our Library Teen Advisory Group, which provides opportunities for middle and high school teens to develop leadership skills, plan teen events and community service projects and serve as an advisory group for the library. Teens can earn a significant amount of volunteer hours for school, college applications, and job experience. Arts & Crafts - Tuesday, Apr. 26 at 4 pm 4th Tuesday of the Month: Teen CRAFTERNOONS! 4-5 pm: Advanced Arts and Crafting Techniques ~ Something new and cool every week with Mrs. Z. SIGN-UPS REQUIRED for TEEN CRAFTERNOONS - Space is LIMITED.

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on your doorstep Simple Ways to Go Green AND Save Money, Too Recycle. One of the easiest, most convenient ways to cut back on your carbon footprint is to keep an extra waste bin next to your trash can. Simply rinse aluminum cans, plastic jugs, and glass jars and put them in your extra bin.

and banana peels in a compost pile rather than throwing these things in the garbage can. Much of the garbage can be recycled or composted with only a minimal amount of effort. If you simply don’t have the space or inclination to compost, use your garbage disposal instead of throwing food away.

Recycle Plastic Bags. Pop a nail in a wall somewhere and hang your plastic shopping bags on it instead of throwing them in the trash. Better yet, invest in reusable bags once and you’ll never have another plastic bag to recycle.

Minimize your disposable purchases. Paper towels can be replaced with reusable napkins which don’t take much space in the washer anyway. Instead of paper plates wouldn’t it be better to use your lovely dishes in the cabinets anyway?

Educate. Teach your children not to litter. Set a positive example by stopping to pick up trash in a parking lot, for instance. If every able body picked up one piece of trash every day, imagine how much cleaner our environment would be, and this effort doesn’t cost you a penny!

Just Say No...To Styrofoam! Support the “greener” establishments by frequenting restaurants that use real silverware and dinner plates, avoiding the fast food joints that use Styrofoam, paper sacks, and wax paper.

Full Loads Only. When you wash laundry, wash a full load. Top load machines use almost as much water to do a small load as they do a large one. Take a Bath. If you’re in the mood for a long shower, take a bath instead. Showers are notorious for wasting water. Installing water saving shower heads is very simple and effective at reducing water waste and saving money on water bills. Dishwashers are Not Water Hogs - use your dishwasher. It probably uses much less water than you will if you do the dishes by hand. If you simply must hand wash - turn the water off as you wash use it only for quick rinsing. Save In the Shower. Don’t shave in the shower. New is Not Necessarily Better. Use a traditional broom and mop to clean floors instead of disposable alternatives, which add additional unnecessary waste to our already polluted landfills. Compost. Consider using food scraps, coffee grounds, used paper towels,

What Our Kids Say About Going Green

Re-use More, Dispose Less. Buy reusable water bottles and use them. Install a water filter in your home instead of buying bottled water. If you can’t afford a water filter (they can get pricey), get a water dispenser that uses 3 or 5 gallon jugs, then refill your jugs at the closest water filtering site. Pedal or Walk. Walk or ride a bike instead of driving when you can. Why load the kid’s bikes into the gas guzzling truck just to go to a park? Ride your bikes, get some exercise, and save the gas. Use Less, Reduce Waste. Use what you need, but don’t use too much! Most people use too much soap, laundry detergent, bleach, hair care products, toothpaste, mouth wash, cleaning products and dish washing detergent than they actually need. Choose organic fruits, vegetables and meats. Organic food is not laden with chemicals or grown using pesticides. Pesticides are harmful for our bodies and for the soil the plants are grown in. Donate your old clothing, shoes, books and furniture instead of throwing it away. You can also list items for free on to give away. (Source:

By Debi R enk en, Community E ditor , 4S R anch Reside nt

Since our world today is all about conservation, going green and being healthy, the future of this attitude will depend on our children. I decided to find out what kids think about the whole concept so I asked “What does going green mean to you and what are you doing to help?” Let me just say that Mother Nature is very proud right now.

Macy DeCarlo, 10 - Going Green means: Trying to keep nature preserved the way it is. I am recycling, eating organic foods and taking part in beach cleanups. Cole DeCarlo, 13 - Going Green means:  Keeping the Earth “fresh” so future generations can enjoy it as we are.  I am recycling and eating organic foods when I can.  I also pick up trash and use re-usable water bottles. Crew DeCarlo, 8 - Going Green means: Making the Earth a better place for all living things.  I am recycling, eating organic food and using re-usable bottles instead of plastic.

Brycen Mautz, 9 - Going green means not wasting electricity, not using more than you need, and using what you have. To promote a “green” Earth, I am not leaving the lights on when I don’t need them, picking up trash, even if it is not mine, and not wasting paper. Sam Litrenta, 15 - Going green means using renewable and reusable resources. To promote a green Earth, I can use the same lunch bag for a week instead of throwing it away each day. Marin Litrenta, 12 - Going green means being ecofriendly.  To promote a green Earth, we can recycle more. 

Emma Schmitt, 14 - Going green means helping the Earth stay alive so that our generations can survive. I recycle as much as I can and take short showers.

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on your doorstep Resident Expert Offers Green Suggestions Nate Kredich, VP Residential Market Development for the U.S. Green Building Council is, well, an expert on going green. He also lives right here in 4S Ranch and he offers the following information. Green homes don’t have to be yurts or spaceship-looking buildings. Green homes are really just high-quality, durable homes that save energy, water and money while protecting the health of the families who live in them.  The U.S. Green Building Council is committed to transforming our buildings into sustainable ones and, as its Residential VP, my focus is on helping builders and consumers green their homes. The USGBC has a terrific consumer resource called The Green Home Guide ( that lets homeowners research topics and find professionals to help them green their homes.  For those of us living in 4S Ranch, here are just a few ideas plucked from The Green Home Guide: ENERGY:  Use that programmable thermostat the builder gave you.  Most of our homes have these, and many of us don’t know how to use them.  As we move into the warmer months, we just don’t need to be cooling our homes continuously.  Here are some recommendations from This Old House that can be found on FOR HEAT 6 am to 9 am = 68 degrees 9 am to 5:30 pm = 60 degrees 5:30 pm to 11 pm = 68 degrees 11 pm to 6 am = 60 degrees

FOR AIR CONDITIONING 6 am to 9 am = 75 degrees 9 am to 5:30 pm = 80 degrees 5:30 pm to 11 pm = 75 degrees 11 pm to 6 am = 80 degrees

If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, they can be bought at any hardware store and installed fairly easily. WATER:   Test for ‘silent leaky’ toilets.  A toilet with bad flapper or fill valves can slowly leak up to 9-10 gallons per hour, which is over 7,000 gallons per month.  Try putting food coloring in your tank and see if it makes it into the bowl.  If so, the most likely cause is a worn flapper.  These can be bought at the local hardware store for a couple of bucks and installed in a couple of minutes.   INDOOR AIR QUALITY:  The EPA says our indoor air has 2-10x more pollutants than outdoor air.  A few things that will help:  (i) Replace your furnace filters as recommended, generally at the beginning of every season; (ii) Install carbon monoxide monitors, both near the bedrooms and just outside of the garage; (iii) Open the windows and air it out – we live in San Diego, enjoy it! OUTDOORS:  Ask about non-toxic pest control alternatives.   Many have been proven effective, and you won’t worry so much the next time your kids come inside with a face full of dirt and mud. CLEANING:  Make sound decisions about your cleaning products.  Look for certified products by GreenSeal, Greenguard, and Scientific Certification Systems (SCS).  You can even find tips on how to make your own nontoxic household cleaners. Check out The Green Home Guide ( for hundreds of tips and thousands of professionals to help green your home!


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school news Monterey Ridge Elementary MRES Talent Show

Recycling On Thursdays

Make sure to practice your acts for the 3rd Annual MRES Talent Show. It will take place on Friday, June 3 in the MPR so mark your calendars. Students participating in the Talent Show must follow the following rehearsal schedule, which take place in the Multi-Purpose Room after school on Wednesdays as follows:

The next recycling day will take place Thursday, April 7. Don’t forget to bring your cans and plastic bottles (please no milk jugs) to the flagpole. This is a great way to help our planet, earn Butterfly Catches or Monarch Dollars and raise funds for our school.

Grades K-2: March 23, April 20 & June 1 Grades 3-5: March 30, April 27 & May 25

Casino Royale Parents Night Fundraiser

Please contact Jennifer Roa with any questions at

Attendance Is The Key To Success Attendance is one of the most important baseline factors in determining student success. A 2008 study conducted by the Rodel Community Scholars at Arizona State University, which tracked students from kindergarten through high school, found that dropout patterns were linked with poor attendance, beginning in kindergarten. We closely monitor attendance at MRES and want your child at school. Please make sure your child attends school regularly and is on time.

The Monterey Ridge Educational Foundation is happily accepting donations of items and services to be included in our silent auction to be held during the Casino Royale Fundraiser happening on May 14, 2011. Do you own your own business, are you an interior designer or landscape guru, are you a wonderful chef or have a special skill that you would be willing to donate some of your time, talents and/or products to raise money for the Foundation? Do you have an inside connection with someone famous or an event that occurs here in San Diego? Please contact Sara Tseng at sgorinac@ Thank you in advance for contributing! The fundraiser will be held at the Bernardo Heights Country Club- tickets are currently on sale!

Del Sur Elementary School

The PTA just redeemed 11,500 labels for education points and received 24 new playground balls and 20 new basketballs. Please keep clipping these label points….they add up quickly to rewards for the school.

The Yearbook Committee is still accepting photos. We would love to have your photos of Del Sur students wearing their spirit wear Del Sur t-shirts while on ski week vacations. If you have something to submit, send it to Include the name and grade of the student. Photos should be larger than 100KB.

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Log in to, sign up, and link to your Ralph’s card. Every time you purchase a “Labels for Education” product, your product’s point value will automatically be added to our school’s account! This is like getting DOUBLE points for every purchase!  Don’t forget to keep the product’s point label too! 

Mark your calendar for the second annual DSES Jog-a-thon on May 20, 2011. Our first annual Jog-a-thon was a huge success, so we are gearing up to blow our fundraising goals out of the water. If you are interested in volunteer opportunities, please contact Marla Vandling at DSEFundraising@


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Thanks to Reza Hekmat, DMD for sponsoring our newsletter. We appreciate all your support to our school.

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school news Stone Ranch Elementary Locks Of Love At Stone Ranch March was Character Counts month at Stone Ranch Elementary School. There is no greater way to show good character than by doing a selfless act.  On March 9, Joy Esteban organized the Stone Ranch Second Annual Locks for Love Celebration.  Locks of Love is a non-profit group Elaina and Lily bravely donated their hair that has the mission to return a sense of self confidence and normalcy to children suffering from hair loss due to medical conditions.  They accept donations of hair in ponytails (longer than 8 inches) and then create wigs for children.   Mrs. Esteban teaches 4th grade at Stone Ranch and has donated her hair five times to this wonderful organization.  Joining Mrs. Esteban in the donation were nine Stone Ranch students (including Mrs. Esteban’s daughter), and one parent.  Mrs. Esteban had this to say about the event, “I loved putting this event together and was thrilled by the amount of students and parents who expressed interest in donating. Although we had 9 students who actually cut their hair, there were several others who I sadly had to turn away because their hair wasn’t quite long enough. The best thing that I love about this event was that it brings awareness about helping others in need.” Great Clips helped by offering a free haircut to those who donated their hair.  Stone Ranch’s mission is to prepare students for their future as members of a global society – and helping others by performing selfless acts is just one way we show our good character.

Cinco De Mayo Celebration Needs Volunteers We are still looking for volunteers...the Cinco de Mayo Celebration/ Family Dance will be here before we know it! Contact Kristen Gravin at to hear about how you can get involved.

Hand Tiles Have Arrived This year’s hand tiles have been installed on the C Ranch House!

Foundation News THANK YOU! The Stone Ranch Foundation would like to thank all the parents who participated in our February Fund drive and made donations. The results have been wonderful and we look forward to sharing some results soon. A special thanks to the Teachers for making it happen and collecting those envelopes!  Watch this space for the winner of the Ice Cream Party contest and to see which Teacher wins Mrs. Venolia’s parking space! Girls Night Out – Save The Date!    Join the Stone Ranch Foundation on April 14 at the Rancho Bernardo Inn for a women’s evening out with musical entertainment, decorating fun for table hostesses, fashion show, shopping and hanging with girlfriends!  Ticket sales began in midMarch, so hurry and buy your tickets!  International Fair – Save The Date! We are excited to announce the Stone Ranch Foundation’s 1st Annual International Fair Night.   The Fair will be held at Stone Ranch on Friday, May 20 from 3 to 7 pm.  This multicultural event is designed to showcase the many cultures that are part of the 4S Ranch community.  We look forward to seeing you at the Fair!  If you are a vendor and would like to participate, please contact: Areej (areej25@ or 408-209-1882) or Meenakshi Jain ( or 858-688-5096) for more information.

Oak Valley Middle School Express Registration & Vaccinations

Pasta for Pennies

Every family needs to register their students before the start of each school year. During registration in August, lines can be long and wait times unpredictable.  With California’s new immunization law requiring every 7th – 12th grader to provide proof of a Tdap booster, those lines and wait times are likely to increase. OVMS is introducing an opportunity for our parents to lessen their August registration wait time by completing the 2011 registration paperwork in the spring. Beginning mid-May (details coming soon), parents can turn in completed: Proof of Tdap Booster – 7th & 8th grades only Student Information Form PUSD Signature Verification OVMS Signature Verification

Oak Valley ASB hosted a Pasta For Pennies Leukemia/Lymphoma Fundraiser Event which began March 14 with a kick -off Assembly and ran through March 24. The girls decorated collection boxes which they distributed in classrooms. An estimated 912,938 Americans are living with blood cancer nationally. In 2010, about 43,050 adults and 3,317 children developed Leukemia. Donating a penny can make a difference in someone’s life. We want to thank Mission Federal Bank in Rancho Bernardo, Houte Pink Cake in Santa Luz, West Coast Martial Arts in Rancho Bernardo, Music for Kids in Rancho Bernardo for supporting this fundraiser. At press time, their goal this year at Oak Valley was to raise over 3,000! We’ll let you know how things turned out!

Auction Items Needed for Casino Night Oak Valley Falcon Foundation invites all families and friends to attend our Casino Night to be held on Saturday, April 30 at the Ranch House in Del Sur. We are currently looking for auctions items for this event. If you have an item to donate, please contact Kirsten Black, Oak Valley Foundation President at or 858-442-6180.

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Oak Valley’s Classified Employee of the Year Congratulations to Stephanie Johnston for being selected Oak Valley’s classified employee of the year. “Stephanie is always cheerful and willing to help.  Whether it has to do with assistance with substitutes, schedules, parents at the counter, the phone, or the copy machine, Stephanie always lends a hand.  Her perky attitude reminds me to smile more often, and not to dwell on my schedule and all I have to do.  Stephanie is a cheerful leader, willing to help, and her talents as an office assistant are superior and much appreciated by all that work with her.”                                    back at the ranch: page 15

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school news Del Norte High School Color Guard Has A Superb Inaugural Year

Del Norte Girls Basketball Shoots and Scores Big!

Del Norte Color Guard has had an amazing inaugural year. It not only hosted a Winter Guard Association of Southern California (WGASC) sponsored tournament (almost unheard of for a fledging organization), but at the same time, the Color Guard  earned a 2nd Place Trophy in the tourna- Del Norte Earns 2nd Place Trophy ment.  There were 23 High School Color Guards participating in the tournament, including Mt Carmel, Westview, Poway, and Del Norte. The success of this tournament was only possible through the leadership and vision of our directors (Mrs. Jennifer Kitelinger, Director of Instrumental Music and Mr. Jim Barton, Director of Winter Guard), the contribution of non-classroom time of our Music Department students, and the dedicated volunteer efforts and financial support of our parent Boosters. In mid-March the Del Norte Color Guard co-hosted with Mira Mesa at Del Norte, a 2nd Winter Guard Tournament and took 2nd place in the Color competition.

Both the Varsity and JV were league champions, with the JV team even going undefeated in league play. The varsity girls made it to the division 4 CIF semi-finals, losing to the eventual champion and #1 ranked team in the county, La Jolla Country Day (they are also ranked in the top 10 in the state).  Two of our varsity girls players were named 1st team all-Valley League (junior Katie Boyle & sophmore Lexi Reddick).  Katie was also voted league co-player of the year.  Coach Jake McNeely is enthusiastic about the future, “Our varsity team was made up of only 2 juniors, 6 sophomores, and 1 freshman, so we should be very good in the years to come as well!

Gymnastics Squad New To Del Norte Del Norte High School has just initiated a brand new gymnastics squad.  This was a result of a completely grass roots effort by two moms (Robyn Schram and Heather Boney). DNHS does not have the equipment or financial support for the squad, but these women were determined to find a way to get the team off the ground (and keep girls in sports!).  All the parents have banded together to  manage carpools,  choose uniforms, manage the finances...etc. The team is made up of 15 girls and  they travel all the way to Solana Beach to practice 3 times per week.  The sport is CIF approved and their first meet was at MC High in March. They will be competing through May with JV and Varsity teams.

Del Norte High School First Annual Pancake Breakfast Continuing the journey to create traditions at Del Norte High School, the first annual Pancake Breakfast will be held on Saturday, April 30 from 8 am to 11 am. Breakfast is “all you can eat” pancakes, sausages, orange juice and Starbucks coffee. See complete details in the On Your Doorstep section of this issue on page 7.

Campus Tours Student-lead tours will take place at 3:45 pm on the following dates: • Wednesday, April 20 • Wednesday, May 18 Meet in Front of the Administration Building.

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Nighthawk Cheerleaders Jump Into the Winners Circle Congratulations to the Del Norte Cheerleading teams! Both J.V. and Varsity competed on February 26 at the San Diego Convention Center in Sharp International’s West Coast Championship. In a spectacular showing, both teams won first place in their categories and scored as the highest teams in their divisions.  A huge spotlight was on the Varsity squad as they also brought home the highest score for the entire competition. They earned a 96.8 out of 100 and were able to outscore over 40 teams!  Additionally, the Nighthawks also received a spirit award for their outstanding participation in the individual tumbling, jump and stunt competitions! Great job ladies, keep up the hard work and dedication!

Cheer Interest Parent Meeting A Parent Meeting for those interested in Cheer will be held on Thursday, April 28 at 6 pm. Cheer tryouts will be May 10, 11 & 13. Times will be announced at the parent meeting. For additional information, contact Head Cheer Coach - Rachel Tomaino,

Advanced Placement Exam Dates & Registration In order to participate in the AP Exams, all AP students should have registered online by Friday, March 18. Students who wish to sign up after the March 26 late deadline will be put on a waiting list and will be charged a $125 exam fee payable in CASH only on the day of the exam. SIGN UP EARLY for Stand-by Testing! Go to

Del Norte High School offers a variety of Advanced Placement courses. During its inaugural year in 2009-10, Del Norte had 81 sophomores participate in AP Exams, which yielded 60% of those with a 3 or better score. The number of participants and AP Exams taken are expected to double this year with more AP courses offered. Questions about taking Advanced Placement courses can be directed to the DNHS AP Exam Coordinator: Mr. Jocbethem Tahapary,

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w h o a re t h e

people in your neighborhood Stephanie Alberts As soon as you hear Stephanie’s accent, you know she’s “not from around these parts.” Stephanie and her family – husband Gary and triplets Ben, Eric and Madison (14) – moved to San Diego from Long Island five years ago. Stephanie’s sister lives here and they visited her many times. They were familiar with our lovely climate and outdoor lifestyle. While Stephanie and Gary had their routine down in Long Island – triplets, jobs and lifestyle - they were ready for a change. One day they looked at each other and said, “Let’s start over.” This meant leaving their jobs, selling the house, packing up the then 8-year-old triplets, and heading West. Stephanie used to take martial arts in New York, but took a bit of a hiatus when they moved. One day she was walking past a studio here in San Diego and she decided to start training again. She also decided to put her three kids (all with disabilities) into the program. It was destiny, because watching how life-changing the experience was for her kids helped her realize that there was so much she could teach other children, not just about martial arts, but about life, discipline, commitment and self control. She felt inspired to make a change in the lives of little ones. Stephanie is the familiar face many 4S Ranch kids and parents see at the United Studios of Self Defense - 4S Ranch location (visit the studio located next to World Market or call 858-674-9757). Stephanie owns the studio and is the only female chief instructor in Southern California. Not only

that, Stephanie earned her Black Belt in Shaolin Kempo Karate not here in the U.S., but in China! She also went on a mission to Africa with her sister to teach martial arts. Stephanie and her sister spent two weeks there immersed in life in a village with no running water or big soft king-sized beds. She has also started a “mom-based” program at her studio called EDGE. E for endurance, D for defense, G for guidance and E for empowerment. It’s designed to be a support system for all moms. All proceeds from this program will go towards breast cancer research (her mom was diagnosed with breast cancer). Stephanie is an inspiration for all who meet her. For all you parents who have children that don’t quite fit into team sports – you know the ones who pick daisies in the outfield and would really rather be somewhere else - perhaps you should meet Stephanie. She’s got her feet firmly planted on the ground and, as a role model, she’s simply amazing. Stephanie and Gary moved here with anticipation and optimism. The only thing they knew for sure was that they had a house and they had Stephanie’s sister living here. It took a while to acclimate to the culture shock of moving from Long Island to San Diego, but the entire family has indeed started over and everything has worked out famously. The decision to “start over” has been nothing short of a brilliant idea for the Alberts family.


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back at the ranch: page 17

community lifestyle : H ealth By Ash is h K . Wadh wa, MD

Snoring, Sleep Apnea, and Your Health As an Ear, Nose, and Throat physician, one of the things that I am called upon rather frequently for is the management of snoring. While some might find it somewhat laughable to think of seeking medical treatment for a social taboo, you may be surprised to learn snoring can be a sign of serious diseases to come if not only a source of social isolation. Distinguishing snoring from obstructive sleep apnea, the actual prolonged cessation from breathing while sleeping from throat tissue collapse is an important delineation that needs to be made. Snoring typically results from vibration of normal tissues in the throat as air passes through it. During the daytime, our muscles are awake and this keeps the throat open so that this vibration does not occur. When we go to bed at night, particularly during the deep stages of sleep, a relaxation of most of the body’s muscles will occur, including those around your throat. Gravity is now allowed to let mobile tissues in the throat, namely the palate and the back portion of the tongue, to drop backwards. As the air passes through the throat, the mobile tissues will vibrate and make the snoring sound. Taken to the extreme, if you snore and your throat collapses for a prolonged period of time, you will periodically stop breathing. In medical terms, going without breathing is called apnea- hence “sleep apnea”. Sleep apnea is a more serious problem. If you periodically stop breathing whenever you


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go into the deep stages of sleep, your body and brain are obligated to keep you breathing, hence limiting the time you can actually stay in the deep stages of sleep. Unfortunately, the deep stages of sleep are the ones most needed for our body to get properly rested. Hence, sleep for a patient with sleep apnea is not restful, and a person with sleep apnea feels tired during the day despite sleeping at nighttime. Such a person tends to be sleepy during the day or even nod off when things are slow, because the body is craving sleep whenever it can. Despite spending additional time sleeping, they are still not getting rested because of the lack of deep stage sleep. Untreated, sleep apnea can also lead to more serious long-term health problems. Because the person is chronically tired, they exercise less and gain weight with its concomitant medical issues. As the body goes without breathing at night during sleep, it also drops body oxygen levels, which over time cause the heart and lungs to work harder, which over time can lead to heart and lung difficulties. Furthermore, the additional weight gain factors back in to worsen the sleep apnea, setting up a viscious cycle. Many people function well enough despite their sleep apnea, and are unaware of the process going on at nighttime. The signs though are frequently present in their day-to-day lives -- the ongoing fatigue, feeling un-refreshed in the mornings, tendency to nod off during meetings, watching TV or movies, or in the extreme scenarios even drifting to sleep while driving. Frequently a spouse or significant other is the one to identify the problem, noticing the loud snoring with prolonged cessations of breathing while sleeping. The causes of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea can vary. In a heavier person, this may be the weight or laxity of throat tissues promoting collapse. In a person with large tonsils, it may be the tonsils themselves. If you have a long uvula (the dangly thing in the back of your throat), it may be vibrating or even collapsing with the palate while you sleep. Often, it is a combination of all of these things. Sometimes the tissues of the throat are fine, but the nose breathing passages are fundamentally small. If you have ever tried to drink a thick milkshake with a small straw before, you know the straw will collapse. Likewise, breathing through a narrow nose can be likened to pinching a straw, promoting collapse of tissues in the throat. Treatment for snoring without apnea involves a range of options from conservative measures such as weight loss (if overweight), avoiding sleeping on your back, and avoiding drinking alcohol late at night. Surgical options including modification of the nose, throat, palate, tonsils, or tongue base, each of which has to be tailored to each individual patient’s anatomy. Minor office procedures are also available to help reduce snoring. Treatment of obstructive sleep apnea and its separation from snoring alone requires a physician evaluation and possibly a sleep study. A sleep study is an assessment either in your home or in a sleep laboratory where monitors are placed on you to assess your stage of sleep, blood oxygen level, and frequency/rate of breathing to see if significant cessations of airflow are occurring. Treatment includes those things discussed above for snoring, in addition to the possibility of using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, which helps to maintain an open throat by application of air pressure through a facemask. Sometimes an oral prosthetic device can be fit to help improve the positioning of the tongue base. Surgical treatment options are also available, and this is again needs to be tailored to the individual patient’s anatomy and disease severity. Modifications to the tissues of the throat or improvement of the nasal airway to decrease obstruction to air movement can frequently be achieved. If you’d like to learn more about snoring, sleep apnea, or their treatments, please contact

your physician or our office at 858-674-1165. You can also visit us at www.RanchoENT. 877 | 426 | 8208

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www. backattheranch-online.c om

community lifestyle : H ome F ro m Griffin Ac e Hardware, 4 S R an c h Town Ce nter

Spruce Up your Outdoor Living Areas! While the rest of the country continues to shovel out after a long winter, San Diegans are already enjoying the outdoors. Now is the time to spruce up your backyard living areas with updated patio furniture and colorful accessories. And don’t forget your plants‌ with just a little TLC, they will thrive through the warm summer months. Where to start? The first step is to assess the condition of your outdoor furniture. If your cushions are faded, out of shape or disintegrating, look at replacing the cushions constructed of Sunbrella (or comparable) fabric. Griffin Ace offers a new replacement cushion program where you can select your own fabric to replace your cushions. If the cushions are still in good shape, colorful accent pillows and rugs can give your furniture and living areas an instant facelift. If your patio furniture is broken, chipped or simply out of date, you’ll probably want to consider a new set (shop early for best selection!) Insist on quality if you want your furniture to last for more than one season. While the mass merchant brands may seem like a better deal right now, you will likely need to replace them every two years or so. Extruded aluminum construction, powder coated paint finishes and stainless steel hardware are just a couple of things to look for when evaluating patio sets. Also, be sure to look at the warranty offered. New to Griffin Ace this year is the arrival of Winston Outdoor Furniture. All sets feature Sunbrella™ or comparable fabrics and several are now on display in our San Diego stores. This furniture will last for years. Cozy sofa and chat sets and inviting dining sets are now available. Winston furniture offers custom fabric options and the furniture is backed by a 15-Year warranty on aluminum frames and a five-year paint warranty. Plus, the furniture is made in the USA, not imported from China. Next stop is your outdoor cooking area. If you want to step up from a kettle grill or outdated model, take a look at Weber’s line up for 2011. Weber offers grills for every use‌ from the ultra portable Weber Q – per-

fect for trips to the beach or park – to the top of the line Genesis. This year, Weber is introducing a state-of-theart cooking island that provides a custom, built-in look at a freestanding unit price. Griffin Ace offers the complete line of grills and assembly is free everyday (on grills priced from $299 and above). To finish off your living areas in style, accessorize with beautiful outdoor decor and entertainment accessories‌ treat the backyard just like the family room in your home. Colorful lanterns, decorative wire plant holders and attractive candle holders will brighten up any outdoor area. Add colorful plants and candles to finish off your outdoor living areas in style. For entertaining, look at using colorful bamboo collection by Core Bamboo. Bowls and utensils made of bamboo (a durable renewable resource) are ideal for outdoor gatherings. We stocked our shelves with pretty serving pieces (they get their vibrant colors from natural lacquers) made of organically grown bamboo ( Keep the pests away...Any outdoor event (especially when food is served) presents an open invitation for bugs. Guard your guests with citronella candles. You can nestle citronella tea lights in large Mason jars filled with birdseed to ward off uninvited guests. Griffin Ace also offers a wide range of family friendly insecticides for your plants, including Ortho’s new Ecosense product line. For more helpful tips or information, stop by Griffin Ace Hardware located in the 4S Ranch

Town Center or visit our website at

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community lifestyle : garden K atie S eiden w u rm , L an ds c ape Design er an d Own er , Zin n ia Design, 85 8-705-4975, k atiezinnia@gmail .com

Sustainability in the Gardening World When I studied Landscape Architecture in the early 1990s, the concept of sustainable design was relatively new. When the idea was first introduced to me, the definition was strict: for a garden to be sustainable, once the garden was created, it would be left to â&#x20AC;&#x153;sustainâ&#x20AC;? itself without any human intervention. This meant that there would be no irrigation systems, weeding, or repairing in any way. Although an admirable concept, this ideal was rarely met. If you think about it, what do you call a garden with no irrigation, no weeding, or maintenance of any kind? I call it a mess. Although not realistic, what ideas from a sustainable garden can we extract to create a garden space that will need the least amount of our intervention? It comes down one simple idea: plant selection. Plant Selection relative to water needs: Given San Diegoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s water restrictions and arid climate, the plant palette is finite. There are plants that do well here and just as many that do not. An example of something that is not sustainable is planting a willow: a water-loving plant that will need to be watered twice a day in the summer. While willows may be outliers in this regard, the fact that San Diego gets only 10 inches of rain a year and it gets hot in the summer make them decidedly non-sustainable. The Sunset Western Garden Book classifies our climate zone as Zone 24. (Climate zone is based on ambient temperature, latitude, elevation, humidity, and other microclimate conditions) As much as we might want to push the envelope of our Zone, we will only be disappointed. There are several plants that I love, but are best suited for other climates or Zones like the Northwest or East Coast. Strangely, some plants that are better suited for other climates are sold in the local nurseries. It just goes to show that just because itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s for sale in the nursery, doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t mean that itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a wise choice to plant in your yard. The plant may look good when you bring it home from the nursery, but probably wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t in the long run.

Plant Selection relative to sun and soil needs: Just as important as water needs are sun and soil needs. My friendâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s backyard has clay soil. That alone limits the palette of plants. Sure, one could dig out all the soil and replace it with sandy loam, but how reasonable is that? Why not work with what is there and find some wonderful clay-tolerant plants, like Black Eyed Susan (Rudbekia hirta) or Daylily (Hemerocallis). Part of gardening with sustainability in mind is to work with the given environment. Plant Selection relative to plant size and shape: This concept is easily pushed. How often have we bought a plant that we know will get too big, but just thought we could get away with trimming it back indefinitely? Logically, constant trimming is not healthy for the plant. For example, how many times can you cut back the overgrown shrub that keeps blocking a window? Maybe the shrub is too large for that location. Work-Horse Plants: Rather than buying the plants that might thrive, buy the ones that are locally common. I call these â&#x20AC;&#x153;work-horse plants.â&#x20AC;? I look for work-horse plants in areas where there is minimal maintenance like public areas, schools, and parks. Although professionally maintained in those environments, these plants require limited maintenance and attention. I find that if the majority of the plants in my yard are work-horse plants, then I can focus my attention on those plants that are not. This strategy means less work for me and more time to enjoy my garden. Now donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get me wrong, part of the joy of creating a garden is tending to it. Gardening is an iterative process. That is, we try something, then we adjust it, we wait, then we change it again. We are constantly trying to improve the condition of our garden to achieve what we think will be the ideal appearance and function. As much as I like to tinker in the garden, I believe there is a point when the adjustments become futile. Each plant has growing parameters; whether itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s their water needs, sun needs, or soil needs. A gardener needs to recognize those parameters and work within them to allow for healthy and happy plants. It is only then that the garden can be successful and the most sustainable that it can be.


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community lifestyle : F itness By TK S mith, S pec ialist in F itn ess Nu triti on, www.h

Exercise? Don’t Waste Your Time Exercise? Don’t waste your time! What I mean by that is, really, don’t waste your time! If you’re going to spend your precious time and your hard-earned money, then make it count!   I see people all the time in the gym or working with their trainers just going through the motions.  If you are going to spend the time make it count!    Time is precious.  Life goes by so fast and you really need to hold on to each minute.  A combination of exercise and good nutrition will help you live a longer, more healthy, active life, so you will get to enjoy more of those precious moments.    Here are some things I do to not waste my time when I workout: Get help - My old workout routine was the same every week, year in and year out and I was getting minimal results at best.  I started taking workout classes at a fitness studio and my workouts became very efficient and effective.  Working in a small class environment or with a trainer will allow you to spend less time working out.  If you’re a regular person like me with a family and a job, you may not have the time it takes to come up with new and meaningful workout routines every single week.  So, for me, classes are the perfect solution. Get your motivation - You’re in the gym, you’re working out, you are there and you are not getting that time back (remember time is precious), so use it - focus!  Don’t talk to your trainer or neighbor. Don’t look around at what other people are doing; do that stuff after if you want.  If you are not 100% focused on your workout, you are not going to get 100% of the results you want.  If you can talk as you exercise, it means you are not pushing yourself.  If you want to talk, hire a shrink, not a personal trainer.  Your trainer won’t be upset if you are working so hard you can’t talk with them. They will forgive you; I promise!  For me, I look at every workout as if it was my Olympic games, World Series, Super Bowl or whatever championship game of the sport you follow. Give it 100% effort every time and I promise you will be happy with your results. Eat - Exercise and nutrition go hand in hand; you really cannot have one without the other.  So many times I hear people say, I workout so I can eat what I want.  Well, I have not met too many people where that has worked out for them. That strategy is an uphill battle that you will eventually lose over time (kinda like the slots in Vegas).  Proper nutrition will allow you to get the full benefits of your workout (so you’re not wasting your time) and

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you will see those results much faster. Proper nutrition is important both before and after workouts and even during workouts (if you are working out at a certain level). Before your workout, you will want to make sure your body has the fuel it needs to get you through the workout, so you can really push yourself.   When I know I have a tough workout class coming up in the evening, I plan my food all day long so that I know my body will be ready for the class.  After a really hard class, if you worked hard and broke down some muscle, your body will be looking for some fuel to recover from your workout.  Having some protein would be a good idea directly following a good workout to help you recover. If you think you need to make a change, you probably do. I can guarantee you this.  It will NOT get easier the older you get.   If you want to live into your old age in a healthy way, you will have to make a change at some point. Whether you change today, tomorrow or 5, 10, 15 years from now, one day it will come. I personally think it is a lot more fun and easier to do on your own terms vs. having your doctor insist on it.  Plus, you get to enjoy all the benefits of feeling your absolute best right now!   I promise you this!  When you get into the best shape of your life, you enjoy each day more, you have more energy, people look at you differently, your relationships improve, your outlook on life totally changes, and you won’t have to worry about your health in your old age. So, if you are serious, take these simple steps: Get a good workout routine (take classes, get a  trainer, or whatever), give each and every workout 100% effort, and give your body the right type and amount of fuel it needs. That is how you will transform your body into the body you never dreamed you could have! TK Smith is a local nutritional coach and certified Specialist in Fitness Nutrition. He

enjoys helping people reach their fitness goals by creating customized nutritional programs and coaching. He can be reached at 760-593-7512 or

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business spotlight Propel Pilates and Fitness – Karen Rickett Roughly 20 years ago, Cincinnati, Ohio was treated to a new exercise gym; it was one of a very few. The gym had that “Gold’s Gym” type of atmosphere with lots of weight lifting equipment and Jazzercise classes. The interesting thing to note is that it was opened by then 19-year-old Karen Rickett. Karen was in college studying nutrition and exercise and had a strong drive to apply what she was learning. So, she opened her own gym. She eventually sold the gym to concentrate on her studies, but even 20 years later, it is still open.

answer questions and give advice. They also set up the website to make scheduling classes easy and convenient.

Now living in San Diego, Karen holds a Masters of Science in Nutrition and is a nationally credentialed Registered Dietitian through the American Dietetic Association. She is also a pilates instructor and a personal trainer. All in all, Karen has had her foot in the door of health and fitness for over 25 years.

As she cycled through her residency and her time as a clinical dietician, she kept in touch with the exercise world by doing personal training. All this she knew would eventually lead her to her holy grail – opening another successful gym. The pilates part of the puzzle came through a suggestion from her physical therapist. It was a rigorous workout without the wear and tear on her body. She stuck with the program, became lean and strong and was hooked for life. Meanwhile, Karen continuously searched for an ideal location for her new center. Nothing seemed to “pop” until the day she discovered the Rancho Bernardo location she is in now. Propel Pilates opened in August of 2008 and is a full service Pilates, Personal Training and Weight Loss Studio. There are two areas within the studio on which Karen focuses a great deal of attention: customer service and top notch instructors.

Propel Pilates’ customer service stretches into all aspects of the studio. The environment is comfortable, inviting, and supportive. They return phone calls promptly, treat clients with respect and care, and are always available to

Part of Karen’s business plan was to have a certain number of instructors. But Karen didn’t want just any instructors, she wanted the best. Through a lot of networking and research, she found who she was looking for and invited this elite group to join her studio. Karen continually gets compliments about the instructors. They’re professional, friendly, encouraging and caring - pretty much exactly what you need as you work to achieve your health and fitness goals.

Pilates is a series of exercises where one movement moves on to the next. It works because of the precision and quality of these movements. Your core works the entire time, but each body part gets worked throughout the session; it’s the epitome of a full body workout. The theory of pilates is that if the core is strong and stable, every other body part will ultimately work better. Skilled instructors are essential to pilates because participants must be monitored for the precision of their movements. Clearly, this is one of the reasons Karen was adamant about the quality of her trainers. Propel Pilates is set up to provide each person with a full body workout particular to their needs and goals. You train on various pieces of equipment, the names of which sound more like something you would find in an ancient torture chamber - the Reformer, Cadillac/Trapeze table, Wunda chair, and ladder barrel – but, not to worry, the results you get from using these machines far outweighs the anxiety you might feel from hearing their labels. Propel Pilates provides pilates classes (both private and small group), personal training, metabolic testing, weight loss programs and their new “body transformation package.” You’re a click away from a free introductory session and a whole new body. Visit their website at to sign up for the free session. You can also stop by the studio at 16769 Bernardo Center Dr. or call them 858-673-4455. Don’t wait any longer; summer is just around the corner!

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Back At The Ranch - April 2011  

Community News and Events for 4S Ranch and Del Sur

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