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february 2011

hometown

LOOKING FOR A

BIG

SEASON OTAY RANCH HIGH HOOPS

JAGGER AND

KRISTI ENJOY A MAGIC RELATIONSHIP PLUS

LOCAL COUPLE SHARES SECRET BEHIND 57 YEARS OF MARRIAGE

www.myhometownchulavista.com

Business HiGHliGHt: BONITA COUNTRY DAY SCHOOL resident sPotliGHt: THE KEROES-FLETCHER FAMILY


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february 2011

hometown

LOCAL GETAWAYS

contents

Cover/Inside Photo Courtesy of: Schafer Photography (619) 261-0471 www.schaferphotography.com

FROM THE EDITOR... One of the great aspects of writing and editing a community publication like My Hometown is the opportunity to meet some amazing people. Every month, I, and even our contributing writers, enjoy the privilege of sitting down across from people with interesting stories to tell. This month is no exception. Suzanne Catanzaro with Bonita Country Day School, Lisa Keroes and her daughters Gillian and Lauren, Claire and Bob Nuttal (who met with regular contributor Sarah Van Boerum), and our cover story subjects Jagger and Kristi are not only wonderful individuals, they are people committed to making the community around them a better place. In this month when love and romance take center stage, it’s great to find people who take those concepts out into the world and enrich the lives of others and themselves in the process. Whether it be a love of educating youngsters, or a love for this special community, or the personal love shared by two married couples, these people we were lucky enough to spend some time with have found a way to keep that initial spark burning brightly. They understand that it takes work and yet continue to put in the effort to run a successful school, keep a local neighborhood clean and assist others, sustain a marriage for more than 57 years and to host a morning radio show as a married couple. No, it’s not easy, but it seems, from all appearances, to be well worth it. So, what are you investing your time and effort to so far this year? Have you kept on track with those New Year’s resolutions or could you use a pick-me-up right about now? Have you shied away from tackling something new because of the work involved? Trust me, it hasn’t quite been the start of the year I had hoped for – being diagnosed with pneumonia wasn’t in the plan for 2011 – but I also know there is a long way to go before I need to reflect back on what I did or did not accomplish this year. If I’ve learned anything from the special people we have highlighted in this issue of My Hometown, it’s that following your true passions makes a positive impact on yourself and those you come in contact with. And, it’s never too late to try or try again. Michael Minjares, Editor of My Hometown

February 2011

WHAT’S INSIDE feature

JAgger And

Kristi enJoy A MAgic relAtionsHiP PaGe 12

A legAcy of love PaGe 17

community news Budget Cuts Have Big Local Impacts

8

Parks and Rec Master Plan Released

10

lifestyle 18

A Club of One’s Own

on topic Signing Story Time is Nourishing Baby’s Brain

21

community calendar 22

Local Events and Activities

business highlight 23

Bonita Country Day School

school news Oaty Ranch High Hoops Looking for a Big Season

24

resident spotlight The Keroes-Fletcher Family

25 february 2011 my hometown 3


feedback

BRAVO

Look what great things your community is up to...

To Fernando Cabico on being named to the Union-Tribune All-Academic Team Captain for football. The Eastlake High student was honored for both his academic and athletic achieve(Capico #8, far left; photo ments. Cabico, a senior, played courtesy of Jon Bigornia, JB a significant role in the Titan’s Photography (619) 852-0750) undefeated regular season earning recognition as the Mesa League Defensive Player of the Year. The U-T also honored local basketball standouts Gabrielle Robledo (Olympian) and Alex Perez (Otay Ranch) with High School Athletes of the Week awards in January. To Kid Ventures on winning a 2010 Nickelodeon’s Parents Pick Award. The indoor adventure place took top honors in the “Best Coffee Place” category for their outstanding café. The local business was also nominated in the “Best Kids’ Party Place” category. To local photographer and frequent contributor to My Hometown Jessica Fraser on winning an award from The Knot – Best of Weddings 2010. The wedding planning website asked thousands of recent San Diego brides for their thoughts on wedding vendors and Fraser was recognized as a top San Diego wedding photographer. To Gary Nordstrom of McMillin Realty on being elected to a two-year term as vice president of the Pacific Southwest Association of Realtors. “I’m thrilled to be able to put my commitment, knowledge and connections to work for my fellow Realtors while helping promote the South County as a great place to live, work and play,” Nordstrom said in a release.

To the City of Chula Vista on receiving a 2010 Sustainability Showcase Award from the California Sustainability Alliance. The City received this award in the “Local Government” category for its Climate Protection Program. Each year, the Showcase Awards recognize businesses and organizations in California who are leading the way toward a less energy intensive, low carbon future and provides a platform for the honorees to share their success stories and best practices. Chula Vista was recognized for its dedication to advancing sustainability goals internally and in the broader community. To Southwestern College professors Surian Figueroa, Andrew MacNeill and Sylvia Garcia-Navarrete on winning the College’s annual Faculty Recognition Award for excellence and leadership in teaching. Awards were given in three categories: - Teaching Excellence Award: Surian Figueroa, Professor of Italian & ESL - Professional Leadership Award: Andrew MacNeill, Professor of ESL & Japanese - Adjunct Faculty Award: Sylvia Garcia Navarrete, Professor of ESL & Reading. “We have an elite group of educators at Southwestern College,” said Michael Kerns, Acting Superintendent/ President of Southwestern College in a release. “Every day, our faculty find new and creative ways to promote student success. Being honored by your peers is a great achievement and we are glad to give these professors the recognition they deserve.” Along with a trip to the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development Conference in Austin, Texas, winners also receive a plaque and acknowledgement at the College’s Faculty Recognition Award Dinner in April.

If you would like to contribute to Bravo, send a quick note to My Hometown’s editor at mike@fountain-inc.com and we’ll do our best to put your good-news announcement in an upcoming issue. Submissions should be sent by the 10th of the month. Published by Fountain Media Group, Inc 1501 San Elijo Rd, Suite 104-202 San Marcos, CA 92078 (800) 497-1309 x710 www.fountain-inc.com

4 my hometown february 2011

Publishers Karen Smith

Editorial/Sales Mike Minjares

karen@fountain-inc.com

mike@fountain-inc.com

Tim Minjares tim@fountain-inc.com

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Reproduction in any form, in whole or part, without written permission is prohibited. Fountain Media Group, Inc. 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.


on your doorstep Performing and Visual Arts Grant Applications Being Accepted

Cash for College Workshop As local high school seniors enter the last semester of their high school career, many parents are finalizing plans to fund the next step in their children’s education. The San Diego and Imperial Counties California Student Opportunity and Access Program (Cal-SOAP) can serve as a great resource for local families eager to make a smooth transition to college or university life. The organization will offer several Cash for College workshops in the South Bay this month that provide free assistance in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). These helpful workshops will take from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon on three Saturdays – February 5, 19 and 26. San Ysidro High School will host the first workshop on February 5, with Chula Vista High School serving as the site for the seminar on February 19. The event on February 26 will take place at Montgomery High School. Participants are encouraged to plan to stay for about an hour once they arrive and bilingual assistance will be available. Parents or guardians should attend with the student and should bring financial records such as recent tax forms. More information is available at the Cal-SOAP website – www.sandiegocalsoap.com. To pre-register, students and parents should call (858) 569-1866. It’s never too early or too late to get help in achieving educational goals.

Once again, applications are currently being accepted for the Performing and Visual Arts Fund Grant Program. Residents of Chula Vista may apply either as individuals or as arts organizations up until the deadline of Friday, February 18. Typically, the grants awarded range from $250 to $2,500, but higher amounts can be awarded. A total of $55,550 was awarded to 24 applicants in 2010. According to the application materials, the Performing and Visual Arts Fund Grant Program was established to promote and stimulate the growth of performing and cultural arts within the City of Chula Vista through a grant application process. “The grant fund supports art projects in: dance, design arts, media arts, music, photography, theater, traditional/folk arts and visual arts, or interdisciplinary expressions involving more than one of the above fields.” Grant funds are generated from a percentage of ticket sale proceeds at Chula Vista’s Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre and the total budget for 2011 will be announced later this spring. In general, funds can be used to pay artists for a performance or exhibition, materials for a creative event, costs of printing programs for local arts events, rental of costumes for an arts production, art/music/theatre/ dance projects in schools and the community, and programs that promote cultural diversity and/or cultural tourism. For more information or to download application materials, go to www.chulavistaca.gov/goto/artgrants.

Local Libraries Have New Hours In light of the City’s current economic situation, the Chula Vista Library announced new hours recently. Effective January 7, the Civic Center branch at 365 F Street is now open Tuesday-Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.; Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The library is closed on Sunday and Monday. Locally, the EastLake branch library, located on the campus of Eastlake High School, 1120 EastLake Parkway, is now open on Monday and Wednesday from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.

february 2011 my hometown 5


on your doorstep

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september 2010

Get Involved! Get Published!

My Hometown is always looking for contributors, articles and stories. It’s a great way to get more involved in your community. We welcome stories about neighborhood events, human interest and community building for all of our sections. hometown

You can contact us by calling (800) 497-1309 x710 with your idea or send us an email at mike@fountain-inc.com.

New Rotary Club Open to Members

E M A G G I B E H T

YOUR HOME FOR

all month long Game day specials TV’s 50 HD Flat screen e action going th p e e k to s e n La 10

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6 my hometown february 2011

Busy community members have a new opportunity to get involved and make a significant difference. The Rotary Club of Chula Vista has opened a new local Rotary that will meet in the evenings. According to current Rotary President Lisa Johnson, the new evening club is designed for those who would like to be Rotarians but can’t make the noon or morning meetings offered in Chula Vista. While Johnson is assisting in the start-up of this new organization, she is hopeful the group will soon find someone with Rotary experience to be the first club president. “Anyone who is interested in learning more about Rotary is welcome at the meetings,” Johnson said. “Current Rotarians can also use these meetings as ‘make ups’ for their own club.” The new Chula Vista Evening Rotary will have meetings on February 1 and 15, beginning at 6:15 p.m. at the Brew House at EastLake. The meeting on February 1 will feature Matt Gillory, President of the Mission Valley Evening Rotary, while Dan McAllister, County Treasurer/ Tax Collector will speak at the meeting on February 15. Cost is $12 and includes a light meal and soft drinks. The Chula Vista Rotary website is the place to find additional information about the new evening club and can be found at www.chulavistarotary.org.


on your doorstep

City of Chula Vista Receives Funding to Restore Police School Resource Officers Due to the City of Chula Vistaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s budget reduction plan, the Police Departmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s School Resource Officer Program (SRO) was going to be completely eliminated. However, Chula Vista Police Chief David Bejarano announced in late December that many of the SROs will be reinstated. The Chula Vista Elementary School District (CVESD) and the Sweetwater Union High School District (SUHSD) have agreed to continue their current SRO funding through this current fiscal year and committed to continue supporting the program through the 2011- 2012 fiscal year. Combined with a new state grant, the funding will subsidize eight School Resource Officers and one School

Resource Sergeant. Despite some cuts, this will enable the Police Department to continue to provide this viable program. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is great news for our schools, students and our officers,â&#x20AC;? said Police Chief David Bejarano in a release. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The funding shows we all have a collective goal of keeping our schools safe.â&#x20AC;? The SRO Program serves 90 public and private schools in Chula Vista. Last year, the SROs responded to more than 2,000 calls for service from local schools. The program assigns dedicated officers to secure and protect school facilities. They serve a proactive presence on school campuses and are dedicated law enforcement resources for each school. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This program benefits our students and school staff,â&#x20AC;? said Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox. â&#x20AC;&#x153;As a community we should all be working together to make our city a safe place, and our schools should be the most secure public zones.â&#x20AC;? my.

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on your doorstep

Budget Cuts Have Big Local Impact By Zaneta Encarnacion

Thank goodness for Ms. Donna’s “Make, Bake and Take” classes at Montevalle Park. Like many in our community, my family has had to start doing with less and that has meant being financially creative about afterschool activities. Now, my daughter has discovered a love of the culinary arts and she brings home dinner – all for a $36 five-week session. While we’ve become proud of our thrifty habits, we know there is another looming budget issue making its way to our home: Our city’s budget crisis. Coupon cutting, staycations, and the creative measures of our afterschool activities won’t change the cuts that the City will have to make to our parks, recreational facilities and maintenance services, to name a few. Unfortunately, the cuts are par for the course in today’s economy. While the budget is a constant in our news, somehow it seems far away and often tangled in political fights and a language of hate. But my experiences both personally and professionally have taught me that these political decisions especially locally - can have an immediate affect on our families shaping our safety, streets, parks and education.

It’s not always easy to follow or even stomach the political happenings. That is why it was important to launch PoliticallyActivePoliticsFree.com – a website dedicated to issues concerning Chula Vista. Along with my friend Patty Chavez, the site is our attempt to cut out the rhetoric and share comments and information to stimulate civil conversation and involvement. Recently, Chula Vista City manager Jim Sandoval – who much like a CEO manages city staff and the various departments such as police, fire, maintenance and parks – sat down with us to answer questions from our readers about pending cuts, rumors and the future of our city. “We’re being forced to be creative when cutting services to minimize the impact to the community,” Sandoval shared. So what does creative mean for our daily living? According to Sandoval, various services will be adjusted bringing much change to our routines. Recreation centers throughout the city will rotate days of operation - opening only two days a week. Although this may translate to less classes and schedules, the

What’s Affected... Beginning January 10, 2011, the City will have new hours of operations at various facilities and public counters and will be reducing many public services and programs the City announced in a release. For a complete list, visit the Featured Focus on the City’s website at www.chulavistaca.gov. The following is an updated list of new operating hours for the City’s nearby recreational facilities and other eliminated services: •P  ublic Works: Park and picnic shelter reservations will no longer be taken by phone or over-the-counter, but will be available online through the City’s website. •R  ecreation: All recreation centers will be open two days a week during the hours listed below. Signs with new hours are posted at all facilities. •H  eritage Center will be open Mondays and Wednesdays from 2:00 to 7:00 p.m.

8 my hometown february 2011

•M  ontevalle Center will be open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:00 to 8:00 p.m. •O  tay Center will be open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:00 to 7:30 p.m. (Fitness Center open 8:00 to 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 to 7:30 p.m.) •S  alt Creek Center will be open Wednesdays from 3:00 to 7:45 p.m. (Fitness Center open 8:00 a.m. to 7:45 p.m.) and Saturdays 8:00 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. •V  eterans Center will be open Fridays from 2:00 to 7:00 p.m. and Saturdays 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

All centers will be hosting a variety of fee-based programs with registered participants on the days listed but will not be open to the general public for drop-in programming. All recreation centers are available for rentals outside the operating hours above. For questions about rentals, updated schedules and programming information, please reference http://www.chulavistaca. gov/City_Services/Community_Services/Recreation.


on your doorstep Half-Price Admission at 40 Area Museums THIS MONTH

rotation will allow for all communities to have their centers open - at least minimally. No more personal assistance when scheduling park reservations. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll have to go online to reserve gazebos and such for birthday parties or other events. So make sure to print out your reservations and letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hope that there are no computer glitches as upkeep and updates to the Cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s website has also been reduced. Trash, vandalism and loitering may become an increased concern as park custodial services and graffiti eradication services have been reduced along with the complete elimination of our park rangers. Sandoval suggests that the city will rely on the help of community members to be more conscious of their trash and call police if they encounter suspicious behavior. Sandoval also shared that business leaders are coming forward with possible solutions to support the community such as the idea to save EastLake Library. Otay Ranch Town Center is working with the City to relocate the library to their mall giving a home to the only library east of I-805 and allowing for an increase in operating hours to 35 hours a week. Dealing with these changes and inconveniences along with the frustrations that they bring, wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be easy. But keeping informed and working together on solutions in a productive way will get us through these times. The dynamics of neighborhood life may change â&#x20AC;&#x201C; for the best. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re hearing of increased carpooling and rotating afterschool childcare. This idea of getting to know ones neighbor may mean more dialogue and focus in the immediate surroundings. Maybe itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll lead to renewed neighborhood watch programs, â&#x20AC;&#x153;adopt the parkâ&#x20AC;? measures or selfneighborhood clean ups. Our goal at PoliticallyActivePoliticsFree.com is to also increase civic dialogue and keep it civil. Cuts will affect everyone in different ways. Therefore, it is essential our city leaders hear from a large cross section of our community so they can best approach solutions. The hidden blessing behind these tough budget times can very well be the emergence of a stronger more united community. We invite you to be a part of building a stronger community by joining us at www.PoliticallyActivePoliticsFree.com. In the meantime, my family will be awaiting the future recreation class schedules and hoping that Ms. Donnaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s class makes the cut with enough openings to accommodate all. my.

Throughout February 2011, visitors to San Diego have the opportunity to experience the regionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rich cultural offerings at half-price during San Diego Museum Month according to the San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau. Guests can participate by picking up a free San Diego Museum Month Pass at any area Macyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s location. Using the pass, valid from February 1-28, local visitors can receive half-price admission for up to four guests per visit at 40 of San Diegoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s museums, cultural attractions and historical sites. Visitors can take advantage of San Diego Museum Month at facilities located throughout the region; for example: The USS Midway Museum, Maritime Museum of San Diego and The New Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Museum in downtown San Diego; The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego and Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institute of Oceanography in La Jolla; LUX Art Institute and the San Diego Botanical Garden in Encinitas; 13 world-class facilities like the Mingei International Museum, the Museum of Photographic Arts, Reuben H. Fleet Science Center and San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park, which is often referred to as the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Smithsonian of the West.â&#x20AC;?For a complete list of participating museums, visit www.sandiegomuseumcouncil.org.

PUBLIC SCHOOL PRICE PRIVATE SCHOOL QUALITY $IVMB7JTUB&MFNFOUBSZ 4DIPPM%JTUSJDUXFMDPNFT JOUFSEJTUSJDUUSBOTGFST TUVEFOUTGSPNPVUTJEFPVS BUUFOEBODFCPVOEBSJFT PO BTQBDFBWBJMBCMFCBTJT

CVESD ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE INDEX SCORE* GROWTH 2005-2010

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* The state benchmark is 800; 38 of 45 CVESD schools exceed the benchmark.

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For more information, please contact CVESDâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Student Placement Office at (619) 425-9600, ext. 1570

Completed registration packets for the 2011-12 school year will be accepted beginning on March 2, 2011.

Inter-District applications will be received by CVESD beginning May 2, 2011

www.cvesd.org february 2011 my hometown 9


on your doorstep

Parks and Rec Master Plan Released By Valeria Genel Parks are essential for those of us who love nature and live in the suburbs of Chula Vista. Lucky for us, a group of landscape planners and architects that work for the City have released a Parks and Recreation Master Plan for 2030. A PRMP is a draft of a vision of what our community could look like twenty years from now. It defines a city’s needs and serves as a mental picture of a place to feel at home without being surrounded by walls. When you visualize the ideal place to live, you have to think like an architect and I never realized that until I met Landscape Planner Joe Gamble who works for the City of Chula Vista. “To build a park system that meets the needs of the residents we conducted surveys to determine what recreational activities our citizens are participating in,” said Mr. Gamble. The City surveyed households, sport groups and community service providers in order to find out what type of facilities residents would want close to their homes. “The surveys allow us to determine what type of park facilities should be located in each of our future

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parks in order to address as many needs as possible in a comprehensive manner.” The 2030 PRMP draft presents a new concept, the inclusion of urban parks. Urban parks are small parks that are located usually at the center of a residential area where they are available to most people. They provide areas of leisure in West Chula Vista where space is limited and they are a great addition to the PRMP since they efficiently serve the necessary facilities while enriching small spaces. The plan represents a broad and unified community. A public presentation event for the Park and Recreation Master Plan Update is scheduled for February 10 at 6:00 p.m. at Heritage Park Recreation Center, 1381 East Palomar Street. Mr. Gamble encourages the public to attend. The document is also available for viewing on line at: http://www.chulavistaca.gov/City_Services/ Development_Services/Planning_Building/Planning/ Development/Parks_Rec_MasterPlan.asp my.


JAgger And

Kristi enJoy A MAgic relAtionsHiP By Mike Minjares


relationships

“We sounded terrible!” For long-time listeners of the morning radio show team of Jagger and Kristi, it may come as a bit of a surprise to learn that the on and off-air couple haven’t always been as smooth and conversational as they are now on Magic 92.5. When they first started off, the two had some rough moments that have thankfully been smoothed out over the course of more than 14 years working together on the radio and 13 years of marriage.

J

agger and Kristi have been fixtures on San Diego radio airwaves and enjoy a very popular morning show that features a variety of fun segments that listeners relish. From “War of the Roses” to “Kristi’s Celebrity Smack” to the giveand-take, on-air discussions of a working married couple, each morning their show offers a lighthearted and casual way to start the day. In addition to the show’s regular segments, the couple uses their personal relationship and occasional disagreements to help them connect with their listeners. And that connection continues to grow with each passing year. But despite their long-term success, the two have not forgotten what they sounded like in 1996. “Kristi started doing traffic at ‘Star’ back in the day,” Jagger recalled. “She was my girlfriend at the time and I brought her into my show to do traffic. After the first week on the air together, we thought we sounded so bad. Eventually we got everything worked out.” Kristi, who came to San Diego from Milwaukee in 1990 and met Jagger while the two worked in San Francisco in 1993, agrees that the start of “Jagger & Kristi” didn’t go exactly as the two had planned. “We were self-conscious at first,” she said. “We weren’t as comfortable and weren’t acting as ourselves. The producers really shot me down at first. They wouldn’t let me talk. Jagger had this single-guy image and I was supposed to sit and just do traffic. It wasn’t fun

14 my hometown february 2011

for either of us. So, one day we decided to blow it out on a Friday and see what response we got. Thankfully, people responded and really liked it.” From there, the show and their relationship have blossomed. Sitting in the studio with Jagger and Kristi, one can’t help but notice the great rapport the two have. They often finish each other’s sentences and approach their work and

relationship with lots of energy and enthusiasm. Each morning the two sit across from each other with Jagger managing the controls and Kristi updating their Facebook page and checking out the Magic 92.5 web site. Producer Ryan sits in a separate room making sure everything goes as planned, while intern Sammi sits nearby ready to chime in on a variety of hot topics.


relationships

There is lots of preparation taking place for elements of the show that will air later – recording commercials, running through the show schedule and, on this morning, taping a segment with Fred Saxon, the movie guy, that will air the next day. It may sound like nothing but fun and laughs on the radio, but there is much work that goes on behind the scenes. The same can be said for their personal relationship. After keeping their status hush for a little while, Jagger and Kristi went public with their relationship in June 1996. They say they were forced to acknowledge being a couple publically when listeners started to see them out in the community together more and more. Jagger says once people spotted the engagement ring, he knew it was time to come clean to the listeners. Nowadays Jagger and Kristi, who don’t have any children but do own horses, cats and a beloved dog named Bodie, look forward to being spotted

out in the community. The two enjoy connecting with their listeners and throw their support behind many worthy causes. Whether it’s supporting our troops, raising funds for Make-A-Wish, assisting with a food drive or promoting their successful Jagger & Kristi’s Kritters, where they’ve helped hundreds of animals find welcoming homes, the two illustrate the difference that getting involved makes in our larger community. At their public events, the two are often asked how they manage to work together and still maintain a successful relationship. Jagger says it all gets back to enjoying what they do. “People come up to us and tell us all the time, ‘I don’t know how you do it,’” Jagger said. “It makes me wonder if maybe there is something wrong with us. I think what it comes down to is we have fun on the radio and we have fun when we are not on the radio. What more can you ask than to have fun with the person you are with.” Beyond simply having fun, Jagger and Kristi agree that establishing boundaries and setting general rules have also played a significant role in being able to stay happily married while also working together each weekday morning from 5:00 to 10:00 a.m. “One of our rules is that after we are off the air on Friday we try to talk about the show and then shut it down for the weekend,” said Jagger, who got his break in San Diego at the former KCBQ in 1995. “We try not to talk about it until Monday. We also have a routine we follow each morning. I get up first and wake up Kristi about 20 minutes later. And we don’t talk until we get to the studio. In most morning shows, the hosts haven’t seen each other all night so it’s as close as ‘catching up’ as we can do.” But according to Kristi, there are limits to what the couple will talk about for all to hear. “There is a part of our lives that we don’t share on air,” she said. “We know where to draw that line. You have to define what you share and what stays between us. We do use little arguments

as conversation starters to promote discussion with the listeners. It sometimes turns into an open communication session. We do always try to wrap up on a fun note. We are here to uplift people on their way to work or starting out their day.” One of the most popular aspects of their morning show is “War of the Roses.” The daily segment offers individuals a chance to put their partners and their relationship to the test. Jagger and Kristi’s producer Ryan calls one of the parties, usually the male, and tells them they can send one dozen, red, romantic roses to anyone of their choice for free. All Ryan needs is a name and a message. With the other partner joining the radio hosts in listening to the call, they wait to see what name is given. The ensuing dialogue plays like a mini soap opera scene and often makes for great radio. Despite its popularity, “War of the Roses” almost didn’t make it on the air. “I didn’t want to do it at first,” Jagger admits. “I didn’t think it was what our show was about. (Kristi says that’s because Jagger doesn’t like conflict.) Kristi pushed it. I was worried this could get uncomfortable for parents and kids. We’d always been a show that parents could listen to with their kids. I was blown away when we heard from listeners that parents and kids were enjoying it together. We are entertained as much as our listeners. We don’t know what they are going to say.” “But most of the participants aren’t too surprised,” he continued. “If someone is cheating, they are being secretive. ‘War of the Roses’ gives a way for people to catch their partner red-handed. Some of the participants you really feel for them. You know some of them are going to get back together and will start all over again.” Bringing people together is the focus of another popular Jagger and Kristi event – the “Hook Up Cruise.” Started in 1997 as the “Booty Cruise,” the cruise with Hornblower San Diego presents a different atmosphere than a regular club. Offered three or four times a february 2011 my hometown 15


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16 my hometown february 2011

year, with the next one taking place in February, the cruise of San Diego Bay has proven a great environment for lasting connections to be made. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When we started the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Hook Up Cruise,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; we thought it would be great if two people went on a date because of meeting on it,â&#x20AC;? Jagger said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Now, we are up to 30 marriages as a result of the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Hook Up Cruise.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; All of them say they wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have met their partner if they hadnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t gone on the cruise. We always tell people if you see someone you would like to meet but are unsure of how to meet them, find us and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll have Kristi make the introduction.â&#x20AC;? Jaggerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s comment about his outgoing wife and long-term radio partner, speaks to the understanding and appreciation the two have for one another. Over the years, this husband and wife team have grown closer together as a result of their work on San Diego radio. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He has brought me a little more in and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve brought him a little more out in some regards,â&#x20AC;? Kristi said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He needed to loosen up and I needed to shut up and be more short on what I say on the air. That is the balance that we have found. We are always redefining what works and what doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t work. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the DJ and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m the sidekick. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been criticized for being too vanilla and too happy. But it is who we are. We are going to choose being happy over being mad every time.â&#x20AC;? my. Jagger and Kristi Photos Courtesy of: Schafer Photography (619) 261-0471. www.schaferphotography.com


relationships

A Legacy Of Love In a time of many unhappy marriages, anti-marriage attitudes, prenups, quick divorces and broken homes, one can be left to wonder if there are any happily married couples left. Finding a marriage that has withstood the test of time, kids and financial burdens, as well as the challenges that come with everyday life is rare. Where are all of the couples that have made it work and stayed married for better or for worse? I am happy to report that they can be found in every country, every state and within every city. Marriage is just as important now as it has ever been. Hope, romance and happiness are alive and well in marriages everywhere. Even locally we have an old-fashioned love story that can help make each of our relationships stronger. Bob and Claire Nuttall have been married for 57 ½ years and counting, that is definitely worth celebrating! As I begin my interview with the Nuttalls, Bob is quiet and thoughtful, traits I am told have been very beneficial in their relationship. Claire is smiling, eager and happy to reminisce about the man whom she has stood side-by-side with throughout the years. I am immediately intrigued by their story. Simple yet strong, they prove a powerful example of how a couple can grow together. Theirs is a relationship other couples can still learn from today. It all started in 1953, when the two met through mutual friends who set them up on their first date. Both of their parents had been farmers and both had grown up on farms in Utah, giving them common ground. Of their first date, Claire remembers that he was tall and handsome. Bob remembers that she was smart, pretty, a good listener and was easy to talk to. “She didn’t waste any time, she kissed me on the first date,” Bob shared. Claire just laughs. She knew he was the one for her. “When you know, you know,” she says. My questions are ones that everyone

Bob and Clair Nuttall have been married for 57 1/2 years and counting.

wants to know of a couple that has been married this long. First, what is their secret to a long-lasting and loving relationship? Claire says, “You need to have similar goals, have the same desires and beliefs. There needs to be forgiveness, a lot of forgiveness. Humor is key, laughing during the hard moments breaks the tension and makes things a little easier to deal with. Communication is always a challenge, but you will continue to learn from each other with time, so be patient and understanding. Every relationship has its weak points, but they do get stronger over time. Never let a day pass without saying I love you to one another. Don’t put off something that needs to be handled today. Life can be a struggle at times, so struggle together.” So how do the Nuttalls keep the spark going after so many years together? They both agree that it is important to be appreciative of each other, in everything big and small. Claire continues, “Bob is very dependable and always has been. He has always had a job and has taken care of our family. He is a good father and husband.” Bob says, “There is not a day that goes by that I do not think about all that she has done for our family. Through the years, she has always been there to take care of me, of our kids and our home. She is a great

By Sarah Van Boerum mom and wife.” During their life together, Bob has worked hard so that Claire has been able to stay home and raise their children, a dynamic that they believe key in making their relationship work. The Nuttalls also believe that it is important for children to see their parents show love and affection towards one another, setting a lifelong example that they can draw upon when they are married. How do they handle a fight? For Claire it is simple.“We really try not to fight,” she said. “Sometimes I get worked up, but Bob is quiet and just listens and the moment passes. Don’t say things in the heat of the moment that you will regret later on.” What advice do they have for couples out there that are struggling to make it work? Once again they agree that it is important to “be satisfied with what you have and make the best out of your current circumstances. Don’t just wish for what you want, work to make it happen. Live within your means. Financial worries and debt only create stress. Look around you, we are so blessed to be here, happiness is not found in material possessions. Simple is good. Be the best person you can be, especially when it is hard.” Today, the Nuttalls look forward to celebrating their upcoming anniversary in July and are proud to celebrate their legacy of love with their three daughters, 17 grandchildren and four great grandchildren. As we celebrate this Valentine’s Day, remember that a box of chocolates, dinner out and roses are nice, but the true gift should come from celebrating the milestones you and your spouse have achieved together. I personally look forward to my own future, hand in hand with my hubby, knowing that life will not always be perfect and that there will be disagreements, but that we will handle them together and come out stronger. my. february 2011 my hometown 17


lifestyle By Stephanie Garrison

A CLUB OF ONE’S OWN Having Fun in Group Format What kind of group can you start? Pretty much anything you wish, from the mainstream to the arcane.

Whether you’re a collector or a fan, a craftsperson or a networking business owner, you can start whatever group you wish with some imagination and an eye to honoring your own interests.

18 my hometown february 2011

N

ow that the New Year is underway - you’ve probably identified a few areas of your life that you’d like to improve. Maybe you want to devote more time to a hobby or to unfinished projects. Whatever you have envisioned for yourself, without the support of others, it becomes easy to let those goals slip away as the year progresses. Wouldn’t you love to have a group of like-minded friends to travel with you toward your new goal? Why not start up a new group or club? It’s a great way to not only ensure progress toward those goals, but also to form new friendships. What kind of group can you start? Pretty much anything you wish, from the mainstream to the arcane. If you’re a pop-culture fanatic, perhaps a movie or a book club would be a fun way to experience the latest in cinematic or literary achievement. There are plenty of television shows that have dedicated fans who host themed viewing parties for first-run episodes of their favorite fiction or reality TV “guilty pleasure.” If you’re a hobbyist, don’t lament that you can’t carve out the time to pursue your favorite art or craft – find others who share your passion and get together for “me time” crafting sessions! This is also a great way to learn new techniques and

socialize. Are you planning some home renovation work this year? Seek out other neighbors and pool your knowledge and resources planning your respective projects. Who knows – you may be able to get a volume discount from a contractor. Is there something you’ve always wanted to learn? Consider group lessons in a language or art that other neighbors might be interested in as well: maybe there’s a local chef that will teach an ongoing in-home class of specialized kitchen procedures to interested parents, or a retired artist that can share techniques with nascent illustrators. There are many ways to meet new people who share your interests: through mutual friends, through your kids’ school mates, within professional associations, at the coffee shop, at other lessons, even online. Of course, use some judgment and discretion; it might take time to get to know someone first before entrusting them to join your circle – especially if you initially meet online. A group can always welcome new members if it’s hard to keep numbers up, but it’s better to be selective in the interest of personal safety and collective harmony. It is essential to figure out the purpose of your group. Will it be primarily social, or professional? Are you using gatherings as a means to find shared creative time,


february 2011 my hometown 19


CLUBS

versus holding meetings to evaluate one another’s work? Can networking be a component, or lectures from visiting industry experts? A collective can often answer the multiple needs of its members at once, but without an overarching focus, the original intent of the group can rapidly deteriorate. Regular attendance of participants can be difficult to maintain, so try to remove as many barriers as possible. I was once in a writing group with mostly university friends; we were all busy with either jobs or parenting or both and often we’d come to group with nothing written, therefore there was nothing to critique! It was only until we switched the model around, and would use group time to write together, then review one another’s work, that progress was made. Meeting in a group should enrich your life, not put on added pressure to perform!

Everyone who participates should make a promise to attend meetings, and stick to it. Commitment must be a basic tenet to belong, because if there’s only two or three constant attendees, things go downhill fast and dissolution is inevitable. What is an ideal group size? For more hands-on work, smaller numbers, such as four to eight, might be best due to space and time concerns. But if you’re doing something like group gaming, you might need teams and this requires a bigger turnout. Next, a schedule can be drawn up that all members can agree upon: will meetings be weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, bi-monthly? Figure out what works for everyone, and don’t be afraid to adjust the schedule during summer or winter holidays. Rotate meetings so that everyone gets a chance to host; it may be hard but you might have to limit contributors to a certain geographical area so the commute isn’t daunting.

Whether you’re a collector or a fan, a craftsperson or a networking business owner, you can start whatever group you wish with some imagination and an eye to honoring your own interests. If you want to delve into something, there are probably other people out there who want to do so as well. As a final note, don’t forget about volunteering! Many crafters have formed ad-hoc groups to make quilts, cards, small accessories and various other articles to hand out to deserving organizations throughout the year. Getting together with an aim towards helping others is perhaps the most rewarding use of your spare time imaginable. So be creative – and don’t be afraid to try something new with other like-minded individuals. It just might be the start of a new and interesting pursuit in your life. my.

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on topic: health

Signing Story Time is Nourishing Baby’s Brain

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ow many times have you heard that children are like sponges, soaking up all that’s around them? You’ve probably also heard that you should read to your children daily. Twenty minutes a day is like exercise for the brain. It makes sense. We want to enhance their language acquisition, provide them with tools for learning, give them a head start in school and all the other things that go hand-inhand with having a healthy, well-adjusted, love-to-learn kid. You can make an even bigger impact during story time by signing words from the story to your child. While babies and toddlers may not recognize words or letters on paper, they can easily identify the symbolic sign for various objects and activities. Research is showing that signing in the classroom is making learning to read easier. If we can engage a child in more than one of the learning styles, they experience greater success in learning. The left side of the brain is the language center, while the right side of the brain is visual based. When parents speak as they sign, both sides of the brain are activated to learn. (Marilyn Daniels – Dancing with Words) A good story time program will engage the audience using all four main learning styles; visual, auditory, kinesthetic and tactile. Visual learners will enjoy both illustrations and photograph images in books, felt boards or puppets to help tell a story, and signing key words to talk about the book. Not only is signing a visual language, it promotes eye contact and draws a longer attention span. Auditory learners enjoy music, singing and chanting and benefit from the inflection and tone of the storyteller’s voice. Speaking the words you sign with your baby is just as important as the words you read aloud from a book. It builds an auditory association to the sound and symbol. Kinesthetic learners love participatory story times where they are invited to clap hands, get up to dance, or bring

a toy that corresponds to the theme of the story time. Signing is not only using the hands, a lot of facial expression and body language are incorporated to fully convey a message. Tactile learners love the ability to participate in telling the story with sign language. Finger plays such as “Itsy Bitsy Spider”, “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” and “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” have been made popular with gestures that children like to mimic. The following tips can be applied to reading and signing. Coupled together you’ll feed your baby’s hungry brain. 1. Repetition. Children benefit from reading the same book again and again as they become familiar with sequencing, they love being able to predict what comes next in the story and being correct. 2. Establish a routine. Reading a book before bed or naptime is a great way for a baby to wind down. 3. Make it fun. If your toddler wants to flip through the pages quickly to find their favorite page, go ahead and spend time talking about what interests them most. 4. Encourage participation. Pointing, page turning, and talking about the book, not just the written words, are all great ways for a baby to begin the lifelong love of reading. 5. Be creative. When you find new ways to tell the same story it not only keeps your child engaged, it keeps you engaged as well. 1. Repetition. Signing a word over and over again helps a baby pick up the meaning of the sign, much the way we repeat words when using “parentese” with babies (the high-pitched

By Joann Woolley

sing-song repetition of words caregivers use when speaking to babies). 2. Establish a routine. Once you’ve begun signing in the context of reading books, or any other situation, continue to do so and your child will pick the signs up quickly. 3. Make it fun. Try signing when you’re laughing and playing, your baby takes note of what you’re doing and is encouraged to chime in. 4. Encourage participation. Asking your baby to show you the sign is great practice to build up to initiating conversation. 5. Be creative. A novel game is one of the greatest signing opportunities. One of our favorites is This Little Piggy, signing pig each time you wiggle each little toe, and of course making a great pig snort or squeal! Take the traditional well-known preschool finger plays a step farther and learn the signs for words that are important to your child. Soon your child will have the building blocks for literacy and the confidence necessary to further describe their thoughts. Pediatrics of Paradise is pleased to sponsor free Signing Story Time on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month at 10:30 a.m. at the Otay Ranch location. my.

Joann Woolley is owner and instructor of Sign4Baby. She resides in San Diego with her husband and three children, teaching parents how to communicate with their pre-verbal baby using American Sign Language. View the schedule of classes at www.sign4baby.com

february 2011 my hometown 21


on your doorstep february 2011

out and about February 1

February 2

February 4

February 5

Chula Vista Evening Rotary

Breast is Best Lactation

“Save the Note” Benefit

Club – 6:15 at Brew House

Classes – 11am at Pediatrics

Concert – 7pm at Chula

at EastLake; Matt Gillory – President, Mission Valley Evening Rotary featured speaker; $12 (includes light meal and soft drinks)

in Paradise; Free instruction provided by lactation specialist; (619) 482-1700 or email pediatricsinparadise@yahoo.com

Community Art Gallery – 3-5pm at Concordia Church, 1695 Discovery Falls Drive; Last day of the exhibit featuring art of Katarzyna Lappin; (619) 656-8100.

February 9

February 10

Signing Storytime and

Chula Vista Chamber of

Nursery Rhyme – at 10:30am

Commerce Mixer – 5:307:30pm hosted by Miguel’s Cocina, 970 Eastlake Parkway; (619) 420-6603 or www.chulavistachamber.org

at Pediatrics in Paradise; (619) 482-1700 or email pediatricsinparadise@yahoo.com

February 12 “Valentine’s Day” – 5-9pm

– Neisha’s Dance & Music Academy; Kids ages 3-12; $25 per student; $35 day of event; Celebrate those you love by making one of a kind Valentine cards and treats; (619) 585-1133, www.neishas.com

February 19

February 15

February 11 Kids’ Night Out – Creative Toddlers; 5:30-8:30pm at Montevalle Rec Center, 840 Duncan Ranch Rd; Ages 3-5; $20 resident/$26 non resident; Children will eat pizza, make crafts and watch a G-rated movie; Lidia Miller (619) 322-5638

Chula Vista Evening Rotary Club – 6:15 at Brew House at EastLake; Dan McAllister – County Treasurer/Tax Collector featured speaker; $12 (includes light meal and soft drinks)

Free Cash for College

February 22

Workshop– 9am-12pm at

Free Bilingual Financial

Chula Vista High School; Free assistance with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), Cal Grant (GPA Verification and 1040 EZ tax forms; (858) 569-1866 or www.sandiegocalsoap.com

Seminar – 7pm at 807 Harold Place; Learn about education savings plans for children, pensions and retirement; Preregistration recommended; (619) 884-2308 or email missionwithavision@msn.com

MOR-FIT CLUB BOOTCAMP –

8:30-9:30am; Kick off the new year on the right foot with a free bootcamp-style workout with Morlett Fitness; Limited to 15 people; Reserve your spot at info@morlettfitness. com or 1-888-60-GET-FIT

Vista High School Performing Arts Center, 820 Fourth Ave; Tickets $7 in advance, $10 at door; Hosted by Otay Ranch High’s KIWIN’S group to benefit Kidsave International

February 23 Signing Storytime and Nursery Rhyme – at 10:30am

at Pediatrics in Paradise; (619) 482-1700 or email pediatricsinparadise@yahoo.com

February 16

2011 Health and Fitness Expo

presented by b2be sports and wellness – 9am-1pm at 851, Showroom Place; Community event focused on products and services related to healthy living, products, demos, samples; (619) 754-6812. Free Bilingual Financial Seminar – 9am at 807 Harold Place; Learn about education savings plans for children, pensions and retirement; Preregistration recommended; (619) 884-2308 or email missionwithavision@msn.com

Barefoot Running Presentation – 7-8pm; at

REI Chula Vista, 2015 Birch Road, Ste 150; Join REI expert Robert Thomson, an avid local barefoot runner, hiker and backpacker, for this free presentation about getting into this new sport; (619) 591-4924 or www.rei.com Breast is Best Lactation Classes – 11am at Pediatrics

in Paradise; Free instruction provided by lactation specialist; (619) 482-1700 or email

February 18 Free Bilingual Financial Seminar – 6:30pm at 807 Harold Place; Learn about education savings plans for children, pensions and retirement; Pre-registration recommended; (619) 884-2308 or email missionwithavision@ msn.com

pediatricsinparadise@yahoo.com

February 24

Otay Ranch Town Center Farmer’s Market – every Tuesday 4-8pm

Children’s Physician’s

Pajama Storytime at Eastlake Branch Library – every Monday 6:30-7:30pm; songs, puppets, stories and crafts (619) 397-3980

Medical Group Meet-n-Greet –

4-8pm at EastLake Tavern and Bowl, 881 Showroom Place

Please note events and times are subject to change.

22 my hometown february 2011


Bonita Country Day School

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very year in February, Bonita Country Day School Principal Suzanne Catanzaro sorts through prospective student applications. Her local, private school enrolls 120 kids, on average, from preschool through fifth grade. As principal, one of the things Suzanne is looking for in the assessment of a potential new student is a sense of independence. The local students would be hard pressed to find a better example of independence than the leader of their school. The main reason Bonita Country Day School exists is because of the independent thinking and passion for education of Catanzaro and her husband Paul. With two kids, a “fluffy” dog and a happy life, the two decided one day to uproot their family and say goodbye to their San Francisco home for a chance to sail the open seas and go cruising. The family sold their successful business, their home and took off on a 50-foot sailboat. They were gone for three and a half years. Once they returned to dry land, the Catanzaros decided to do something to give back to society. With Suzanne’s educational background, the couple opened a tutoring center in Chula Vista. “We were one of the first learning centers to use computer-oriented educational software to tutor students,” Suzanne recalled. “It was very successful. We then had parents of the kids at the tutoring center encouraging us to go full time since their kids were learning so much in the short time they were with us. That led to us opening Bonita Country Day School in 1986.” While Suzanne fills the role of principal and part-time art instructor, Paul serves as Headmaster. The two, along with out-

Photo Courtesy of: Schafer Photography (619) 261-0471 www.schaferphotography.com

standing teachers and dedicated staff, have built a successful educational facility where students are taught – according to the school motto – how to think, not what to think. As part of providing a solid foundation for future success, the school encourages classroom instruction to be interactive and based on meeting the individual needs of each child. Small class sizes enable teachers to give individual attention and support. That approach has led to standardized test scores that rank among the highest in the nation. “Bonita Country Day is a unique school,” Suzanne said. “When kids leave us to go into public school, advanced placement classes, private school or wherever they go, our kids rise to the top of the class. It’s not a rare thing. It happens over and over again. We begin testing in kindergarten and we are finding our kids are scoring at the 95th and higher percentile. It’s working.” The preschool faculty at Bonita Country Day School instructs using a Montessori approach. The curriculum includes practical life exercises, social graces and respect for others in addition to reading readiness and math. “We start our kids in a child-centered environment that encourages independence and environmental awareness,” Suzanne said. “We do what we do and we do it well.” my. Bonita Country Day School 625 Otay Lakes Rd, Chula Vista 91913, (619) 656-0141; www.bonitacountryday.org

february 2011 my hometown 23


school news

School News february 2011

Otay Ranch High Hoops Looking for Big Season

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ith the non-league portion of its schedule complete, the Otay Ranch High School boys’ basketball team has opened with a solid start to the 2010-11 season, posting an 14-4 record (at press time). Behind the consistently good play of senior guard Alex Perez, the Mustangs are looking to make a splash in Mesa League play and then a deep run through the San Diego CIF playoffs. Perez, a captain and four-year varsity letter winner, will likely be the one leading the Mustangs to success this season. Coming off a junior campaign where he scored 31.7 points per game, but missed a large portion of the season with eligibility issues, the senior knows there is no time to waste in this his final year on the Otay Ranch campus. Perez has quickly established his presence this season, earning all-tournament recognition at the Wolf Pack/Horsman Tournament after scoring 29 points in a triple overtime win against Scripps Ranch. With two 30-point games in the Holiday Hoops Tournament at Mt. Carmel, Perez was selected as a UnionTribune High School Athlete of the Week for the first week of January. According to Mustang head coach Howard Suda, recognition and high expectations have followed Perez for years now. “From the time Alex was a freshman here at Otay Ranch, his teammates have respected him,” said Suda who has been coaching at Otay Ranch since 2004. “His talent and skills speak for themselves. His older brother Robert played for us and at that time Alex was in the seventh grade. 24 my hometown february 2011

Alex came in as a freshman point guard and ran one of the top teams in the county at the time. He has worked hard and is a top five player in San Diego County.” Perez and his Mustang teammates continued their good play over the winter break with a 67-52 home court victory over a tough Bishop’s squad to start the new year. Perez finished the night with 22 points, several steals and two highlight blocks. As one might expect from a talented and experienced senior, Perez does not hesitate to take the lead when his team needs a bucket. Several times against the Knights, Perez took it upon himself to push the Mustangs ahead with clutch shots. His hanging five-footer in the lane broke an early 16-16 tie. Seconds later, the 6-foot-1 senior drove the lane for a bucket and a foul with the score knotted at 18. After an 11-0 run brought Bishop’s close in the fourth quarter, Perez once again used his speed and outstanding ball-handling skills to power his way through the lane for two more. It is that type of on-

the-court-leadership that the Mustangs will look to Perez to provide all season. “I’ve been leading pretty much my whole life,” Perez said about his role on the team. “My responsibilities are to score and then once I start getting doubleteamed to get my teammates involved. A lot of kids would love the chance to be on this team and I’m very fortunate to be a captain and to have a good family that supports everything I do. I am very blessed to be here.” While Suda has received several calls from Division I schools about Perez’s plans for the future, the player and coach are both concentrating on the upcoming league season. “Our main focus has been on getting the team strong for league,” Coach Suda said. “I like the speed and athleticism of our team. The schedule we’ve played has us prepared and ready. Over the years, especially with Alex here, we’ve established a program that people respect Otay Ranch High basketball.” my.


Photo Courtesy of:

The Keroes-Fletcher Family

L

ike so many who come to San Diego, EastLake resident Lisa Keroes felt there was something special about this area the first time she arrived. The mother of two young girls – Gillian 11 and Lauren 9 – knew early on she would soon be calling the local community home for years to come. “I’m from the east coast and the Navy brought me out to San Diego 15 years ago,” Lisa explained. “I had never been here before. From the first minute, I was in love with it.” The Keroes-Fletcher family moved to EastLake from Imperial Beach in 2000 in large part because of the outstanding local schools. Lisa recalls listening to friends and other people talk about this emerging community in east Chula Vista and says it was the only place she looked when the time came to find the right neighborhood. “This was the place I wanted to raise children,” she said. “We love it. It’s grown immensely in 10 years, but it still has a smalltown feel even though it has built up.” As a single mom, Lisa is committed to raising her daughters with an appreciation for the beautiful community they live in and a sense of responsibility to see that it remains that way. Together, they actively find ways to give back and enhance the connection they feel to community members. For example, on an occasional weekend the family will take plastic bags out on their walk around the community and collect plastic water bottles. Once they’ve collected enough, they redeem the bottles for cash and splurge on

Jessica Fraser (619) 339-1847 www.momentsbyjessica.com

some delicious ice cream or yogurt at nearby Totally Toppings or Golden Spoon. “I try to instill in Gillian and Lauren that we need to keep our community clean,” Lisa said. “We do what we can to help. Since their dad is a Navy man, we also try to be there to help other military families any way we can.” The message has definitely resonated with Lisa’s daughters. The Olympic View Elementary School students are very active in giving back to others. Through Girl Scouts, Gillian and Lauren have participated in beach clean ups, supporting the local animal shelter and providing homemade goodies to families at the Ronald McDonald house. In addition, they’ve raised money for the American Heart Association through the Jump Rope for Heart program. “We did the Jump Rope for Heart for our cousin,” Lauren said. “I hate to see people suffer. I want them to be happy.” Although the girls admit to enjoying the rare lazy Saturday relaxing around the house, they typically can be found out actively making the most of their neighborhood. Both girls are involved in the Mileage Club at school, with Lauren well within reach of her 100-mile goal. While her younger sister also enjoys taekwondo, Gillian favors being out on the soccer field playing midfield or defense. But giving back remains a favorite. “We really like helping the community,” Gillian said. “It’s been amazing living here. I love it.” my. february 2011 my hometown 25


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For the past 17 years, Pack & Bianes Vision Care has offered state-of-theart eyecare for adults, children and infants. Look to us for the latest in contact lenses, eyewear, vision therapy or Lasik. We are providers for several insurance plans such as VSP & Tricare. Dr. Pack habla español.

We at Salt Family Chiropractic are honored to serve the EastLake Community. Drs. Mark and Celeste Salt along with Dr. Greg Kaye bring 30 years combined experience. We specialize in being a wellness clinic addressing your chiropractic needs, along with offering nutritional programs and products. Massage is also available Massage therapy is alsoWednesdays, available. Fridays and Saturdays

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MY HOMETOWN MERCADO EDUCATION

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Coming attractions

As 2011 starts to pick up speed, My Hometown is wasting no time in delving into the wonderful stories that make Chula Vista such a vibrant community to be a part of. While we are thrilled to feature well-known radio personalities Jagger and Kristi of Magic 92.5 on this month’s cover, we are equally excited about the chance to introduce our readers to local individuals and neighborhood events that we can call our own. The March issue of My Hometown will represent the conclusion of our third year of publishing Chula Vista’s “Community Magazine.” Of course that means we are looking for ways to give back to the local community that has supported us along the way. It’s become a bit of a tradition for us to use our anniversary issue in April to shine a spotlight on one of the many deserving organizations in our great city. Within these groups, there are so many wonderful individuals who make a positive difference through their involvement and dedication that we feel honored and blessed to work with them to further their efforts. If you have suggestions for an organization or individual we should speak with, we hope you’ll let us know.

Chula Vista Centennial events continue in earnest in March and April with the Centennial Concert and Chula Vista Day at the Padres taking center stage. Our readers can count on My Hometown to share all of the details of these exciting community events. In fact, we are looking forward to a contributed piece on Chula Vista’s Historic Home Tours that will appear in our March edition. This annual event showcases some of our city’s finest architectural treasures and welcomes residents and visitors alike to see firsthand these wonderful local homes. In upcoming issues, we also have plans to introduce My Hometown readers to the new leadership at Eastlake High and EastLake Middle schools. Recent retirements have these two local schools welcoming new principals. Over at Arroyo Vista Charter, sixth-grade students are busy honoring seniors at the Veteran’s House in a special way that we’ll explain in our next issue with the help of a new contributing writer. Of course, if you have ideas or suggestions for a topic, an issue, an event, a neighbor or a community achievement you would like to see highlighted, we hope you’ll reach out to us. My Hometown’s editor, Mike Minjares is eager to hear from you. He can be reached at mike@fountain-inc.com or (800) 497-1309 x710.


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My Hometown Magazine - February 2011  

Community news and lifestyle for East Chula Vista

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