Page 1

may 2011





Issue On Location in Chula Vista

Fashion styles for local kids, teens and moms Photo Tips from a Pro Thrift Store Bargain Hunting

Sewing: A Family Tradition

Business highlight: kid ventures | resident spotlight: The Price Family


may 2011


local getaways


from the editor... If all of the wonderfully festive community events taking place this month are any indication, it seems Chula Vistans are ready to get out, support and celebrate with their neighbors. My Hometown’s packed “Out and About” calendar could have easily included four or five more events, as there is just so much great stuff happening around town. In our travels throughout the South Bay, it’s easy to sense a willingness of local residents to make the most of living in this great community and many organizations have events in May that present tantalizing opportunities to enjoy a night on the town, a family-focused outdoor event or some first-class entertainment. We encourage you to take a look and see if there isn’t something to tickle your fancy right here in your backyard. Our May issue also has us excited about a return to the stylish looks sported by local models in familiar locations with clothes pulled from nearby thrift and retail stores. My Hometown’s Fashion issue represents a bit of a departure from our typical monthly content, but one that we know many readers enjoy. Once again, Chula Vista resident Rosa Vasquez and her talented crew have worked hard to produce an interesting multi-page pictorial. This year, they have even included a few younger models in keeping with this publication’s focus on families. The Fashion theme of this month’s My Hometown continues with accompanying articles on bargain shopping, the art of sewing and tips on how you too can take memorable photos of family and friends. Our contributors have a wealth of experience to share and providing that opportunity remains at the heart of what our community publication offers each month. As we enter our fourth year of publishing Chula Vista’s magazine, we look forward to continuing to bring our readers interesting stories and articles from a variety of community members and fans of this city. Since May also brings with it the chance to honor our mothers, all of us with My Hometown would like to extend a very Happy Mother’s Day to our moms and to all the moms in this great community. Thank you for all you do for us individually and the effort you make to enrich our communities. Michael Minjares, Editor of My Hometown

May 2011

What’s inside feature

Fashion Issue


On Location in Chula Vista

Fashion Issue: Behind the Scenes! 18 Photo Taking Tips from a Pro


Thrift Store Bargin Hunting


Sewing - A Family Tradition


community news Kiwanis Wine Tasting Social


Community Fun Run


community calendar 22

Local Events and Activities

resident spotlight 23

The Price Family

school news Southwestern College Making a Beautiful Noise


business highlight Kid Ventures


Cover: Hills of Otay Ranch Photographer: J.R. Wright Art Direction and Styling: RVH Studios Model: Sara Wardrobe: C.V. UCP Thrift Store

may 2011 my hometown 3



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

To Wolf Canyon Elementary’s “K-Kids” for raising more than $4,000 in just three weeks for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in a service project called “Pasta for Pennies.” The K-Kids are the elementary school level of Kiwanis International. The school has more than 45 K-Kids members in grades 3-6. Pasta for Pennies is a partnership between the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the Olive Garden to raise funds to combat leukemia.

To Jimmy Estrada of Hilltop High on being chosen one of the Union-Tribune’s High School Athletes of the Month. Estrada, a center midfielder, helped to lead the Chula Vista area high school to a runner-up finish in the Division II boys’ soccer playoffs. The Lancers’ junior also captured All-San Diego Section and Mesa League Player of the Year honors.

To Leah Anderson, a junior at Eastlake High School, on being selected to the California All-State Honor Band. She was the only student from the district and 1 out of 12 from the County of San Diego selected through a rigorous audition process. To the Otay Water District on receiving a Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for 2009-10. The award comes from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA). The honor is the seventh consecutive GFOA award for the District and reflects a commitment to exceeding the highest principles of governmental budgeting. Reserved for agencies that demonstrate the highest standards in governmental finance, recipients are recognized as leaders for their efforts to improve the quality of budgeting in the public sector.

To Arroyo Vista Charter School on raising $2,721.28 with the money to be sent to the victims of the earthquake through the American Red Cross. On March 11, a disastrous earthquake and tsunami struck Japan causing catastrophic damage and leaving hundreds of thousands of people homeless needing a helping hand. Immediately after the incident, the student council at Arroyo Vista Charter School set up a Japanese Earthquake Relief Fund. The students, teachers, and parents worked together to collect donations and made 1000 origami cranes. In Japan, cranes represent a happy long life and 1000 paper cranes are often given to sick people as get well wishes. The 1000 origami cranes and the signature banner will be sent to the Japanese embassy in Los Angeles. To the Sweetwater Education Foundation on being awarded $200,000 by the College Access Foundation of California (CAFC) to help fund scholarships for graduates from the Sweetwater Union High School District attending San Diego State University and the University of California, San Diego. “With this grant, the Sweetwater Education Foundation will be able to support over 75 students at SDSU and UCSD,” said Edward Lopez, President of the Sweetwater Education Foundation.

If you would like to contribute to Bravo, send a quick note to My Hometown’s editor at 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. S, Ste. 104-202, San Elijo Hills, CA 92078 (800) 497-1309 x701

4 my hometown may 2011

Publishers Karen Smith

Editorial Mike Minjares

Tim Minjares

Copyright 2010. 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

Wolf Canyon Elementary Hosts “Olympic Day”

CV Firefighter’s Pancake Breakfast EVENT DETAILS: May 7 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Fire Station 8, 1180 Woods Drive

The Chula Vista Firefighter’s Foundation will be holding a Pancake Breakfast Saturday, May 7 from 8:00 to 11:00 a.m. at Fire Station 8, 1180 Woods Drive (near Salt Creek Park). Pancakes, coffee and juice will be served for a suggested donation of $5. The public is invited to attend and meet their local firefighters. The Chula Vista Firefighter’s Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in 2003 that supports fire safety, community programs and scholarships for fire suppression careers. Call (619) 691-5030 for more information.

On May 14 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. students and parents alike will have the opportunity to compete like Olympic athletes at “Olympic Day” at Wolf Canyon Elementary School. The local school, located at 1950 Wolf Canyon Loop, has teamed up with the South Bay Family YMCA to host this event designed to encourage families to share in healthy-living choices like eating wholesome foods and exercising together. Parents can compete in Olympic-style games with their child or children or sample products from local vendors while the kids compete. All children will receive medals upon completion of a sixgame set. Adding to the theme of the event, the medals will be distributed by local Olympic athletes. In addition to a welcome from Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox and the reciting of the Olympic Oath by a current Olympic athlete, “Olympic Day” will feature local vendors such as Kid Ventures, Pride Martial Arts, My Gym, The Dance Spot, Engine Room Fitness, Jamba Juice, Panera Bread and Halphen Red. The day will also include Zumba, hip-hop and boot camp demonstrations presented by the South Bay YMCA. The event is free and open to the public.

giving back

Chula Vista Kiwanis To Hold Wine Tasting Social The Kiwanis Club of Chula Vista’s 10th Annual Wine Tasting Social returns to the Otay Ranch Town Center Food Pavilion on Saturday, May 7. The fun community event includes wine, beer and tequila samples, appetizers, silent auction, raffle and entertainment. Tickets are $35 with the event running from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. Proceeds from the Wine Tasting Social benefit several youth charities of the Chula Vista Kiwanis Club. For tickets contact Martha Estrada at First Bank at (619) 476-3200 or go online to

may 2011 my hometown 5

on your doorstep


may 2011 2010 september

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 hometown

You can contact us by calling (800) 497-1309 x710 with your idea or send us an email at

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Third Avenue Village Association Celebrates Cinco de Mayo Chula Vista’s Third Avenue Village Association (TAVA) will add to this year’s Mother’s Day celebration with its 14th Annual Festival Cinco de Mayo on Sunday, May 8. The free community festival runs from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. between E and G Streets on Third Avenue. Live entertainment, authentic food from Mexico and around the world, kids’ fun zone, and arts and crafts highlight this wonderful annual event. In addition, a Quniceaùera event and fashion show at Memorial Park Bowl continue the day’s celebratory theme. Details of the event can be found on TAVA’s website at

Where the Wild Things Are Food & Wine Classic A culinary celebration benefitting the Chula Vista Nature Center – Where the Wild Things Are Food and Wine Classic – will be held on Saturday, May 14. From 4:00 to 8:00 p.m., participants will enjoy the best eats and drinks from world-class wineries and restaurants along with up-close interactions with wildlife befitting of the local attraction. Celebrity chef demonstrations, live music and live and silent auctions add to the festive mood of this annual event. Call (619) 409-5900 or go to to purchase tickets or to view detailed information.

on your doorstep Pride Martial Arts Summer Kick-off Summer gets a kick-start with the first annual Summer Pride Kick-Off from Pride Martial Arts on Saturday, June 4 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Shops at San Miguel Ranch. The event will feature carnival games, a jump house, caricature artist, demonstrations, games and much more. The full day of family fun, festivities and fundraising for a local tournament to be held in September will be a great way to welcome in the first month of summer. Tickets and wristbands can be purchased the day of the event. For more information, contact Pride Martial Arts, 2334 Proctor Valley Road, at (619) 421-1282.

AYSO Soccer Registration Open Registration for Chula Vista’s Region 290 of the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) is now open. The local youth soccer league has served South Bay families for more than two decades with the region hosting over 1,500 children and young adults and well over 300 volunteers. AYSO focuses on open registration, positive coaching, everyone having the chance to play and good sportsmanship. Registration for the upcoming season will be held May 7 and 21 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Chula Vista High School’s Recreation Center, located at 465 L Street between 4th & 5th Ave. near the football field. Off-street parking is available. Skills Assessment will be on Saturday, June 11 for all new players to the region or those who are looking to move out of their age group. For more information, visit

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on your doorstep Chula Vista Public Library Foundation hostS Bon Appétit – Wine Tasting and Restaurant Sampler

Chula Vista Community Fun Run SATURDAY, May 21 The third annual Chula Vista Community Fun Run (5K) takes place Saturday, May 21 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center, 2800 Olympic Parkway, beginning at 8:00 a.m. Intended for all levels of runners, this great community event even allows strollers and families to participate in a fun and engaging environment at the local Olympic Training Center. Registration materials are available at any Chula Vista recreation center. Individual fees are $25 before May 7 and $35 afterward. A family of four can register for $55 until May 7, with the cost rising to $65 after that. Proceeds from the event benefit several local community organizations – Friends of the Chula Vista Library, Friends of the Chula Vista Nature Center, Friends of Chula Vista Parks and Recreation and Friends of the Chula Vista Animal Shelter. As a part of the Chula Vista Centennial Celebration, a community expo and celebration with food, educational booths, fun and music will follow the race. The course is five kilometers spread out through the training center area. Runners, walkers, dogs, families and strollers will weave through the multiple sport venues at the training facility. The sport venues include archery, cycling, field hockey, BMX, soccer, softball, tennis and track & field. Some Olympic athletes will be present during the event to sign autographs and participate. To register online or to obtain more information, visit

Delicious samples from 19 area restaurants and food vendors, tasty fine wines from all over the world, great music from popular DJ John Henry, and a packed silent auction and art show will make this year’s “Bon Appétit – Wine Tasting and Restaurant Sampler” a night to remember. The festivities get started on Saturday, May 21 at 5:00 p.m. at the Salt Creek Recreation Center. Tickets for the casual open-air festival run $35 with all proceeds to benefit the Chula Vista Public Library Foundation. Founded and supported by an enthusiastic group of business and community leaders and library lovers, the Chula Vista Public Library Foundation’s goal is to support our local library. The Foundation’s immediate goal is to improve library service on the east side of Chula Vista by means of a storefront or bookmobile until a permanent library can be built. More information about the group and wine tasting event can be found online at or by calling (619) 691-5170.

Eastlake High Football Booster Golf Tourney Registrations are currently being accepted for the 8th Annual Eastlake High School Football Booster Club Golf Tournament. The fundraising event for the successful local high school football team takes place Friday, June 10 with a shotgun start at 12:30 in the afternoon. The entry fee of $120 per golfer or $425 per foursome includes golf, range balls, cart, dinner and participant bag. Prizes will be awarded for Longest Drive and Closest-to-the-Pin winners. For additional information, please contact either Martin Contreras (619) 7093370 or Rene Aguilar (619) 213-2778. 8 my hometown may 2011

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Weekday programs for kids?

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619.421.4156 (Lic# 376700046 and 376600490)

HomeBase HomeBase is a before and after school care program for kids in elementary school that provides homework assistance, engaging activities, and quality care in a safe and caring environment. Don’t need both before and after school care? Don’t worry we’ve got flexible schedules. Visit us at and select “Before & After School” from the Kids & Students menu or give us a call.

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Photographer: Jessica Fraser Art Direction and Styling: RVH Studios Models: Mariana, Christopher, Andrew, Ainsley Wardrobe: C.V. UCP Thrift

RVH Studios / My Chic Thrift Rosa Vasquez - Art Director/Lead Stylist Isabella Martinez – Team Logistics Director Danielle Arriola – Lead Make-Up Artist Sebastian Martinez – Artistic Supervisor Gina Bernacett – Assistant Stylist

Fashion Issue On Location in Chula Vista

Fashion styles for local kids, teens and moms

12 my hometown may 2011


Photographer: Jessica Fraser Art Direction and Styling: RVH Studios Models: Ainsley (facing page); From top left: Nicolas, Aleah, Mariana, kid crew and Andrew Wardrobe: C.V. UCP Thrift Electric Car Courtesy of Bill Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Connell

may 2011 my hometown 13

14 my hometown may 2011

Photographer: Manuel Ceniceros Art Direction and Styling: RVH Studios Models: Kelsey (facing page); From top left Bella; Teran, Jesse, Bella; Kiley


Wardrobe: Tannis Boutique Special Thanks to Tina Medina at Otay Ranch Town Center

may 2011 my hometown 15


Photographer: J.R. Wright Art Direction and Styling: RVH Studios Model: Lidia Wardrobe: Mouette Boutique

16 my hometown may 2011

may 2011 my hometown 17


Fashion Issue Behind the Scenes! T

hroughout the entire process of designing and shooting this month’s May “Fashion” edition for My Hometown magazine, I often heard the words, “That must be so much fun!” My standard reply was “Yes, it is fun being an Art Director/Fashion Stylist. But it is a lot of hard work!” As I reflect on the process that has taken weeks, I wanted to share the steps that Art Directors go through to create and tell a story for a successful cohesive layout like the one you see in this great community publication.

dors. Luckily for me, Chula Vista is also my hometown so this allowed me to tap into my local connections and stay true to the magazine’s mission of showcasing what is best in our city. Now, on to the details of this year’s effort. The first task was to scout a location and go sit there for a time, taking in the color scheme and elements. I am drawn to outdoor locations and look for texture to inspire me when I choose what type of fashion would look best at each place. With our locale selected, I then start

Photo courtesy of Schafer Photography

After meeting with the editors and hearing their thoughts for what they feel is best for their readers, I started to design a theme story that could be visually seen with pictures. It only takes a location or a certain color or a particular piece of clothing to get me started and ideas just start flowing. My Hometown magazine is committed to its readers in a way that I knew I would be using only Chula Vista locations, models, photographers and ven18 my hometown may 2011

garment scouting for clothes that will enhance the location and “pop” in the elements. My eye works like a camera so I start to see photographs in my mind. Next, I choose which type of model will look best. Once I have a general idea of the potential of the location, I also choose a photographer I know will be able to capture the pictures I have in my mind. This is a key piece to fashion photography. Photographers usually have a specialty. In this issue, I used

By Rosa Vasquez

an array of different specialty photographers. The children’s shoot needed a lifestyle specialist and were shot by a young and upcoming photographer who likes natural lighting and didn’t mind climbing through the outdoor elements to get the shot. For the Otay Ranch shoot, I needed a veteran who could work around all the street traffic and who could shoot fast with an understanding of all the types of fashion shots we would need – a unique combination of editorial and beauty photographs. Once all the locations are secured and models are selected, I start prepping (accessorizing) every shot until shoot day. I selected which vendors to use and then I went and pulled clothes from each store. This process takes a few visits and each store kindly built me a rack where they held the garments I’d selected during my visits. My team met prior to each shoot and we strategized, timing out the day of shooting to maximize the involvement of everyone participating. This final process took hours of planning and then we just prayed that it didn’t rain the day of the shoot! My Hometown’s May “Fashion” edition was a labor of love. In the end, we shot at five different locations throughout Chula Vista. We used four photographers and 15 models all from our area. A total of four different specialty vendors were selected as we showcased spring couture, ready-to-wear, children’s fashion and vintage thrift. I hope you enjoy the images and mostly I hope we inspired My Hometown readers to support our local fashion retailers and recognize how beautiful our city is! my. Rosa Vasquez is a Chula Vista resident and the creative force behind My Chic Thrift – a fashion stylist blog and more. Readers can check out her wonderful designs at http://

Fashion & Style

Photo Taking Tips from a Pro: 10 Tips for Taking Great Photos

By Don Diaz

not always be in a happy mood for having their photos taken. It is important to have patience and don’t stress out if everything isn’t going as planned. Just remember to be in the moment and try to have fun - kids are smart and can sense stress and will likely become less interested in taking pictures when you get stressed.

2. Create the moment – A little trick of the trade is to give them a fun “prop” to play with. A “prop” can be a favorite toy or something that gives them an activity like blowing bubbles. The photos will look less staged and you can create a fun moment.

3. Plan ahead – You should always think about what to bring on your photo shoot and what clothes they should wear. It’s probably not a great idea to wear clothes that might blend into the background too much. I also find that clothing with too many patterns or prints are distracting. A good bet is to use clothes that are solid colors, nothing too trendy or overly fancy.

4. Notice the foreground and background – Unless there is a special purpose, avoid shooting in places with a cluttered foreground and background if you can. Pay more attention to having a clean background. On a playground, for example, move closer to them to isolate them from

the busy surroundings and include part of the playground setup to still give a sense that they are playing at the playground.

© Don Diaz/photography

1. Have patience – Children might

© Don Diaz/photography

For years Don Diaz has perfected his craft as a professional photographer. Filling his packed portfolio are images for some of the biggest corporate names around – Disney, Target, JCPenny and Sketchers Shoes. As part of our fashion issue, My Hometown is pleased to be able to share several photo-taking tips from one of the best in the business, who also happens to call San Diego home.

Choose an angle where the background that is just behind them is clean or cleaner. Avoid vertical bars or poles behind the child’s head.  oom in or use a longer lens to isolate Z the child from the surroundings.

5. Shoot during early morning or late afternoon – When shooting outdoors, do it during early morning or late afternoon when the angle of the sun is low and the quality of light is better and softer and the shadow is not harsh. If you have no choice but to shoot while the angle of the sun is high, try looking for a shady place under the trees or where tall buildings block the sun. I prefer to have the sun behind the subject when shooting outdoors. In this case, you must make sure to slightly over expose the photo.

6. Focus on the eye(s) – I always focus on the eyes when I photograph people. The eyes are the feature we generally look at first in a photo and therefore should be nice and sharp when we take the picture. If you are using auto focus, you should make sure the focusing squares in your camera are lighting up and selected to focus on the face or eyes.

7. Look for emotion and expression – Capturing children’s expression, emotion and their relationship with the parents or friends will help make a better photo and tell a story. So look for those funny faces, giggles, laughter and even tears.

8. Composition – Play with composition. If you are used to photographing the child or person by placing them in the center, try a new approach. Position them off-center by following the rule of third. Position the main subject off the center of the camera over to the 1/3 of the screen on either side.

9. Eye-level shooting – Photographing children from a high angle creates an unpleasing perspective. Try bringing yourself down on your knee or even on your tummy to be at the same eye-level as the child. You will get better photos that will have a stronger connection.

10. Take lots of pictures and have a good time! – Set your camera to “multiple exposure”, this way you can take continuous photos when pressing the shutter button. Just have fun with the process of taking lots and lots of photos. my. may 2011 my hometown 19

Fashion & Style

Thrift Store Bargain Hunting By Katie LaScola, UCP Thrift Stores Chula Vista


hen some people think of thrift stores, they think of a bad smell, used clothing that someone else has already worn out and junk. Well, what a non-thrift store shopper doesn’t know is that the old saying of one person’s trash is another’s treasure is very much true. Thrift stores these days are clean and have not only gently used clothing, shoes and home decor at a great price, but some new items too. Just think about it, you probably have a few items in your own closet that you bought and never wore. Well, those types of items often end up donated to our local thrift stores and become brand new finds at a great bargain. The designer brand names found in the isles at a thrift store are a thrill in itself. Local community members will find lots of designer shoes and clothing consistently at the United Cerebral Palsy Thrift Store on Broadway in Chula Vista. Most of the thrift stores in Chula Vista are located on Broadway and if you have the time to browse you never know what you may find. It’s a treasure hunt of sorts and since the


Sharing all you need to know about thrift stores and personal style. Personal shopping boutiques located at UCP Thrift Stores in SD County.

Rosa Vasquez Artistic Director Visual Styling


619-869-5465 20 my hometown may 2011

stores receive new merchandise on a daily basis, it’s always smart to take a few trips a month. Everyday deep discounts are given – up to 75% off – and there are certain days of the week when students, seniors and military personal receive additional discounts. You can’t go wrong knowing any item you pick up has an additional discount from the initial price. Thrift stores are also great if you have a costume party to attend. It’s your best bet to find something unique that no one else will be wearing and you’ll spend just dollars to have everyone asking where you got your outfit. If you take the time to truly bargain hunt at a thrift store, you can find things you never thought would be there. From electronics to handbags to glassware, the thrift store really is a place you can get everyday items. Shoppers can find beautiful jewelry, antiques and furniture. Some of the vintage items I’ve seen would make any antique store jealous. Thrift stores are not just for low-income people and college students. Some of the people who have crossed my path in these stores are interior designers, real estate agents who stage homes, collectors, resellers and a few celebrities who have stopped in before a show at Cricket Wireless theatre to pick up a retro item to wear on stage. At the end of the day, buying gently used items at a thrift store is donating to a great cause. Most thrift stores help the local San Diego community through programs for the less fortunate and the disabled. What more could you ask for then buying great merchandise at a bargain price and helping someone in your community at the same time. With many folks engaged in Spring cleaning, now is a great time to donate your own items to make room in your closet for all the great bargains you’ll be sure to find on your thrift store adventure. my.

Fashion & Style

Teaching Sewing: Keeping Alive a Family Trait I

was forced to learn to sew and cook in junior high. While many of my role models were out burning their bras, I was stuck in Home Ec. One pair of ultra-suede gauchos and a pan of burned salmon croquettes later, I vowed this girly stuff wasn’t for me – I would be modern and evolved. But I had to wonder if it was in the genes as I do

come from a line of knitters and sewers and bakers and gardeners. Sure enough, by my impoverished newlywed years I had realized the economic value in the “womanly arts.” I was not simply saving money by sewing clothes and curtains and slipcovers, but inside, I had found my own brand of creativity. I’m no Coco Chanel, but I can execute someone else’s brilliant design handily and personalize it. My three daughters carry the creativity gene quite differently. The oldest has a short attention span, a machine phobia and a frugal nature, so she loves to refashion out-of-date clothes or thrift store bargains. She cuts a little here, adds a bit there or disassembles the whole thing, as when she turned a treasured t-shirt into a cute bikini. My middle daughter seeks the shortest route from idea to closet, so she loves the instant gratification of machine sewing. She sewed her first top last summer at age nine and also

By Susan Schlesinger

designs and sews doll clothes by pinning fabric right onto the doll’s cloth body. My youngest has embraced the one handicraft I cannot abide – hand sewing. She spends countless hours stitching little pillows for her stuffed animals and is learning embroidery to decorate them. Her perfectionism shows in every stitch, and her patience astounds me. All three girls and their mama love the virtual toys, but my heart sings when I see their obvious enjoyment of anything hands-on. But let’s get one thing straight right away – homemade does not always equal economy. Not when you are talking knitting and gardening, but even these expensive hobbies have social value. It may cost me four times as much to hand knit a sweater for my husband, but I will put love into every stitch. And if I select my yarn with care, I can support a women’s spinning cooperative or a non-profit. I could buy a dress or a scarf for a song; but then I would cheat myself of the creative outlet and the opportunity to pay tribute to the crafters before me.

I have taught many people to knit and sew over the years, and I always ask what brings them to these crafty pursuits. They often give practical reasons – a tight budget, a new grandchild, a first home – but there’s always more to the story. When I ask who did these things when they were young, a wistful look comes into their eyes. They begin with economy in mind, but rediscover a connection to time-honored, tactile, creative traditions. So put down the apps and get those hands working in a different way: real beats virtual any day in my family. my.

I treasure my grandmother’s smocked gingham tops, my grandfather’s yellow tomato seeds, my mom’s crocheted tree skirt, and my stepmother’s not-so-secret pudding recipe. I brag to my friends about the unique, custom-fitted dress I made for a fraction of the cost of “storebought,” but can’t really express how I feel my grandmother’s spirit every time I trim a seam with her 80-year-old pinking shears. Even our new traditions, like baking challah for the weekly Shabbat dinner, connect us to a handson life that I want my children to honor and pass down.

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Susan Schlesinger is a resident of Otay Ranch and a Knitting Teacher At Large. Check out her web page at www.knitadrift.

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may 2011 my hometown 21

on your doorstep MAY 2011

out and about May 5

May 7

May 8

May 12

Club Blue Cinco de Mayo

Kiwanis Chula Vista 10th

Mother’s Day

Chula Vista Chamber of

event – 6:30pm at Brew

Annual Wine Tasting Social

House at EastLake; Beer tasting, appetizers, silent auction; Tickets $35; (619) 250-6121 or

at Otay Ranch Town Center 6-10pm at Food Pavilion; $35; Wine & beer samples, raffle, entertainment; Proceeds benefitting youth charities of the CV Kiwanis;

May 14 Wolf Canyon Elementary’s “Olympic Day” – 10am-2pm

at 1950 Wolf Canyon Loop; Family event with Olympicstyle games and promotion of healthy-living options Where the Wild Things Are Food & Wine Classic at CV

Nature Center – 4-8pm; Food and wine, celebrity chef demos, live music, auctions; (619) 409-5900 or

14th Annual Chula Vista Cinco de Mayo Festival –

Between E and G Streets on Third Avenue; 11am-7pm; Music, food, games, and fun;

Commerce Mixer – 5:307:30pm hosted by Scripps Health, 435 H St, Chula Vista 91910; (619) 420-6603 or

Chula Vista Firefighter’s Foundation Pancake Breakfast – 8-11am at Fire

Station 8, 1180 Woods Dr.; $5 suggested donation; (619) 691-5030 Women’s Cancer Expo –

10am-2pm at Sharp Chula Vista, 765 Medical Center Court; Free expo offering presentations by experts, exercise demos and mammograms and clinical breast exams (appts. required); 1-800-82-SHARP or

May 15

May 20-22

Spring Choral Concert –

South County CYT’s

4pm at Southwestern College’s Mayan Hall Theatre; Featuring SWC Chamber Singers, Jazz Vocal and Concert Choirs; Tickets $10 GA, $7 students/ seniors; (619) 482-6372

“Wizard of Oz” at Mater Dei

Theater; All seats reserved and prices range from $10-$12; or (800) 696-1929.

South Bay Botanic Garden Walk “Drip Irrigation for the

Home Garden” – Learn basics of establishing drip system at home; 4:30pm beginning at room 1802, Southwestern College, 900 Otay Lakes Rd.; Parking free in lot E; Donation of $3 suggested; (619) 421-6700 x5371.

May 21

May 30

Chula Vista Community

Grow Foundation’s “Ladies

Fun Run at Olympic Training

Spring Brunch” – 11am; help

Center – 8am; Community event for all running levels and open to walking families; Proceeds to benefit several local organizations;

put together care packages for homeless kids in San Diego County; Contact Sylvia at or CV Public Library

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

Passport to Fun & Fashion

Foundation’s “Bon Appétit”

– 11:30am-3pm at Lowes Coronado Bay Resort; Altrusa Club of Chula Vista’s afternoon of fun, fashion and drawings; Tickets $50- proceeds to support programs in the South Bay such as Safe Kids Coalition, Veteran’s Home;

Wine Tasting & Restaurant

Memorial Day


Crawford High 1981 30th Reunion – July 30 at House of Blues - crawford81reunion@ or

Sampler – 5pm at Salt Creek

Rec Center; 19 area restaurants and local vendors dish food and drink for a festive evening; Tickets $35 with proceeds benefitting the CV Public Library Foundation; (619) 691-5170 or

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

Please note events and times are subject to change.

22 my hometown may 2011

The PRice Family O

ver the course of three years, My Hometown has featured a variety of great Chula Vista families. We’ve spotlighted families who bike together, play board games weekly and volunteer in the community. We even had a family take their photo on a baseball/softball diamond as that’s where they spend a majority of their time. Now we can add our first “football family” to the list. Brook and Lee Price grew up in Chula Vista and just missed attending Hilltop High School together by one year. Lee graduated in 1983 just as Brook was arriving on campus as part of the class of 1986. The two locals were involved in the same youth organization and, after running into each other at San Diego State (Brook was a student at SDSU while Lee was studying at UCSD), started dating and married in 1988. Right from the start Brook knew what she was getting into. “I knew I was marrying a football coach,” she said. “Football was a choice. It is important to us to have time together and do stuff together and football is one of those things for us. When you go to a Friday night game, you understand what a community this really is.” Lee has coached at Eastlake High since 2000 after playing football in high school. In fact, the current attendance coordinator/intervention specialist for the Titans recalls playing against head coach John McFadden when both were high schoolers. Joining Lee on campus and on the sidelines is oldest daughter Aubrey, 16, who is on the varsity cheer squad at

Photo Courtesy of: Schafer Photography (619) 261-0471

Eastlake. Younger sister Monaca, an eighth grader at EastLake Middle, cheers for the very successful EastLake Panthers youth cheer team. Not to be left out, youngest child Mitchell, 9, has played for three years for the EastLake Panthers of American Youth Football. “We are kind of a football family,” Monaca shared. “You either cheer, play or coach football in this family. I love cheer and the competition of the sport. Most of the girls on the squad go to EastLake Middle with me.” For the Prices, finding old and new friends in their east Chula Vista community has been one of the best parts about living here. When she originally began looking at the neighborhood in 1998, Brook ran into Gary and Erica Fessia, former classmates from Hilltop. After moving in, Lee found he had grown up with the neighbor across the street. The Price children have made friends just as easily. “My first memory of EastLake is when we drove up to our new house and there were a couple of little girls sitting on our doorstep,” Aubrey recalled. “They heard two girls were going to be moving in and were waiting to meet us. We’ve always had friends in the neighborhood.” It is that sense of community that Lee hopes continues for years to come. “There’s a small-town attitude here that I like,” he said. “We have a true sense of pride and community. I hope that never changes.” my. may 2011 my hometown 23

school news

School News MAY 2011

Southwestern College Making a Beautiful Noise For many local community members the recent Chula Vista Centennial Concert represented the first opportunity to see and hear the musical talent that has been coming from Southwestern Community College for many years. Under the direction of Dr. Terry Russell since 1988, the Southwestern College Concert Choir has entertained local, national and international crowds at events big and small. The group’s performance at the Centennial’s “Concert of the Century” at the new Chula Vista Performing Arts Center on the campus of Chula Vista High School in March came less than a month after the choir had performed for a sold-out audience in New York City’s fabled Carnegie Hall. For its third trip to the renowned east coast venue, Dr. Russell had the group present a performance of Joseph Julian Gonzalez’s “Misa Azteca” with the New England Symphonic Ensemble. According to Dr. Russell, the group received a standing ovation for its effort, a wonderful recognition of the hard work and talent on display by this local, nearly 200person choir. February’s concert in Carnegie Hall was only the latest big stage graced by the Southwestern Concert Choir. Prior to this year’s trip to New York, the group has performed in 2009 at the La Piccola Scala Opera House on the island of Syros in Greece, Australia’s Sydney Opera House in 2006 and in Notre Dame, Chartes, the American Cathedral (pictured) and the Sorbonne University as part of the 2003 Music Celebration International Music Festival in Paris, France. Through its various performances, the local group has earned a reputation for coming in prepared and well rehearsed. “Typically, we work on a piece for six months,” Dr. Russell said. “When we arrive at the venue it shows people we have taken the time to memorize and know our music. Often we have to audition to get into these major music festivals. We have sent audition tapes in order to be accepted. We make sure that our students come in and are very well prepared.” In speaking with Dr. Russell it becomes quickly apparent that she and her faculty colleagues believe it important that 24 my hometown may 2011

full-time, degree-seeking music students and part-time, community participants receive a shared experience that brings out the best in all students. “I have a commitment to take students where they might not have gone before,” Dr. Russell said. “I continually raise the bar on the type of music and venues we perform at. We strive to have a solo concert as part of the experience as it raises students’ selfconfidence to meet this type of challenge.” On average, the Concert Choir consists of approximately 75 percent full-time students and faculty with the remaining spots filled by community members and alumni. Dr. Russell estimates that 90 percent of the group has ties to Chula Vista or the South Bay. This year, the director of choral activities and professor of music has her two children performing in the choir. Another student from Otay Ranch High School helps to lend a youthful flair to the group. “Everybody has embraced us,” said Dr. Russell. “In addition to current students, community members can come and take a class through Adult Education and be part of our choir. There is no cost, no credit and no audition. We want to be reflective of the rich diverse population we have at Southwestern and of the students we teach.” A look at Southwestern College’s Spring Performing Arts Calendar showcases the diversity that Dr. Russell mentions. In May, the local community college will host a guitar ensemble performance (May 11), a Mariachi concert on May 6 and a performance entitled “Jazz Sessions” on May 12. Capping the month of musical events will be a Spring Choral Concert featuring SWC Chamber Singers, Jazz Vocal and Concert Choirs on May 15 at 4:00 p.m. Each year Dr. Russell invites a high school choir to join her group and this time Ramona High School will be participating after Chula Vista and Eastlake high schools have performed the last two years. Dr. Russell expects it to be another great show. “I know the audience will find something they like at the Spring Choral Concert,” she said. “I also hope it inspires some to come and sing with us.” More information on the upcoming shows can be found online at or by calling the School of Arts and Communication at (619) 482-6372. my.

school news

Kid Ventures W

ith two young kids of their own, Darren Solomon and his wife Debbie knew exactly what they wanted in a kids indoor play facility – a clean and safe environment, creative and innovative play structures and a place where parents could enjoy a bit of down time knowing their kids were having fun in a secure setting. A good cup of coffee and a tasty treat wouldn’t be bad either, they thought. Not seeing anything like this, the two decided to fill the need themselves and created Kid Ventures. The first Kid Ventures opened up in Pacific Beach in 2009 to incredibly positive feedback. The EastLake Design District welcomed this “get-away place for kids and parents too” a mere eight months ago and word is spreading. With different theme rooms featuring a large pirate ship, a decked-out castle and an authentic fire truck, kids find plenty of ways to play on every visit. Darren and Debbie did not forget about the parents. Kid Ventures’ “Parents’ Café” serves up organic coffee, teas, pastries and other food items so parents can relax and watch their child or children play in the socks-only, indoor facility. “When Debbie and I started our family, we looked for a place that would be creative and enriching for kids while being good for adults, too,” Darren explained. “There really wasn’t anything that was targeting both. From the beginning, and especially here in EastLake, we’ve really felt welcomed and that Kid Ventures is something the community wants.” Darren said he hopes first-time visitors to Kid Ventures experience a “wow factor” as soon as they walk in the door. The couple

Photo Courtesy of: Elsa Flores

has taken great steps to ensure that painted murals, fancy facades and clean, bright play structures help to create a “wonderland” for kids. But there is something equally as important to the feel of this recent winner of Nickelodeon’s Parents’ Picks award according to Darren. “We want everyone that walks in our doors to be greeted with warmth from our staff,” he said. “We want them to feel our sense of customer service right away. Many of our staff members have backgrounds in education and child development and they interact with the kids in helping to create an environment kids will enjoy.” Along with the great play structures and theme rooms, Kid Ventures also offers semi-private and private parties. The first is ideal for small group celebrations, while the second is typically used for birthday parties. Different party packages enable parents to select the experience just right for their child. This summer Kid Ventures will introduce summer camps to their menu of offerings. Day and full week camps will be available beginning June 13 and running through August 26. “We continue to build on our services and the experience we offer to kids and families,” Darren said. “We also are active in the local community giving back at the local level and we plan to do more.” my. Kid Ventures, 851 Showroom Place, Chula Vista 91914 (619) 651-8622;

may 2011 my hometown 25





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My Hometown Magazine - May 2011  

Community News and Events for East Chula Vista

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