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june 2010



Father/Son Bonding

ana estrada olymPian stUdent

mooveLoUs art taLent

Enjoying the Community

Family Summer Vacation

Kicking Off

SUMMER MEMORIES The arrival of summer presents lots of opportunities to get out and enjoy this great community

business hiGhliGht: sharP chUla Vista medical center | resident sPotliGht: the marroQUin-gonZaleZ family


june 2010


local getaways


from the editor... Growing up, my brothers and sister and I were very fortunate to have our dad around. He worked hard, first at Rohr Industries (now Goodrich) in Chula Vista and then for many years at San Diego State University. No matter how much he worked, he always found time to make us feel important. Whether it was coaching a Little League team, attending a school function, passing on helpful advice, or just making us laugh, his involvement took many forms. What was most important to us was that he was there. As we have grown and started our own families, I see much of my dad’s influence on how my siblings and I are raising his grandkids. Thankfully, he and my mom have made time in their busy retirement years to play an active role in our children’s lives. They babysit, go to sporting events, sit through recitals, support fundraisers, share stories and generally show a sincere interest in our family activities. We are blessed. This month, we can all take time to thank the fathers in our lives. Fathers come in all shapes and sizes with some being biological, others adoptive and others simply strong male figures that help us to reach our full potential. Maybe you have a dad like Joe Little who enjoys building projects. Or perhaps he’s more like Anthony Millican, a local dad who loves to travel with his family. It could be he’s like my former junior high basketball coach Richard Paff who models how to use one’s passions and talents to make life better for someone else. All of these great fathers are featured in this month’s My Hometown magazine and serve as wonderful examples of how to fill this central role. The arrival of summer presents lots of opportunities to get out and enjoy this great community. We encourage you to take a minute during your neighborhood play to say thanks to those that fill a fatherly figure in your life. Like my wife Marietta or the Marroquin-Gonzalez family featured in our resident spotlight, maybe that means you’ll be saying thank you to an amazing woman who through one circumstance or another needed to raise you on her own for many years. Remember, everyone welcomes the chance to feel appreciated. Happy Father’s Day Pop!

june 2010

What’s inside feature

Kicking Off



community news 8

Shooting Hoops Across America


211 Ready to Take Your Call

school news Olympian Student Showcases Moo-velous Art Talent


resident spotlight The Marroquin-Gonzalez Family


on topic Enviro-Friendly Tips for the Summer


business highlight Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center


community calendar Local Events and Activities


Michael Minjares, Editor of My Hometown

june 2010 my hometown 3



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

To the Arroyo Vista Charter School Coyote-Bot Robotics Team for their performance at the Spring 2010 Milky Way Madness Robotics Competition at Legoland. The local squad, made up of fourth-sixth graders, won second place in the On-The-Spot Challenge where they were given a mission and had 40 minutes From left to right: Alan, Cody, to program their Armand, Emma, Sami, Jem, Jazmin, Mrs. Stentiford (coach), Maya, robot and build the attachments. Best of Hannah and Dane. all, they won first place in Robot Performance and received the Grand Champions Award as the overall first place winner. The competition consisted of programming their robot to complete a set of missions given to them by the competition organizers just six weeks before the competition. To the San Diego County Aquatic Council, led by Manuel Gonzalez, Aquatics Director for the City of Chula Vista, on being named one of the 2010 National Drowning Prevention Alliance Community Livesaver Award winners at a recent symposium. The award honors exceptional work in the advancement of drowning prevention at the community or regional level through education, research, public awareness, legislative changes or engineering advancements. Gonzalez is being honored in part for his efforts in developing the Chula Vista WARN program after three drownings in Chula Vista backyard swimming

pools in 2008. WARN (Water Awareness in Residential Neighborhoods) has been a successful addition to the Chula Vista Aquatics program. To the Chula Vista Elementary School District Speech Contest Winners – Sierra Leeper (Casillas Elementary) 4th grade; Cassandra Luna (Marshall Elementary) 5th grade; and Brent Avery (Olympic View Elementary) 6th grade. The three won the district-wide competition on “How to Save the Environment.” To Daniel Abbot, of Rolling Hills Ranch, on “making partner” at the law firm of Setlzer Caplan McMahaon Vitel, one of the oldest San Diego-based firms. Dan’s practice includes general business, real estate, and corporate transactions, business and real estate litigation, complex commercial disputes, and trust and probate disputes.  To Reece Villarin Akana, a freshman at Olympian High School, for winning the South Bay Championship title “Golfer of the Year 2010” competing amongst top golfers from six high schools in the South Bay League Finals. Reece shot a 78 at Bonita Golf Course and a 79 at Chula Vista Golf Course in the two-day tournament. He won the coveted title by four strokes. Throughout the high school golf season, Reece was undefeated earning a medal in each competition. 

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 PO Box 2122, San Marcos, CA 92079 (800) 497-1309 x710

4 my hometown june 2010

Publishers Karen Smith

Editorial/Sales 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.

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on your doorstep eaStLaKe to WeLCome neW BuSIneSS/ neW oWnerSHIp a Welcoming enVironment for Kids and adUlts aliKe the popular kid Ventures indoor play village is coming to eastlake this summer. already with a family-friendly, kid-loving location in Pacific Beach, the boutiquestyle indoor family play center will open in the eastlake design district in late June or early July. Kid Ventures eastlake, like its sister company gym Ventures, will feature a welcoming environment for kids and adults alike. the facility will also offer a great spot for birthday parties, camps, specialty classes and events like Parents night out and drop-n-shop. a well-stocked cafĂŠ is sure to please parents looking to relax as their children play. for more information call (858) 272-2266 x2 or visit them online at over at happy nails in the Village Walk at eastlake, Van Vu is preparing to take over ownership and management of this local business. the grand re-opening will take place on saturday, June 19. the re-opening of the nail salon will mark another milestone in a life working toward the american dream. Vu and her husband and partner tai nguyen came to the United states from Vietnam in 1975 just before the fall of saigon. they started their own clothes manufacturing business in Pennsylvania, a venture that grew and eventually brought them here to san diego. after unsuccessful attempts at retirement, Vu decided to apply her business savvy to a new venture, cosmetology. With passion and dedication to succeed, she went on to turn around several nails salons that had been previously struggling. now she finds herself as the owner/operator of the eastlake happy nails.

suMMer sundays at VillaGe walk at eastlake

The annual Music and Craft Festival at the Village Walk at EastLake has been expanded for 2010. This year’s

eastlaKe elementary looKing to maKe sWeet mUsic students, parents, staff and community volunteers are working hard to bring a string orchestra Program to eastlake elementary school. the group is asking for donations to be used in offering a one-hour music class to students in grades 4-6. Violins, violas, cellos and basses are the specific instruments the school is hoping to receive. monetary donations will also be accepted. to assist our local students in learning to read music and perform, please contact lourdes ramos, eastlake elementary school Pta Vice-President of Programs at (619) 274-6117 or via email at

Summer Fun

Summer Sundays free community event will now include a weekly display of unique vehicles from area car clubs. Each week, local residents and community members will have the chance to enjoy live music while kids are entertained with fun craft activities. The festivities begin on June 6 and run every Sunday in June and two more in July (11 and 18) from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. A variety of musical styles will be on display nearby hot cars and cool rides such as Jaguar, Porsche, Corvette and cruisers. Each kids craft activity is available while supplies last. For more information and a complete schedule of dates, bands, car clubs and craft projects, please visit

(Photo courtesy of corvette owners club of san diego)

june 2010 my hometown 5

on your doorstep june 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

Let our Design Team help you discover the warmth, textures & patterns of our elegant fabrics. 851 Showroom Pl. Chula Vista, 91914 (619) 397-4854

Pet Fest & Doggie Dash June 19 Saturday, June 19 is the date for this year’s Pet Fest and Doggie Dash organized by the Third Avenue Village Association. The Doggie Dash, a 1.5-mile run/walk event, kicks off at 8:00 a.m. at Memorial Park on Third Avenue. Entry fees run $15 and each participant receives a free event t-shirt. All pets must be leashed in order to participate. In addition, Pet Fest, which runs from 8:00 a.m. to noon, will feature pet adoptions, pet-related vendors and lots of pet-friendly services. Shelter representatives will be available to answer questions about adopting pets and pet care. The premier free pet event will also include on-site spaying and neutering on the SNAP Neuter Scooter. More information can be found online at or by calling (619) 422-1982.

June 8 General Municipal Election

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6 my hometown june 2010

Open Daily 11:30am - 2am 619 565 BOWL (2695) 881 Showroom Place | Chula Vista | CA 91914

Chula Vista’s next General Municipal Election will be consolidated with the statewide primary election on Tuesday, June 8. The election is for the purpose of selecting a Mayor, two Councilmembers (for Seats #1 and #2), and a City Attorney. Additionally, local voters will be deciding on Proposition G – the public works contracts initiative. The full text of the measure is available in the Office of the City Clerk, 276 Fourth Avenue. The polls will be open between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Voter information, including polling locations, and frequently asked questions can be found on the Registrar of Voters’ website voters/Eng/Eindex.shtml.

on your doorstep Snores & S’morEs Campout Returns Chula Vistans have a great opportunity this month to enjoy a night under the stars as a family at the annual Snores and S’mores Campout on Friday, June 11 at the Montevalle Recreation Center, 840 Duncan Ranch Road. The event starts at 5:00 p.m. and will include jumpers, arts and crafts, telescope viewing, a movie and more. Dinner and breakfast will be provided, but participants must bring their own tent. The cost is $7 per person, with children two years and younger free. For more information, visit the Montevalle Recreation Center or call (619) 409-1977.

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Art Award Nominations Being Accepted The City of Chula Vista is accepting nominations for the 2010 Gayle McCandliss Art Awards, now through July 1. Given annually to adults, graduating seniors and community organizations that have supported the arts in Chula Vista, the fund is named after former Mayor Gayle McCandliss, who was a strong supporter of the arts. High school teachers, administrators or counselors may submit student award nominations for any graduating senior who resides in the City of Chula Vista. Nominations of organizations and individuals may be submitted by any resident of Chula Vista. The McCandliss Art Awards will be presented at a future City Council meeting. Applications are due by 5:00 p.m. on July 1 at the Civic Center Branch Library, 365 F Street. Nomination forms are available on the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s website at






june 2010 my hometown 7

on your doorstep

SHootInG HoopS aCroSS amerICa For more than 60 years, “Coach” Richard Paff has enjoyed the sport of basketball like few others. He played growing up and in college. He has traveled the country to play in various tournaments including the famed Gus Macker 3-On-3 Basketball Tournament in Michigan. When he became a teacher, he quickly stepped into the role of head basketball coach. At Hilltop Middle School his teams were known for highpressure defense, an efficient offense and sound fundamentals. Coach Paff ensured that his teams played with passion and a real understanding of the importance of teamwork. Even in retirement, Coach Paff continues to use basketball as a way to make a difference in the lives of school kids. It is what motivated him, along with good friends John Baker and Jack Davis (pictured), to complete his most challenging

Mathnasium kids get


and develop A


Boosts Confidence Proven Method Great Instructors Fun Environment Affordable In the Village Walk Shopping Center 884 Eastlake Parkway, #1623. Chula Vista, CA




8 my hometown june 2010

basketball endeavor yet. Setting out on April 13, the three hoops junkies embarked on a record-breaking tour of the contiguous United States. Their goal: To shoot a basket in all 48 states in just nine days. Call it the ultimate hoop dream. “As a basketball junkie, I have long thought about trying to set this record,” Paff said. “The past few years my wife Nancy and I have been volunteering for two to three weeks every summer at New Dawn Christian School in San Juan La Laguna, Guatemala on the shores of beautiful Lake Atitlan. I do a basketball clinic there each year and Nancy teaches English. The school really needs a roof for the outdoor basketball court and the thought just came to me a couple of years ago to combine my interest in setting the 48-state hoopsfor-time record and a way to raise funds for that project in Guatemala.” Dubbed “The 48Stater,” the trek started in Nipton, California and covered nearly 7,800 miles ending in Umatilla, Oregon where the last bucket was made on April 21. Paff said the team averaged about 935 miles per day with one person driving, another serving as “map guy” and the third catching some rest in the backseat. Along the way, Paff, Baker and Davis, who range in age from 63-65, shot hoops and were invited to speak at two school assemblies, one in South Carolina and another in North Dakota. “I really thought the driving would be harder with more trouble staying awake, but it wasn’t too bad,” Paff shared. “We promised our wives we would get at least four hours of sleep per night in a motel. We lived up to that promise, but not by much. A hard thing about this trip was having to say goodbye quickly to friends, family and even strangers who met us along the way. We wanted to be friendly and thank them for their support, but we also wanted to keep moving so we could finish as fast as possible.” Not only did these retired ballers reach their goal, finishing in eight days, five hours and 33 minutes, they also collected more than $11,000 for the roof project in Guatemala. Donations are still being accepted and can be sent to Children of Lake Atitlan, 9140 Akard Street, Spring Valley, CA 91977. To read more about the 48Stater, visit the official blog at So, what is next for the new world record holder? “I have to get ready for the beginning of my senior fullcourt basketball league,” Paff said. my.

VillaGe walk

The official sponsor of Village Walk at EastLake




We Take Women’s Heart Health Seriously

As the South Bay’s leading provider of heart care, Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center encourages you to take care of your heart — and we’re here to show you how. Attend our free women’s heart health expo where you’ll meet and learn from Sharp Chula Vista-affiliated physicians and nurses who specialize in heart health. You’ll hear about women’s heart disease risks; signs and symptoms; the latest treatments; the link between nutrition, fitness, diabetes and heart disease; and much more. There will also be free health screenings, cooking and exercise demonstrations, and giveaways.

A Day for Women’s Heart Health 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 19, 2010 Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center Nellie Barrington Room (first floor) You are welcome to bring a guest. The event is free, but space is limited. To register, call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277) or visit

CV150A ©2010 SHC

on your doorstep

211 Ready to Take Your Call This year, 211 San Diego will receive approximately 300,000 calls. Add in the visits to their website,, and the electronic resource for community, health and disaster information will make about 500,000 contacts with County residents in 2010. According to Meg Storer, Communications and Development Manager, the City of Chula Vista generates 211 San Diego’s third highest call volume of any city in the County. “We receive calls from everyone,” Storer said. “Next to the cities of San Diego and El Cajon, Chula Vista is our highest call volume. With the economy’s slide, the calls have increased from this area. Our organization connects residents with the resources they can use to better their situation. Our staff is trained to handle calls for service and to ask secondary questions about unstated needs.” Launched in 2005, 211 San Diego partners with many local agencies to provide callers with information, referrals and guidance on how to maximize the resources available around town. Storer says that with approximately 9,000 non-profit organizations in San Diego knowing about all the services available to assist can be a challenge. 211 San Diego staff and volunteers help community members find the appropriate service whether the need is centered on finances, childcare, health or updated disaster information like during the 2007 wildfires. “When the wildfires broke out, the Office of Emergency Services partnered with 211 as a place for nonemergency information,” said Storer. “We took about 120,000 calls in 10 days. We did this with our regular staff and 1,000 volunteers. With every call, our goal is to put the person calling on the right path to information and to empower them to take the next step.” Assisting in that effort are sev-

eral employees who call Chula Vista home. In their roles as call specialists and service delivery managers, local residents regularly aid their fellow community members with helpful information and advice on nearby resources. Chief Operating Officer Mona Freels also welcomes the opportunity working at 211 San Diego provides for her to make a difference. “I work at 211 San Diego because it allows me to combine my passion of helping people with my gift of administration,” Freels said. “I cannot think of a better way to give back to the community that has given us so much. My family doesn’t just live in the community, we embody the community. It serves our emotional, spiritual and relational needs. We eat, live, worship and shop Chula Vista. Working at 211 gives me the chance to help my neighbors with a multilingual, free service, 24/7.” For more information on the assistance available at 211 San Diego, call 2-1-1 or visit the website at my.

Concordia Preschool Graduates Ready for Kindergarten Concordia Preschool is graduating its maiden pre-K class from the new preschool that opened last August in the Windingwalk area and now has 150 students. The graduating four year olds have been busy learning letter recognition, how to count to 100, as well as how to use rhythm and instruments. This school year the pre-K class produced a Living Nativity production that drew 650 people from the community as well as producing their first music video. The Summer Program is gearing up to launch June 21 with special programs that can be purchased by the month or by the week. Enrichment and fun activities (including splash days) are the norm. Check out the schedule online at  or call (619) 656-8100 for more information.

june 2010 my hometown 11

Kicking Off


Community Par ks

Farmerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Market

12 my hometown june 2010

Family Summer Vacation


Enjoy the Community

er Park Local Wat

Father Son Bonding

The arrival of summer presents lots of opportunities to get out and enjoy this great community Building A Relationship With Your Son Strolling A Farmerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Market Cruising Along the Mexican Riviera june 2010 my hometown 13

Kicking off summer

Building A Relationship With Your Son By Joe Little


very first Saturday of the month, my three-year-old son straps on an orange apron and picks up his Transformers toolbox. His apron is covered with pins, which he wears like badges of honor. The toolbox is filled with beginner tools that could do damage in the hands of a lesser-skilled craftsman. We head to Home Depot. Just a father and his son. This outing is one of the few things we’ve been able to do together…as men. A lot of dads, like myself, have a hard time finding fun activities to do with their children. Work keeps us busy during the week. And weekends are chalkfull of “honey-do” lists, birthday parties and shopping for the next work week. There’s never enough time to really bond with your kids. Something that we

14 my hometown june 2010

all know is important. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to know how important bonding is to a child’s development. Which is why we head to Home Depot every first Saturday of the month for the Kids Workshop. It’s free. There’s no waitlist. There’s no time limit. You don’t need to bring anything, And it’s fun for both of you. You walk in, pull up to the Kids Workshop table near the front of the store, and build something together. I can coach my son through the art of hammering in a nail without removing an eye or smashing a finger. I can explain the virtues of “less wood glue is better than more.” And I get the satisfaction of doing it with him. Just my boy and me. Moms come, too. So do daughters. We all sit around joking about the exor-

bitant amount of glue emanating from someone’s birdhouse or the dents in the side of a piggy bank from all the hammer misfires. In the past year, my son and I have built a jewelry box for Mom, a bird house for the window, a trivet for Grandma, a toolbox for Grandpa, a butterfly house for the backyard and that piggy bank which is now filled with every grounded penny this side of the 805. For every project, my son gets a new pin for his apron – another badge of honor for a job well done. After I help him build his latest treasure, we meander through the store looking at tools. Or plants. Or giant wood beams. Nothing in particular. Just two men, being men, looking at manly things. I look forward to it every month. He does, too.

KicKing off sUmmer

I don’t work for Home Depot and as much as I’d like it, I’m not getting any kickbacks for writing about the workshops. I’m a reporter and during my career I have covered too many stories of kids getting into trouble. All too often we learn their fathers weren’t a part of their lives. I don’t intend to let my son down. And if work keeps me late or the “honey-do” list gets too long, we can still look forward to the Kids Workshop. It’s one of the few things we can always do together…as men. my. Joe little lives with sons mason and tyler and wife stacey in the Windingwalk area of chula Vista. he works as a reporter for 10news.

Father and Son Joe and M ason Little

june 2010 my hometown 15

KicKing off sUmmer

Strolling A Farmer’s Market By louise fericelli


ne of my favorite school-day afternoon activities is the Otay Ranch Farmer’s Market on Tuesdays from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Otay Ranch Town Center. First of all, this is the absolute best place in town to buy truly fresh, organic fruits and vegetables. From apples to zucchini, the produce here has a flavor that is unmatched by anything I can purchase elsewhere. I also enjoy the opportunity to chat with the farmers and vendors, to feel a real sense of where the food we eat is coming from. My personal interest in food began a few years ago when one of my best friends was diagnosed with cancer. I started reading and researching the

subject, and kept being led back to the food we eat. Many experts focus on the importance of a diet that is as fresh and naturally grown as possible. Fortunately, such food is both delicious and locally available at the Farmer’s Market. Families wanting to prepare tastier, more nutritious meals take note: “In the long run, if you want to stay healthy, eat organic,” says Cora Hylkema, who, along with her husband George, owns and operates the Hylseeds farm in Rainbow. George and Cora grow a wide variety of vegetables and greens, including heirloom tomatoes. Hylseeds is also one of the few local farms which can provide CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) boxes. This is a weekly or

e Organic Produc

16 my hometown june 2010

bi-weekly service that brings the freshest produce and eggs direct from the farmer to your family. “Pesticides don’t know when to stop,” asserts Jacob Thompson in the Smit Orchards booth. “They permeate your food to make it less flavorful, and we end up ingesting them.” Smit Orchards, whose main farm is in the Central Valley area, produces stone fruits (peaches, apricots, nectarines, plums) along with apples and nuts. My personal favorite is their cherries, as sweet and juicy as I remember from my childhood summers in Washington State. In June, Smit will be offering the dino-egg pluot, a hybrid plum/apricot that looks strange but tastes delightful.

Local Music

KicKing off sUmmer

June 14-18 Summer Blast: Laser tag fieldtrip June 21-25 Camp Incredible: Fieldtrip for fun, games, & pizza June 28-July 2 Xtreme Sports: Bowling and the park July 6-July 9 Cruising the Town: Ceramic art and yogurt

They also have a variety of fresh, nonpasteurized juices available. After stocking up on greens and fresh vegetables, I like to wander past the prepared foods, especially the variety of vegetarian-friendly offerings. From tamales to rice noodles, the market’s booths allow the center’s patrons to sample new flavors or enjoy dinner al fresco while enjoying the musical entertainment provided each week. A frequent stop of mine is the Flavors of East Africa booth. When I last visited, Ben Crossley was cooking sambusas (a sort of empanada), rice, and collard greens for the crowd. “This farmers, market’s customers like to try new things,” he commented, showing off his native cuisine. While nibbling on my snacks, I admire the crafts. One beautiful booth is managed by Pily Ortiz, who features incredible jewelry from all over the world. Also on offer around the market are gift items such as handmade candles and fresh flowers. Sometimes I am tempted to indulge in a chair massage, while my friends like to take the kids for a ride on the train – or on a llama. (Personally, I prefer to admire the llamas from a distance.) It seems like I always run into people I know at the Farmer’s Market. My former student, Mariana Lara, who works at Hot Dog on a Stick, can sometimes be spotted in her colorful uniform offering the chance to spin a prize wheel. On this visit, I asked her what she thinks of the Farmer’s Market. “It brings customers to the mall and has really boosted sales,” she notes. “And besides, it’s fun to see the crowds, especially the children!” I’m always smiling as I head home. my. louise fericelli is an east chula Vista resident and teacher at hilltop high school.

ATTEND ANY OR ALL 4 WEEKS. You can register your children (1st - 6th 2010-2011 school year) weekdays from 8:30am - 5:30pm at the Home Base office at EastLake Church (990 Lane Avenue) or online at (click on Xtreme Camp in the drop down menu). Contact Debbie Serrano for more details at (619) 339-8703 or email

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june 2010 my hometown 17

KicKing off sUmmer

Cruising Along the Mexican Riviera By anthony millican


Providing quality Therapy to the South Bay communities. Services: Physical Therapy Massage Therapy Wellness Programs Speed & Agility Training Personal Training 955 Lane Avenue, Suite 201 Chula Vista, CA 91914 Phone: (619) 421-9521 Fax: (619) 421-9568

1055 Tierra Del Rey, Suite C Chula Vista, CA 91910 Phone: (619) 656-5102 Fax: (619) 656-5103

18 my hometown june 2010

f Mexico’s beautiful coastal destiHarbor Drive and B Street Pier, with nations, Puerto Vallarta has always great anticipation. The cruise terminal been a favorite. I visited there three is a dizzying, yet colorful place for pastimes previously, twice as a college revsengers. On our departure day, there eler and a third time to attend a good were two cruise ships in port each disfriend’s wedding, which took place on a embarking/embarking passengers from picturesque beach. respective voyages to Mexico. So I was pretty excited when I learned that our family’s first cruise would stop in Puerto Vallarta as well as the popular resorts of Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas. It was time to travel. The “Mexican Riviera” beckoned. How much had Puerto Vallarta changed over the years? How greatly had Cabo San Lucas been altered? The last time I visited Cabo was nearly Beautiful 25 years ago. ip to Puerto Vallarta BluFa e mi WalyteTr r a nd Warm My wife handled the vacation planning. She booked our cruise on Holland America from the Port of San Diego some Our ship was the ms Oosterdam. four months previously through Passengers aptly described it as a She then went on ing hotel, one that carries nearly 2,000 to see if she could passengers and more than 800 crew get us an even better deal. She did. So members. Us grownups spent the days much so that three other families joined at sea leisurely lounging by the pool, us. The cruise for my family of four reading books, sipping rum drinks— was just over $1,600, pretty good for a some of us even hit the gym. The kids seven-day roundtrip cruise from San splashed in the pool, played “hide and Diego. seek” (sorry!) and played basketball All together, our group consisted of on the top deck. Evenings were spent four families—the Alvarez, Millican, dressing up for formal dinner nights, Perez and Romo clans—eight adults or entering the buffet line (again and and nine children, who ranged from again). For those who were not too tired 4 to 17. We entered the San Diego from the day’s activities, we capped off Cruise Ship Terminal, located at North our evenings taking in one of the night-

Kicking off summer

ly shows or rolling the dice in the casino. The service on board was excellent. Our first Port of Call was Mazatlan. We made our own travel itinerary, and with such a large group we were able to negotiate a reasonable deal with the local tour guides. Our day trip included a visit to the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception, near the city’s main central plaza and large Mercado. The time went quickly. Before we knew it we had to reboard our ship. From Mazatlan, our ship steamed toward Puerto Vallarta. Once in town, there was a peculiar comfort in seeing old hangouts that were still selling beer by the bucket. Now, with family in tow, it was time for a different kind of Puerto Vallarta adventure—zip line! We chose “Canopy El Eden,” located in the tropical forest used in the action movie “Predator,” with Arnold Schwarzenegger.

With a dozen zip lines, the outing was thrilling and the views spectacular. The Mismaloya River was a great cool down, allowing for swimming in the river pools and sliding down flat rock slides. Our last port of call, Cabo San Lucas, had indeed changed dramatically. I guess it was to be expected. Where else can you hop in a glass bottom boat, maneuver around one of the most beautiful rock formations on the planet, and have a whale wave its tail at you from, like, this close? It was all there and more in Cabo. It also had one of the better seafood restaurants we tried— Mariscos Mazatlan. There is some irony in that the Cabo locals recommended eating at a Mazatlan-style seafood restaurant. But after our meals, we certainly didn’t argue with the choice. By the end of our day, we again felt rushed to make it back in time to board our

ship. Many cruise goers must feel the same way. It’s one reason Carnival Cruise Lines will introduce a new schedule from San Diego beginning in December that will visit Cabo San Lucas for two full days. The two-day visits to Cabo, among the other ports of call, were selected based on guest feedback requesting more time to enjoy this popular destination. It’s a great idea. As we finished our cruise, disembarking along San Diego’s beautiful waterfront, it was little wonder why so many people from other states choose San Diego to cruise from to the Mexican Riviera. This port of call, we call it home. my. Anthony Millican lives in the South Bay with his family and is a long-time supporter of My Hometown.


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school news

school neWs JUne 2010

olympian Student Showcases moo-velous art talent


hen Olympian High School student Ana Estrada’s parents picked her up early from school, the local sophomore initially thought she might be in trouble. Instead, her parents wanted to personally deliver a package Estrada had been waiting on anxiously. The package came from Lucerne Milk Company and Estrada quickly opened it. The details inside the envelope left her and her parents speechless – Estrada had been selected as one of 30 national finalists from more than 9,600 entries in the Fifth Annual Lucerne The Art of Dairy Taste of Moo-sic Art Contest. Estrada had entered the contest as part of an assignment in Visual and Performing Arts teacher Elizabeth Exum’s class. Ms. Exum had asked each student to design and submit an art piece with the theme “The Taste of Moo-sic.” The entries had to reflect a music theme and incorporate milk products into the design. The students then submitted their drawings to Lucerne, along with an essay describing their concept, for consideration. Estrada’s selection as a finalist meant she now needed to transfer her drawing onto a life-sized replica cow as part of the final stage of competition. Lucerne sent the cow to the school and once completed, Estrada took photos of the painted cow and sent them to Lucerne for the judges to determine a grand

prize winner, a first place finisher and three honorable mentions. “Ana’s cow is representing Region B—San Diego County and Imperial Valley,” Exum said. “Although Ana has worked on this project for countless hours, I am confident that this is an experience she will never forget. Ana has demonstrated all of Olympian High School’s College Readiness Skills and Habits of Mind through this work and we are very proud of her.” According to the Lucerne website, the Art of Dairy Taste of Moo-sic Art contest was created to promote cross-curriculum achievement through art and music. The goal is to foster creativity and to challenge young artists to apply their musical knowledge to a unique project. One look at Estrada’s piece entitled “Que Alegre La Moo-sica Del Moo-riachi” which in English means “What Joy the Mariachi Music Brings” and one can see exactly how these ideas came together for this talented local student. Her work depicts animated cow characters as mariachi musicians and as folkloric dancers. “Being a Latina and proud of my cultural background, I tried to incorporate a mariachi and ballet folklorico theme to show the joy that these two staples bring to our Mexican fiestas,” Estrada wrote in her essay. “I also wanted to include Latino dairy products such as helados and chocolate caliente and, of course, leche. Overall,

I’m very satisfied with the results and how everything came together at the end.” Although Estrada has entered art pieces in the district art show, the Lucerne contest is by far the largest competition she has competed in. She said it took two nights to get the design she had drawn originally on paper transferred to the cow. For the first three weeks, she worked nearly 10 hours a day painting the cow. The final week before the photos of the design were due, Estrada said she worked 16 hours a day to make sure the finished product was as good as it could be. “Looking at the cow now I do feel a sense of accomplishment,” said Estrada who has been drawing since she could hold a pencil. “It’s the biggest piece I’ve ever done and I’m happy with how it turned out. The idea and the design are what I’m most proud of. It doesn’t matter if I win. I look at it as an experience rather than a contest. Plus, there is always next year.” Estrada’s cow has been on display at the Otay Ranch Vons supermarket off Eastlake Parkway for the community to enjoy. The winner of the contest will receive $20,000 for their school and $5,000 each for the student and their art teacher. my.

Editors note: The winners will be announced in May, but final results were not available as My Hometown went to press.

The Marroquin-Gonzalez Family

Photo Courtesy of: Jessica Fraser (619) 339-1847


n light of the current social, political and economic climate, it is easy to doubt that chasing the “American Dream” happens much anymore. But in EastLake’s Faby Gonzalez and her three boys, one doesn’t have to look far beyond our own backyards to find that the idea is still alive and well. Born in Tijuana, Faby has made a tremendous effort to improve her own situation while ensuring a high quality of life for her sons. The family started in National City, but Faby had her sights set on moving to the EastLake community. She realized that part of her dream in 2003 when she moved into her current home with oldest son Adrian, 16 and Carlos, 13. The Marroquin-Gonzalez family expanded in 2008 when this single mom decided to adopt her nephew Alan, also from Tijuana, to provide him with an opportunity for a better life in the United States. Together, this blended family has made the most of living in east Chula Vista. They enjoy the great local restaurants, the quality schools, the area’s rich diversity and the opportunity to experience the outdoors. “We hardly ever leave EastLake,” Faby said proudly. “We have everything here. Adrian likes to fish at Salt Creek and along the EastLake Trails. Carlos loves to skateboard and rides all around EastLake. Alan came here two years ago not speaking any English and, with the support of the teachers and staff at Eastlake High School, he brings home “A’s” on his report card.”

Faby learned of the great local schools from two friends who had purchased homes in the area. She has impressed upon her boys the importance of maximizing the opportunities available to them. And they are doing just that. As an eighth grader at EastLake Middle School, Carlos enjoys the technology and computer classes. Over at Eastlake High, Adrian and Alan, both sophomores, appreciate the friends they have made and the support they have received from teachers, coaches and school staff. “Eastlake is a great school,” said Alan, who plays midfield for the Titans’ junior varsity soccer team. “There are a lot of people who really care about you.” Chasing the dream has not always been easy for Faby and her family. Even though her marriage did not work out, it was a very tough situation when the boys lost their father suddenly two years ago. As a real estate agent for Ashlon Realty, the recent housing decline has made it even more challenging for this local mother to do all she would like for her family. But Faby maintains a positive outlook and approach that is appreciated by friends and coworkers. It has also rubbed off on her children as well. “My mom has accomplished a lot by herself,” oldest son Adrian shared. “I had to learn to cook since my mom was working a lot. But we are grateful to have her here in our lives. We all like living here.” my. june 2010 my hometown 21

on topic: earth

Enviro-Friendly Tips for the Summer


Due to the longer daylight hours during the summer, it is a good idea to water your lawn at night or in the early morning to reduce evaporation. Using less water will save you money as well. When you apply fertilizers, use the recommended amounts on the container and avoid over-applying. Over-applied fertilizer can wash into storm drains when the sprinklers are on or when it rains. Swimming pool owners should use the following tips for maintaining your pool. Before draining the pool, make sure that the water is clear; that it is free of chemicals, debris, vegetation, and algae; and within a pH range of 7.0-8.0. When draining your pool,

ummer is a time for vacations, families and being outdoors. Many of us enjoy the warm weather by going to swimming pool parties, spending time at our beautiful beaches and going to the park for BBQs. Since we all like to enjoy the great outdoor activities in our community, it is important that we take responsibility for our environment and keep our neighborhoods clean for everyone. Before you get ready for summer activities, be sure that you have thought of ways to reduce your environmental impact while you enjoy the outdoors. If you have a garden, it is important to avoid over-watering, which can wash pollutants and trash into storm drains and nearby rivers and creeks. Adjust your sprinklers so that they are aiming at landscaping, rather than at sidewalks.







65 1








22 my hometown june 2010














make sure the water is flowing at a rate that does not cause flooding or erosion downstream. All pool filter debris should be placed in the trash. Any pool chemicals should be stored properly and never poured down the storm drain. Fun outdoor activities means that the whole family is involved, even our pets. Please remember to always carry a pet waste scoop and plastic bags to pick up after your pet. Dispose of collected pet waste into a trashcan. Bacteria in pet waste left on the ground can end up in nearby rivers and creeks, which can eventually lead to beach closures when it rains. In addition to picking up after your pet, it is also important to pick up trash and recyclables and to dispose of them properly. Trash left on the ground or on picnic tables can blow away and end up in our waterways and beaches. No one likes to swim in contaminated water! Keeping our neighborhoods clean means that the whole family is responsible for making environmentally friendly choices. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;Your Community. Your Environment. Your Choice.â&#x20AC;? If you have questions about how you can keep our community clean, please call (619) 397-6111 or visit clean. my.

school news

Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center


s a 343-bed hospital offering the largest array of health care services in south San Diego County, Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center plays a significant role in the Chula Vista community. The hospital serves as a leader in cancer care and is home to the area’s most comprehensive cardiac care program and the region’s only bloodless medicine and surgery center. But even with these extensive health care components, Sharp Chula Vista makes a great effort to be active in the local community through a wide range of programs, services, sponsorships and volunteer service. This is a community hospital striving to live up to that description. “We consider ourselves a community hospital, first and foremost, because this is our community,” said Mary Cruz, Community Relations and Multicultural Relations Program Manager. “We have partnerships with many local organizations that are related to health or well being.” According to Cruz, the hospital’s outreach efforts also take place at the hospital itself. For several years, Sharp Chula Vista has welcomed elementary students to take tours of the local facility. With support from the Sharp Health Care Foundation, the hospital provides the buses to bring local students to the hospital to see firsthand what goes on under Sharp’s roof. Sharp’s commitment to inspiring the future medical workforce is further evidenced in the organization’s unique Health Care Career Pipeline Partnership. The program allows high school students interested in a career in the health industry a hands-on opportunity to experience how health care is delivered. Students receive hospital tours, volunteer opportunities and one-on-one mentoring

from Sharp employees in areas from pathology to admitting. But providing the highest quality and personalized level of health care remains at the heart of Sharp’s work. The hospital has earned certification as a Community Hospital Cancer Program from the American College of Surgeons for the standards of practice it utilizes in its treatment of cancer patients. The full range of cancer services includes surgery, chemotherapy, state-of-the-art radiation treatments, patient navigation and nutritional and social services. Dan Dredla, Vice President of Patient Support Services and Development, said the hospital has recently invested $17 million to build a new cancer center on site. Inside the wonderfully designed center will be new technology and equipment that will enhance the level of accuracy and precision of radiation treatments. “When it comes to radiation therapy, accuracy is everything,” he said. “When you have a high degree of accuracy, you can maximize the treatment to the tumor site. Precision spares surrounding healthy tissue and provides better level of cancer care for the community.” In addition to the new cancer center, Sharp will also be expanding its emergency department. Dredla said this $15 million project will essentially double the ER. If all goes well, both improvements will be completed in 2011, providing Sharp the opportunity to continue to serve the local community well for years to come. my. Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center, 751 Medical Center Court, 1-800-82-SHARP;

june 2010 my hometown 23

on your doorstep June 2010

out and about June 4

June 6

June 8

June 10

Liberty Elementary

Village Walk at EastLake’s Summer Sundays – 5-7pm;

Bash – 4-7:30pm at the

Free community event featuring Chris Klich Jazz Quartet, San Diego Jaguar Club and kids crafts;

Election Day; Polls Open 7am-8pm; Chula Vista residents will cast votes for Mayor, two Councilmembers and City Attorney; City Clerk’s Office (619) 691-5041 or

Chula Vista Chamber of

School’s Bert’s Birthday

June 11-July 5

June 12

June 13

Community Garden Walk

Village Walk at EastLake’s

– “Successful Vines & Ground Covers”– 4:30pm at South Bay Botanic Garden, Southwestern College, 900 Otay Lakes Rd; Parking free, $1 donation suggested for walk;

Summer Sundays – 5-7pm; Free community event featuring Candy Kane & Skip Heller Duo, Porsche Club and kids crafts; www.shopvillagewalk. com

Shops at San Miguel Ranch parking lot; Game booths, food, fun activities, silent auctions, raffle prizes, entertainment will make up this evening of fun for the whole family

June 11 Snores and S’mores

San Diego County Fair; Del

Mar Fairgrounds; www.sdfair. com

Campout – 5pm at Montevalle Rec Center, 840 Duncan Ranch Rd; $7 per person; (619) 409-1977 7th Annual Eastlake High Football Booster Club Scramble Golf Tournament

at Salt Creek Golf Club; 12:30pm Shotgun Start; $120 per golfer includes golf, cart, lunch, dinner and participant bag; Martin Contreras (619) 709-3370

June 27

June 19 June 20 Father’s Day Chula Vista Ballet presents “Cinderella” – 2pm &

6pm at Mater Dei Catholic High School; The company will perform original choreography by Artistic Director Taeko Nishino;

7:30pm hosted by The Brew House at EastLake at 871 Showroom Place, Ste 102; (619) 420-6603 or

June 26

Pet Fest & Doggie Dash –

8am-12pm at Memorial Park; (619) 422-1982;

Commerce Mixer – 5:30-

Village Walk at EastLake’s Summer Sundays – 5-7pm; Free community event featuring Carlos Olmeda, Corvette Owner’s Club of San Diego and kids crafts;

Community Garden Walk

– “My 10 Favorite Trees”– 4:30pm at South Bay Botanic Garden, Southwestern College, 900 Otay Lakes Rd; Parking free, $1 donation suggested for walk; www.

Village Walk at EastLake’s Summer Sundays – 5-7pm; Free community event featuring AM Forever, Model A Restorers Club and Antique Motorcycle Club and kids crafts; www.shopvillagewalk. com

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

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

24 my hometown june 2010

Save The Date – July 3 Chula Vista Firefighter’s Foundation 2nd Annual Pancake Breakfast – 8-11am at Fire Station 7, 1640 Santa Venetia; $5 donation; (619) 691-5030

Please note events and times are subject to change.

my hometoWn mercado SPIRITUAL



7SD Church has moved. Now meeting at the Lakeside Community Center at Lindo Lake Park in Lakeside. For directions and map please visit No Perfect People Allowed.

If the formalities of traditional churches aren’t your thing, Rancho Vista is the place for you. Services are relevant, casual and fun, with live inspirational music, amazing kids’ programs and a commitment to serve our community. Sundays 9:00 & 10:30 at Otay Ranch HS (1250 Olympic Parkway).

(619) 977-9277




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.

(619) 216-3937


Our practice’s top priority is to provide you the highest quality orthodontic care in a friendly environment by utilizing the latest technological advances including digital photography and radiography, clear braces and Invisalign. Whether you’re an adult or child, our Ivy-League trained doctor is committed to helping you achieve the beautiful smile you deserve! Call us today to schedule your free consultation.

(619) 591-5950

(619) 540-1221

“Big Church Ministries, Small Church Feel” Harbor is a city-wide church presently with 9 locations that is committed to serving the people of San Diego. Harbor Chula Vista meets at Salt Creek Elementary School, 1055 Hunte Parkway, 10am on Sunday mornings. Quality childcare & children’s programs provided. We hope to see you soon.

(619) 851-6465

We at Salt Family Chiropractic are honGreat dental care is one of the most to serve the EastLake Community. Weored at Salt Family Chiropractic are hon- important investments you will make Father’s Day Special Drs. Mark and Celeste Salt along with ored to serve the EastLake Community. in your life. At Dental Art Designs at Dr. Greg Kaye bringMassage 30 years com- Minute Drs.bined Mark50 and Celeste Salt along experience. We $70.00) specialize in with EastLake you can have a healthier and for $60.00 (reg more attractive smile. Dr. Gomes and Dr. Greg Kaye bring 30 years your combeing a wellness clinic addressing or Dr. Vasquez, along with their caring chiropractic needs, along offering in bined experience. We with specialize staff, strive to provide patients of all 25 Minute Massage nutritional programs products. your being a wellness clinicand addressing ages with a relaxed and comfortable (reg $35.00) Massagefor is $30.00 also available Wednesdays, chiropractic needs, along with offering experience. Call us at ..... Fridays and Saturdays

nutritional programs and products. 426-2225 Massage (619) is also available Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays


(619) 656-9393 EDUCATION


The GameTruck is a complete video game birthday party brought to your Bonita Country Day School is a highly doorstep. Play the most popular acclaimed private school teaching video games in the air-conditioned students how to think, not what to comfort of the GameTruck’s mobile think. Small classes allow individual game room. Self powered and self attention in Montessori Preschool & contained, all we need is a place to Kindergarten – Grade 5. Bilingual park and people to play. We’ll help Program, Art & Music are included you throw a great video game party. with a superior academic curriculum.

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YOU DO THE MATH Your child needs a school that is aware of the “power of small.” Our 1:6 teacher to student ratio creates a learning environment where authentic applications of relational concern and care are experienced daily. Welcome to CCS—celebrating 33 years of faith & learning in community! Apply & enroll today for grades K-12.

(619) 421-8822

my hometoWn mercado CHILD DEVELOPMENT

“What can we do, Mommy?” At ACL, there’s LOTS to do. Let’s READ! Let’s WRITE! Do fun MATH! Prepare for the NEXT GRADE. Learn how to STUDY, or THINK critically and PROBLEM-SOLVE. SAT/ACT. Two-week workshops or long-term programs. Enrichment or remediation. Summer = a great time to bridge the gaps. Affordable. 1415 Ridgeback Road, Suite 1 Chula Vista, CA 91910



Robert J. Bliss CPA.



BUT IT DOESN’T HAVE TO Call 1-800-GOT-JUNK? and we’ll get rid of it for you. Just point to stuff you want taken away and we’ll do all the loading, clean up and recycling so you can sit back and relax. Call 1-800-468-5865 or go to to book an appointment. Plus, save $21 when you redeem this coupon onsite.

Tax Returns, Personal & Business, Tax Planning, Certified Payroll, Back Tax Filings, Accounting Services 30 Years Experience Se Habla Español Evening Appointments and weekends Available

(619) 585-7595 378 E St. Chula Vista, CA, 91910

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Autographed comic books, signed first editions, original and limited art work, unique collectibles, Hey Freddy’s online site has a little something for everyone. Even the most discerning collector will be struck by the variety of items found on this site. COM

Kid Ventures is thrilled to be opening our second location in the EastLake Design District this Summer! Come and enjoy San Diego’s best indoor play village and parent cafe right in your own backyard. For more information on our play rates, memberships, birthday party packages, camps and special events go to Hasta Pronto!


(619) 656-6026


my hometown mercado is your community resource. each month, this section features businesses who are a part of your community and dedicated to the communities of east chula Vista – bringing the services you need to your doorstep! for advertising information contact us at (800) 497-1309 x710

The GameTruck is a complete video game birthday party brought to your doorstep. Play the most popular video games in the air-conditioned comfort of the GameTruck’s mobile game room. Self powered and self contained, all we need is a place to park and people to play. We’ll help you throw a great video game party.

(888) 602-4263

Coming attractions

this month in coming attractions, we are taking a broader view of what’s on the horizon for My Hometown magazine. We have so much that we are excited about that it sounded like a good idea to share some of that with our wonderful readers. the chula Vista chamber of commerce has been a very supportive community organization since the early days of this publication. our partnership continues to build and will soon be showcased in these pages. chula Vista’s preparations for its 100th anniversary will soon take center stage as well. My Hometown will be the place for residents to learn more about our city’s history. our popular “dining and entertaining” issue is scheduled to return later this year helping our readers get the most for their entertainment dollar. as always, we invite you to send in ideas. our editor can be reached at

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My Hometown magazine - Chula Vsita  

Community News and events for East Chula Vista

My Hometown magazine - Chula Vsita  

Community News and events for East Chula Vista