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LOCAL RESIDENT LEADS FIGHT against oVarian cancer


0 1 0 2 T S AUGU

business highlight: american center for learning | resident sPotlight: the googins family

august 2010


local getaways


from the editor... It feels like déjà vu all over again. Almost exactly two years ago, I sat at my computer and wrote the August editor’s letter talking about how challenging it was to type one-handed. I had sprained my left hand jumping over a fence at a youth softball tournament and my hand was wrapped up and splinted. Well, believe it or not it’s happened again. I’m sitting here typing my monthly editor’s letter for our August issue and my left hand, yep, the same one, is in a cast. This one runs up my arm and is wrapped around a large splint that looks like a hook to hold my ring and middle fingers in place. Trying to make a sliding catch in my co-ed recreational softball game a couple of weeks ago, I bent both fingers back when my glove hit the grass. The force pulled off a piece of bone just below the knuckle in what is known as an avulsion fracture. Luckily, there is no need for surgery and the cast should come off next week. As you can imagine, walking around town with a large purple cast (my daughter’s all-star softball team is purple, hence the color choice) draws lots of attention. When I explain how the injury happened, I’m often greeted with the same response, “Now you know Mike, you’re not 20 anymore.” OK, more often than not, it’s more like, “you’re not 30 anymore,” but you get the point. It’s as if I’m being told I’m getting too old to have fun and do something I really enjoy. While I agree I need to be better at trying to avoid injuries, I don’t plan on slowing down any time soon. Life is meant to be enjoyed, to be lived to the fullest. Seems that concept holds true for my hometown city this month as well. I mean have you seen all the events and festivals taking place in the South Bay? Just take a look through this month’s My Hometown and check out all the ways you can make the most of living here in a place once described as one of the more boring cities in the U.S. Community events of all kinds fill the calendar giving us all a chance to end summer with a bang, and hopefully not another bang-up. Enjoy! Michael Minjares, Editor of My Hometown


august 2010

What’s inside feature



PAG E 12

community news YMCA Campers Enjoy Local Olympic Day


Local Resident Leads Fight Against Ovarian Cancer


community calendar 21

Local Events and Activities

school news Elaine Elefante-Leano Named Principal at Olympian High


resident spotlight The Googins Family


on topic Future of Surgery Arrives in South Bay


business highlight American Center For Learning


august 2010 my hometown 3



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

To the City of Chula Vista on receiving one of ten Cities of Service Leadership Grant awards from the Rockefeller Foundation and Bloomberg Philanthropies. Chula Vista will receive a $200,000 two-year grant to hire a Chief Service Officer. This position will be dedicated to developing and implementing a civic engagement program in two priority areas: career education and public wellness. The goal of the detailed citywide plan is to increase volunteerism and engage residents to address and impact areas of greatest local need. The Chief Service Officer will report directly to Mayor Cox and is expected to begin work by September. To Sweetwater Valley Little League’s 7/8 and Majors TOC teams for becoming District 42 Champions. After runruling their first three opponents and going a perfect 3-0 in pool play, Sweetwater Valley faced Chula Vista American in the 7/8 TOC Championship game on Sunday, June 29. With two strikeouts to end the game, SVLL secured the title with an 11-8 win. Not to be outdone, the Majors team defeated Park View Little League in the championship game to capture the District 42 banner for their division. Congratulations to all the players and coaches.

To Eastlake High alum and current San Diego Padres first baseman Adrian Gonzalez on being named to his third straight National League All-Star team. The Gold Glover and offensive star of the Padres proudly represented the local team in the mid-summer classic game played in Anaheim. To Dr. Jesus Gandara, Superintendent of the Sweetwater Union High School District, on receiving a contract extension from the Sweetwater Board of Trustees. The Board voted to extend Dr. Gandara’s contract through 2013, after his annual evaluation review. Board President Arlie N. Ricasa said the contract extension approved Wednesday was a vote of confidence in student performance under Dr. Gandara’s leadership. “Our preliminary scores show Sweetwater District students are making great gains on the California High School Exit Exam and in meeting federal academic benchmarks,” Ricasa said in a release. “The attention our teachers are giving to rigorous curriculum initiatives are helping our students become college and career ready.” To the Bonita Valley 10U Girls Fastpitch Softball team on earning a trip to the 2010 “B” Western National Championship in Tucson, Arizona, to be played in August. The local team qualified with some outstanding play at the Southern California State Championship in Lancaster, CA. Bonita Valley joins fellow South San Diego District teams Alpine, Navajo and Santee in punching a ticket to Nationals.

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, Suite 104-202 San Marcos, CA 92079 (800) 497-1309 x710

4 my hometown august 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.

on your doorstep

County-wide Book Drive Has Drop Off Spot In CV recycle your unwanted books In the true spirit of going green and giving back, the University of Phoenix San Diego campuses are partnering with local non-profit Words Alive for a campus- and countywide book drive. Local campuses are collecting new and gently used books throughout the summer, until August 31. A great opportunity for San Diegans to recycle unwanted books and support literacy throughout the San Diego community, the drive is collecting books of all types – from children’s books to novels and text books. Books will be donated to Words Alive “Lending Libraries” program, which strives to distribute high quality literature and promote reading to underserved communities across San Diego County. Donation bins will be clearly marked at all sites. Drop off locations include the Chula Vista campus at 2060 Otay Lakes Road, Suite 100, Chula Vista, CA 91915.

Gold Fever! Sweeps Bonita It has been over 140 years since gold was discovered in the mountains of San Diego, but now “Gold Fever!” is sweeping into Bonita. This time it’s “Gold Fever! The Untold Stories of California’s Gold Rush,” an exhibition that presents a treasury of Gold Rush era events, images and documents. This traveling exhibit, hosted by the Bonita Museum & Cultural Center, and sponsored by generous donations from Las Primeras and the Sweetwater Woman’s Club, opened for an eight-week run on July 20. Also on display are photographs and artifacts of San Diego’s Gold Rush of 1868 on loan from the Pioneer Museum located in Julian. The exhibit consists of twenty-four photo-mural panels that present text and representations of primary docu-

Kid Ventures EastLake Grand

Family Community Festival –

Opening – August 14

August 21

Face painting, characters, a balloon artist, oneday saving specials and more will be part of Kid Ventures EastLake Grand Opening on Saturday, August 14. Scheduled for 9:00 a.m. to noon, the event is free to the public as the new child-friendly place opens its door to the community. Come join in the fun at 851 Showroom Place, Suite 101 in the EastLake Design District. For more information, check out or call (619) 651-8622.

Great fun for kids will be the order of the day at the free Family Community Festival presented by New Hope Community Church on Saturday, August 21. Prizes, games, crafts, face painting, inflatable jumpers, rock climbing, a magician and more await the neighborhood’s young residents. Festivities will run from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the local church located at 2720 Olympic Parkway. Visit the website at or call (619) 600-4160 for more details.

culture ments, photographs, daguerreotypes, and Gold Rush era paintings. The exhibit shows California before the fateful discovery of gold in the American River, the frenzied rush to the gold fields overland and by sea, the experience of vigilante justice, life in the rowdy gold camps, Gold Rush era commerce, and the shaping of California’s future. The exhibition spotlights the stories of individual Californios, women, Native Americans, and adventurers and gold seekers who emigrated from all parts of the world during the tumultuous and colorful Gold Rush era. The Bonita Museum & Cultural Center is located at 4355 Bonita Road in Bonita. The hours of operation are Wednesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. For further information, please call (619) 267-5141.

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on your doorstep

YMCA Campers Enjoy Local Olympic Day Nearly 100 kids participating in the South Bay Family YMCA’s summer camp program took a special field trip out to the U.S. Olympic Training Center (O.T.C.) on June 23. As part of the regional Olympic Day celebration, the kids were treated to exciting demonstrations, motivational talks and lunch donated by a local McDonald’s at the Chula Vista training facility dedicated to the development of America’s future Olympic athletes. Over 150 cities throughout the United States hosted Olympic Day celebrations as part of a worldwide effort to promote fitness and well being in addition to Olympic ideals. Locally, the event brought together the YMCA, the City of Chula Vista and the O.T.C. The students received a warm welcome from Tracy Lamb, Chula Vista U.S. Olympic Training Center Director, Tina Williams, Executive Director of the South Bay Family YMCA, and Mayor Cheryl Cox. Sharing his personal story of becoming an Olympic athlete, 2008 men’s eight rowing bronze medalist Dan Walsh encouraged the local kids to continue to pursue their dreams. Following the welcome, the campers were treated to an up close look at the speed and skill of the BMX Team that trains

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


6 my hometown august 2010

at the center. Racing down ramps, around turns and over jumps, these young athletes thrilled the kids with their talents. Several of the athletes, including Ariel Varhaaren and Tyler Brown as well as Olympic Team Coach Mike King, then took time to talk to the campers about the development program offered at the center and answered questions. For eight-yearold EastLake resident Makayla, the day was an opportunity to see what her future might hold. “I’ve been doing BMX rides for three years,” she shared. “It felt exciting to see the riders on their track. They told us to believe in ourselves and to watch other pros and Olympians to see what they do. The two things I’ll remember about today are meeting a bunch of riders who used to be just like me and meeting the Mayor.” According to Rebecca Kelley, Community Relations Director for the YMCA, bringing these organizations together was a natural fit. She said that several sports have origins that can be traced back to the YMCA, such as basketball and volleyball. In addition, the Olympic ideals of friendship, respect, excellence and harmony are similar to the YMCA’s four character development values of caring, honesty, respect and

on your doorstep “Christmas in October� Applications Being Accepted Hundreds of volunteers will grab a paintbrush or hammer October 9 and join with local businesses to make a wish come true for a selected group of Chula Vista homeowners. The annual “Christmas in October� program helps preserve and revitalize houses and communities. This year, “Christmas in October� is focusing on eligible military veterans and their families, the wounded, the elderly, or their widows/widowers who reside in the Chula Vista area. The goal is to renovate eight Chula Vista homes with all repairs completed at no cost to the homeowner. Mobile homes are not included in the program. In past years, volunteers have assisted people who are unable to make repairs to their homes because they are low income, elderly and/or disabled. The program combines the good will and spirit of volunteers with donated materials from businesses and funds raised by local service clubs. Anyone who wants to participate in the program must fill out an application and turn it in before September 3 on a first come, first served basis. Houses may be painted

and often carpeting, windows, tile, pipes and bathroom fixtures are replaced. New water heaters, smoke detectors and refrigerators may be installed. Able-bodied family members are expected to help with the renovations. Funding for the program comes from corporations, individuals, labor organizations, foundations, civic organizations, and religious organizations. Referrals come from a variety of sources including homeowners, residents, nonprofit agencies, police and fire departments, social service organizations, churches, and synagogues. Applicants are selected after a home visit by “Christmas in October� chair and civic leader Emerald Randolph. Applications for this year’s program may be obtained by calling (619) 691-5213 or at the front desk of Fire Administration offices at 276 Fourth Avenue, Building 300, between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Citizens or businesses wishing to volunteer may call the same number for information. Monetary donations are tax deductible. my.













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on your doorstep

Local Resident Leads Fight Against Ovarian Cancer By Sarah Van Boerum

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

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Sitting across from Joan Wyllie, you would never guess this woman has gone through the biggest battle of her life. Like many women, she is beautiful, confident, smart and passionate, but she has gone through something that many of us will never have to face and has come out stronger than ever, eager to make a difference in the lives of others. Wyllie recently beat all of the odds and survived advanced stage 3C and 4 ovarian cancer. She told me, in no uncertain terms, that “cancer has been a blessing in my life. I am an instrument in the hands of God, here to help other women.” Wyllie has taken on this fight right from the start. Not only was having the cancer hell in and of itself, but actually getting a correct diagnosis was even more of an obstacle. Starting at the end of 2007, Wyllie started noticing some changes in her body: bloating, constipation, swelling in her stomach and pain that was not the normal for her. Doctor after doctor told her that she was fine and one even told her that it was all in her head, giving her a prescription that he said would tell her

head to tell her stomach to stop hurting. Over the period of six months she was misdiagnosed nine times before finally getting a correct diagnosis, mainly due to her own persistence - demanding to have laparoscopic surgery to find out what was really going on inside her body. “If there is one thing that I want women out there to know it is to listen to your body,” Wyllie said. “You know your body better than anyone else, listen to your intuition and go to see a doctor. Do not take NO for an answer and do not give up if you feel that there is something wrong.” According to Wyllie, before the laparoscopy even began, the doctor noticed the signs of ovarian cancer upon administering some medications. He then confirmed what he thought and told Wyllie she had a 50/50 chance of surviving the seven and a half hour surgery that lay ahead. Even then, the cancer was so far advanced that statistically, she probably would not make it much longer after that. But Wyllie does not believe in statistics and says that

on your doorstep

she had no fear upon hearing her diagnosis and at the time she looked at the cancer as a “temporary inconvenience” that she would fight head on, instead of sitting back and letting it devour her life. “My motivation came from my spirituality, my family and knowing that I did not want other women to go through this,” said Wyllie. After the removal of hundreds of tumors and six horrifyingly painful chemotherapy treatments, she is currently in her 23rd month of remission. Wyllie has since dedicated her life to educating herself about everything from testing to treating ovarian cancer, even starting a patient outreach and counseling program for those going through what can be a very scary, lonely and difficult time. Wyllie also created Nine Girls Ask? For a Cure for Ovarian Cancer, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising ovarian cancer awareness. She created the name after herself, her three daughters and five granddaughters, all wanting to find a future cure and treatments so that none of them have to go through the same things Joan has experienced. “It is the not-so-silent killer,” Wyllie said. “About 350 women die each week from this cancer and one in every 70 women will be affected in their lifetime.” This cancer is not biased either; it affects woman of all ages and ethnicities and the sad thing is that most women do not even know they have it until it is too late. Wyllie is one of a few exceptions that has survived and has lived to bring new information about ovarian cancer to light. “I do not believe in coincidence,” says Wyllie, “God puts things in our paths for a reason and I am still here for a reason.” While talking, I can hear the frustra-

tion in her voice as she explains that there is no single test that can accurately detect ovarian cancer and many doctors believe it to be associated with menopause, so most times many patients are never tested at all. Due to the fact that there are so many cases that are misdiagnosed, there are many myths and theories about ovarian cancer in the medical field and among women themselves that Wyllie is trying to debunk. Since it’s start in 2009, Nine Girls Ask? has raised $42,000 for the UCSD Moores Cancer Center, where Wyllie received treatment. Nine Girls Ask? conducts monthly fundraisers around the community, including their first annual golf tournament that was held at Salt Creek last May, which had a very generous turnout and support from the community. On September 25, a luncheon will be held at the San Diego Marriott in La Jolla to continue to raise funds and awareness. When she is not planning a fundraiser, Wyllie works on writing a book

about her experiences and travels frequently to learning hospitals. Here, she tells new medical students and future doctors about her fight with cancer and the importance of diagnosing it properly, hoping that what she has been through will help future patients. “My goal is to bring national awareness to ovarian cancer so we can soon find a concrete test and cure,” she said. “I want to continue to raise awareness among not only women but doctors too. We have to be our own advocates. I want to tell women not to be afraid if they are diagnosed. You are strong and you can fight this.” If you would like further information about Nine Girls Ask?, have questions for Joan Wyllie or would like to know more about the upcoming luncheon in September, please go to www. or you can email her at Sarah Van Boerum is an Otay Ranch resident and contributing writer to My Hometown magazine. my.

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CHULA VISTA AIN’T “BORING” NO MORE: Community Festivals & Events Fill The End of Summer Schedule


hen Forbes magazine included Chula Vista on its “Most Boring Cities in America” list early last year,

it is safe to assume the editors did not anticipate the type of jam-packed community event calendar local residents will find for August 2010. There are fun and interesting events all over the city and throughout the South Bay region this month. If you like large, even historical, community events, with great entertainment and lots of activities to enjoy, the City of Chula Vista is certainly the place to be as summer comes to a close.

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chUla Vista aUgUst eVents

of course, lemon contests round out this great family-friendly event. More information about one of Chula Vista’s annual landmark events can be found online at

chula Vista citrus association, early 1900’s Photo courtesy of the chula Vista Public library local history collection

14th Annual Lemon Festival Kicking off the festivities is the 14th Annual Lemon Festival on Sunday, August 8. Presented by the Third Avenue Village Association, the annual event celebrates the rich heritage of Chula Vista focusing on a time in the 1920s when the city was the self-proclaimed “Lemon Capital of the World.” The Lemon Festival runs from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. giving the anticipated

40,000 attendees plenty of time to enjoy the live entertainment on three stages. Held between E and G Streets on Third Avenue, the events also allows festival goers to view beautiful art work, shop at specialty shops, visit the Chula Vista Heritage Museum and indulge on a variety of delicious food options. A rock climbing wall, community dance performances, a kids’ fun zone, carnival rides, inflatables, a car show, and,

X-Man’s 8th Annual Cruise for the Cause Otay Ranch Town Center will once again be the site for Xavier The X-Man’s 8th Annual Cruise for the Cause Blood and Bone Marrow Drive Car Show presented by local radio station Magic 92.5. Taking place Saturday, August 14 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., the event encourages community members to donate blood and get on the National Bone Marrow registry. Hosted by Xavier The X-Man, the popular radio personality with a community-focused approach, the show features classic cars, lowriders, hot rods, tuners, bikes, customs, SUV’s, trucks and motorcycles. Live performances by Rising Star, Federal Funk and B-Side Players will add to the festive atmosphere. Part of the proceeds raised will benefit Help A Mother – an organization dedi-

❁❁❁❁❁❁❁❁❁ ❁❁❁❁❁❁❁❁❁ ❁❁❁❁❁❁❁❁❁ ❁❁❁❁❁❁❁❁❁ EVENTS SPOTLIGHT







11:00 a.m TO 7:00 p.m

Bet ween E & G Streets on Third Avenue

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10:00 a.m TO 3:00 p.m Otay Ranch Town Center

12:00 p.m TO 7:00 p.m Memorial Park

chUla Vista aUgUst eVents

cated to helping homeless mothers with kids – and the Emilio Nares Foundation to assist children with cancer. Check out for more details and event information. South Bay Pride & Music Fest The music and fun continue the following weekend as South Bay Pride and Music Fest rocks out Saturday, August 21 at the Memorial Park in historic downtown Chula Vista. This

free music festival is the 7th annual Pride celebration and will run 12:00 noon to 7:00 p.m. According to event organizers, last year’s event drew about 1,200 participants. Since this will be the first year that the festival is held on Saturday, the organizers are expecting over 2,000 attendees. The South Bay Pride and Music Fest will be emceed by Laura Jane. This year’s entertainment lineup includes many popular local bands such as Rhythm and the

cruise for the cause Blood and Bone marrow drive car show

tori roze & the hot mess will be one of the many performances at the south Bay Pride & music fest

Method, Tori Roze and the Hot Mess, Roxy Blue and the Handful, and the Tightenups. Intermission entertainment is scheduled to include Miss La Fierce, Empress Norma, and the Rompecorazones. This casual and family-friendly celebration includes a children’s garden with their own entertainment and access to the nearby Recreation Center’s playground giving parents a chance to still enjoy the music while keeping an eye on their little ones. Raffle prizes and the beer garden overlooking the stage round out this great “can’t miss” event supporting love, diversity and equality for all. For more information, visit http://

❁❁❁❁❁❁❁❁❁ ❁❁❁❁❁❁❁❁❁ ❁❁❁❁❁❁❁❁❁ ❁❁❁❁❁❁❁❁❁ AUGUST 28




6:00 p.m TO 9:00 p.m

4:00 p.m TO 7:00 p.m

Otay Ranch Town Center

Otay Ranch Town Center


30TH ANNUAL U.S. OPEN SANDCASTLE COMPETITION 9:00 a.m TO 2:00 p.m Imperial Beach

(we know, not Chula Vista but a family fun regional event)

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chUla Vista aUgUst eVents

8th Annual Chula Vista Rotary Wine & Food Festival Giving back to the community has long been a focus of the Chula Vista Rotary and their 8th Annual Chula Vista Rotary Wine and Food Festival is no exception. The yearly fundraising and community event is set for Saturday, August 28 at Otay Ranch Town Center, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. For the $50 ticket price, guests will be able

to sample food from over 20 restaurants, 15 wineries, five breweries, and three spirits. A silent auction will also be held featuring some exciting items. David Hoffman, Chairperson for the event, says the spark for this wonderful activity came from a fellow Rotarian. “The Chula Vista Rotary Wine and Food Festival is the brain child of Chula Vista Rotarian Scott McMillin of the Corky McMillin Co.,” Hoffman shared.

E Eastlake Tavern is a Great Place LET TH to Hold Your Next Special Event! S Corporate E M I T Parties, Birthday Parties, D GOO LL Bachelor/Bachelorette RO & Holiday Parties! NEXT STOP - GOOD TIMES!

FAMILY FUN P ACK $60 1 la ne for 2 hou r

Inclluddes: SShoes; One 16

s up to 6 pp

” Cheese or Pepperoni


Pizza & Two Pitchers of Restrictions may apply. Soda. Not to be combined wit h another discount or Available to walk-ins onl offer. y, may not be used for reservations. Monday thru Thursday, when lanes available.

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

chula Vista rotary Wine and food festival.

“Our club was looking for an additional fundraiser to raise funds for the charities we contribute to and support. He suggested and sponsored our first event.” Hoffman said the event raises close to $40,000 with that money going to a variety of worthwhile causes and deserving organizations. These include: Thousand Smiles, South Bay Community Services (Trolley Trestle), South Bay Family YMCA, South County Boys and Girls Club, the Salvation Army, bicycles for lower income children during Christmas, scholarships for high school seniors, and a speech contest for elementary students. The local Rotary has also gifted $100,000 to the City of Chula Vista to restore and upgrade the Chula Vista Memorial Bowl. Tickets for this year’s Rotary Wine and Food Festival can be purchased at 2nd Annual Flor Y Canto Music & Art Series Since June, the last Sunday of the month has seen live musical and dance performances as well as local artists displaying their work as part of the 2nd Annual Flor Y Canto Music and Art Series at Otay Ranch Town Center. The event takes place from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. and is located in Restaurant Row between Frida/Kings and CPK/ Nico’s near the large bowl fountain. The remaining dates for the art-centered event are: August 29, September 26 and October 31. More information can be obtained by calling the center at (619) 656-9100.

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chula vista august events

U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition in Imperial Beach Photo courtesy of Brett Alan Photography

U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition And, finally, our local region will once again play host to one of the best outdoor competitions anywhere. Although not technically a Chula Vista event, the 30th Annual U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition in Imperial Beach attracts many locals to the nearby beach community. Over the course of two days, August 7 and 8, both the streets and

sand of Imperial Beach will be filled with tons to see and do. On Saturday, August 7th, the street festival begins with over 140 vendors set up for the weekend activities. Visitors stroll up and down Seacoast Drive, closed to traffic for the event, taking in the sights, sounds, and other sensory experiences of everything the U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition has to offer. The musi-

cal entertainment, selected from a wide variety of family-friendly local acts, draws a huge crowd every year. The Kids-N-Kastles Competition is also held on Saturday afternoon. On Sunday August 8th, the official U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition gets underway. This is the championship of sandcastle building where the professional sand carvers vie for the title of Masterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Champion. Professional and amateur sand carving teams throughout the U.S. will compete in the sandcastle building competition with more than $21,000 in cash prizes. Trained representatives for the U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition will judge all categories. The weekend festivities conclude when the teams are presented with titles and cash prizes at the Awards ceremony. Sandcastle building begins at 9:00 a.m. and concludes at 2:00 p.m. Sculptures are only available for viewing until 4:00 p.m. due to the tides. For details, directions and any other information, go online to With all that is going on in Chula Vista and the South Bay this month, our fine community looks anything but boring. my.

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home By Stephanie Garrison

Finding Creative

storage Space Tricky Techniques for Finding Space in Your Home


ince many of us are staying in our homes longer these days, there’s never a shortage of people looking to capitalize on “using what they’ve got” within an existing space. The challenge is to find a place for everything and everything in its place, without your quarters looking like a well-stocked resale shop. If you’ve already had a garage sale, donated to charity, passed along to family and friends, yet still have stuff to store, it’s time to get creative. But don’t worry: this doesn’t have to be a difficult proposition; it just requires some imagination. In the kitchen, there are a few tricks you can use to maximize the square footage you already have. Find some large, lightweight decorative containers to stack above kitchen cabinetry; paper-covered hatboxes are inexpensive and usually have patterns that compliment culinary spaces. This is a great way to store bulky, yet light entertaining items such as paper plates and cutlery, seasonal decorations, plastic picnic ware, specialty cake pans, and other hostess accoutrements that aren’t in everyday use. Next, open your cabinets and take stock – do most of your items only stack so high, with inches of space before the next shelf starts? We had this problem, and didn’t 16 my hometown august 2010

want to have plates teetering precariously in tall piles, so I took measurements and had an extra shelf cut for each cabinet in my kitchen. I also put in movable wire shelving; now our different-sized bowls and plates coexist in peace. When re-arranging upper kitchen cabinetry, however, make sure that there’s a mix of weighty and weightless goods – cabinetry can only hold a certain amount, and will collapse if over-stocked. Another great storage spot for excess and oversize pans is your oven or microwave, when not in use. Of course, you’d have to remove items before cooking, which isn’t convenient for everyone, but if you’re a home chef with an assortment of oddly-shaped baking sheets, then the oven is fair game. Most of us lament the lack of space in our closets; see if it isn’t possible to hang a multiple hook or pocket organizer either on the door itself or the wall the door closes towards. There is usually at least three inches deep of space the size of the entire door that can be capitalized upon. Try mounting a floating shelf above the door frame as well. In a master closet, this is a great niche for stacking shoe boxes or freshly-washed master bathroom towels. Got luggage? Normally, most travelers store it nested; one piece inside the next as their size increases. If your family doesn’t travel as much as you’d like, however, suitcases are an ingenious option for stowing seasonal clothes. They’re neat, stack well, are easy to unpack, and unlike most plastic containers, breathe so that items don’t get “stale” while tucked away. Large tote

storage space

bags and purses are also a quick way to store smaller accessories such as clutches, scarves and hosiery. In the bedroom, you don’t need a captain’s bed to hide away extra stuff. Not only are there storage bags and plastic containers designed to slide under where you sleep, but you can get bed risers to make this space taller (elevate with care, though – if your kids use their mattress as a jumpy, things may not be secure enough for this option). If there’s furniture pieces

with extended legs, such as a delicate bedside table, consider placing a woven basket or leather box in the open space underneath for excess objects. Floating shelves, as previously mentioned, are incredibly versatile for creating storage where there was none before. Any windows that don’t have a treatment designed to make the room look taller, such as a valance, are a great, unexpected place to hang floating shelving. It will create a look with some architecture

NOTICE OF APPLICATION FOR A PERMIT TO CONSTRUCT South Bay Substation Relocation Project Date: June 16, 2010

CPUC Application No.: 10-06-007

Proposed Project: San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) has led an application with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for a Permit to Construct the South Bay Substation Relocation Project (Proposed Project). As proposed by SDG&E, and further described in the Proponent’s Environmental Assessment (PEA), the Proposed Project includes the following elements: •

Replace aging and obsolete substation equipment.

Design a exible transmission system that would accommodate regional energy needs subsequent to the retirement of the South Bay Power Plant.

Facilitate the City of Chula Vista’s Bayfront redevelopment goals by relocating the South Bay Substation and furthering the goals of the SDG&E-City of Chula Vista MOU.

Provide for future transmission and distribution load growth for the South Bay region.

The above objectives function as an outline for a plan of service for the relocation of the existing South Bay Substation, and to ensure that the southern SDG&E transmission system can be operated reliably and meet anticipated service demands for the future. Environmental Assessment: SDG&E has prepared a PEA that includes the analysis of potential environmental impacts created by the construction and operation of the proposed substation and associated facilities. The PEA concludes there are no unmitigable environmental impacts to the area as a result of the Proposed Project. Electric Magnetic Field (EMF) Management: SDG&E will employ measures to reduce public exposure to EMF in accordance with CPUC Decisions 93-11-013 and 06-01-042 and SDG&E’s “EMF Design Guidelines for Transmission, Distribution, and Substation Facilities.” SDG&E has led copies of its Magnetic Field Management Plan for this Proposed Project as part of its Application. Public Review Process: SDG&E has applied to the CPUC for a Permit to Construct and has asked for approval without hearings. Pursuant to the CPUC’s Rules of Practice and Procedure, within 30 calendar days of the date of notice that this Application appears in the CPUC calendar, you may protest and request that the CPUC hold hearings on this Application. If the CPUC, as a result of its investigation, determines that public hearings should be held, notice shall be sent to each person or entity who is entitled to notice or who has requested a hearing. Please contact the following people should you require any information regarding this project. Allen K. AND Trial Attorney for SDG&E 101 Ash Street, HQ12 San Diego, CA 92101

Linda Wrazen AND SDG&E Regulatory Affairs 8330 Century Park Court, CP 32D San Diego, CA 92123

Director, Energy Division California Public Utilities Commission 505 Van Ness Avenue San Francisco, CA 94102

CPUC PROCESS If you would like additional information on the CPUC process or would like to attend hearings (if held) and need assistance, you can contact the Public Advisor’s Ofce (PAO). You may also send your comments to the PAO at the following address: Public Advisor’s Ofce, 320 West 4th St., Ste. 500, Los Angeles CA 90013 or send an e-mail to: Any letters received from you will be circulated to each Commissioner and will become part of the formal correspondence le in the application. In your letter, state that your comments are regarding Application No. A.10-06-007. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION You may request additional information or obtain a copy of the application and related exhibits by writing to: Linda Wrazen, Regulatory Case Administrator for SDG&E, 8330 Century Park Court, San Diego, CA 92123. SDG&E will provide a copy of the application, including the public testimony, upon request. SDG&E’s application and attachments may be inspected at the CPUC’s Central Files Ofce, 505 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco, CA 94102. A copy of the application and any amendments may be inspected at the SDG&E business ofces listed below: 436 H St. Chula Vista, CA 91910

336 Euclid Ave. San Diego, CA 92114

104 North Johnson Ave. El Cajon, CA 92020

644 W. Mission Ave. Escondido, CA 92025

2604 El Camino Real Carlsbad, CA 92008

2405 E. Plaza Blvd. National City, CA 91950

440 Beech St. San Diego, CA 92101

Copies of this notice will be available for viewing and printing on the SDG&E Web site at:

18 my hometown august 2010

12 page 4.75” x 7.25”

and substance. For rooms lacking crown molding, mounting wide shelving 12 to 18” below ceiling height not only creates an opportunity to display a large selection of “smalls,” (ie. plates, trophies, figurines), but it also adds structure to a space. Floating shelves are also handy in corridors, halls and stairwells. When mixed in with framed artwork, this creates an artistic yet practical way to both gather and display collectibles. Ultimately, every dwelling has unique opportunities to increase its storage potential. If you scan through home décor magazines, even the most posh residence can have quirky collectible solutions, whether it’s an entire room full of builtins, or antiques re-purposed as functional containers. Walk around your house and access those missed opportunities for sneaky square foot usage, both hidden away and in plain sight. What room do you have, and what do you own that can be used in that space? Armed with an open mind and a skillfull eye, any abode can rise about its size and be a more functional setting for all who live there. my.

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Saving Money with Boxed Lunches by Kim Onstott

While school lunches have come a long way in the last 30 years, some kids (and parents) prefer to pack their own. Many families choose to pack their own lunches as a moneysaving measure, although when purchasing convenience items and pre-packaged snacks, the savings disappear. With food costs climbing at a shocking pace, it pays to take a bit more care shopping and preparing meals. Spending a little extra time can save a family hundreds of dollars per year. Reusable containers save money and energy. Instead of using zip bags for sandwiches, try the reusable storage containers with lids. These containers come in all shapes and sizes that are perfect for boxed lunches. With sandwich-sized zip bags costing five to ten cents each, the savings add up. Instead of individually packaged snacks, fruit cups, and yogurts, purchase the family size containers and spoon portions into small containers

,]LY`[OPUNVU the showroom Ă&#x2026;VVYPZVU sale! The last week of August Visit our Showroom at

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when packing lunches. A 6oz (one serving) container of yogurt costs $0.75. You can purchase a 32oz (over five servings) container for approximately $2.00. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a savings of nearly 50 percent. Another big savings can be had by purchasing the family sized can of fruit cocktail ($0.07/ounce), versus the individual fruit cups ($0.18/ounce). Cha-ching! Kids love cheese cubes and sticks. The individually wrapped (or cut or cubed) varieties cost about $0.50 per ounce â&#x20AC;&#x201C; thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s $8.00 per pound! Why not purchase a 32oz block of cheese for less than half that price and cut it yourself? For sandwich fillings, think about using the leftover protein from dinner. That leftover chicken or beef from last nightâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s meal is delicious on a sandwich, in a wrap, or atop a salad, is far better than that sodiumladen luncheon meat from the deli, and is much less expensive. Homemade goodies will make

End of Summer Sale

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins Makes 30 Muffins

4 eggs 2 cups sugar 1 (16 ounce) can pumpkin 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil 3 cups flour 2 teaspoons baking soda 2 teaspoons baking powder 2 teaspoons cinnamon 1 teaspoon salt  2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate 1 chips (Regular or mini) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In large mixing bowl beat eggs, sugar, pumpkin, vanilla and oil until smooth. Mix dry ingredients together and mix into pumpkin mixture. Fold in chocolate chips. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake for 16-20 minutes.

your kids the envy of the lunch table. Baking up a pan of snack cake or a few dozen cookies is very easy to do, less expensive than prepackaged, and you can control the sugar and fat content. Muffins are great to pack in lunches and can be made ahead as most of the varieties freeze beautifully. my.


august 2010 my hometown 19

Become a member and invest in your business! • (619) 420-6603

Dine | Shop | Stay

in Chula Vista

Support local businesses and retailers – they support you! From a romantic dinner to a quick bite; from decadent desserts to fresh salads; from creamy coffees to fine wines...they’re all here. Experience the ease and convenience of shopping close to home. Save gas, save time, save money! Guests coming to town? We’ve got fun things to do and great places to stay! For more information about Chula Vista’s shopping, dining, hotels/motels and things to do, visit

Dine in Chula Vista

Chula Vista offers an array of dining options to suit all tastes and budgets. Just a few of Chula Vista's many great restaurants are listed below. Bayfront Area Anthony's Fish Grotto Galley at the Marina El Torito South Bay Fish & Grill Along Broadway Butcher Shop Restaurant Joe & Ernie's Pizzeria Carrows Restaurant Leonardo Trattoria El Patio Restaurant Mariscos Hector's Restaurant Family House of Pancakes Zorba's Greek Restaurant IHOP Canyon Plaza Italy Express Mandarin Canton Pho Hiep & Grill Chula Vista Center BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse Olive Garden Shakey’s Pizza Parlor Panera Bread Chula Vista Crossings Souplantation Panda Express

EastLake Terraces Pick Up Stix

D'Lish China China

EastLake Village Center Alejandro's Sam's Smokin' BBQ IHOP

Third Avenue California Sushi Bar Marie Callender's Chico's Bakery Maya Chiang Cafe China Little Cafe Express Mea Kwan Thai Cuisine Country Waffles Primos World Famous Deli Don Pedro Taco Shop Quizno's Classic Subs Fuddruckers Red Lobster Jimmy's by the Park The Soup Stone L&L Hawaiian Barbecue Talavera Azul La Bella's Pizza Garden Veni Vidi Vici Mangia Italiano El Comal

EastLake Village Marketplace Bento & Noodles Daphne's Greek Cafe Miguel's Cocina Island's Fine Burgers & Drinks Panda Express Otay Ranch Town Center California Pizza Kitchen Panda Express Cheesecake Factory Panera Bread Chili's P.F. Chang's China Bistro Frida Mexican Cuisine Romano's Macaroni Grill King's Fish House Sushiya Nico's Steak & Chop House

Village Walk at EastLake Brigantine Pat & Oscar's The Broken Yolk Sushiman Via Lago Trattoria Los Primos

The Plaza at Sunbow Lolita's Taco Shop

Along E Street Aunt Emma's La Quinta Grill & Cantina Black Angus Los Arcos

Shops at San Miguel Ranch Figaro's Pizza Los Primos Mexican Food Great Steak & Potato Co. Villa Capri Kyoto Sushi

EastLake Design District The Brew House at EastLake Vega Cafe EastLake Tavern + Bowl

Terra Nova Plaza Bento & Noodles Daphne's Greek Cafe Cafe Tazza

Windingwalk Achiote Mexican Restaurant Oggi's Pizza & Brewery In-N-Out Burger

Enjoy the flavors of Chula Vista!

T here’s something for everyone!

Shop in Chula Vista

Chula Vista has shopping centers and plazas that offer so many options – from clothing to grocery stores, to salons and specialty shops – you’ll find what you’re looking for! Chula Vista Center 555 Broadway Otay Ranch Town Center 2015 Birch Road Bonita Point Plaza Otay Lakes Rd / East H St Marketplace at Windingwalk EastLake PW / Birch Rd Canyon Plaza Telegraph Cyn Rd / Halecrest Dr Shops at San Miguel Ranch Proctor Valley Rd Chula Vista Crossings I-805 / Main St South Bay Marketplace Highway 54 / Fourth Ave EastLake Design District Otay Lakes Rd / Fenton Pkwy

Terra Nova Plaza I-805 / East H Street EastLake Terraces Olympic Pkwy / EastLake Pkwy Village Walk at EastLake EastLake Pkwy / Miller Dr EastLake Village Center Otay Lakes Rd / EastLake Pkwy Heritage Town Center E. Palomar / Santa Rita Third Avenue Village Third Ave, from E St. to H St. Purchase your next auto or off road vehicle at one of our dealerships! Exit Main Street (east) from I-805.

Make time to relax!

Stay in Chula Vista

If you have guests coming to town, or if you want to feel like you’re out of town, stay in one of our quality hotels. Let our hospitality make your stay stress free and enjoyable! Bay Breeze Inn & Suites 692 H St. • (619) 425-3862 Highway Inn 70 Broadway • (619) 665-3679 Bay Cities Motel 864 Broadway • (619) 420-2951 Holiday Inn Express 4450 Main St. • (619) 422-2600 Best Choice Inn 778 Broadway • (619) 476-9555 La Quinta Inn 150 Bonita Rd. • (619) 691-1211 Best Western 946 Broadway • (619) 691-6868 Motel 6 745 E St. • (619) 422-4200 Best Western 710 Broadway • (619) 420-5183 Palomar Inn 801 Palomar St. • (619) 454-2040 Big 7 Motel 333 Broadway • (619) 422-9278

Palomar Motel 1160 Walnut Ave. • (619) 575-2944 Comfort Inn & Suites 632 E St. • (619) 426-2500 Ramada Inn 91 Bonita Rd. • (619) 425-9999 Days Inn 699 E St. • (619) 585-1999 Riviera Motel 372 Broadway • (619) 488-1266 El Primero Hotel 416 Third Ave. • (619) 425-4486 Travel Inn 394 Broadway • (619) 420-6600 Good Nite Inn 225 Bay Blvd. • (619) 425-8200 Travelodge Suites 235 Woodlawn Ave.• (619) 876-2313 Harbor View Motel 1089 Broadway • (619) 422-2967 Vagabond Inn 230 Broadway • (619) 422-8305

Invest in the environment

Take pride knowing that by becoming a CLEAN business, you are helping to do your part for our environment. Your efforts will get noticed--and you could save a lot of money while you’re at it!

For free assistance, call (619) 691-5122 and select #6, or visit

TransNet 1/2¢

Support your community Where does the 8.75% sales tax go?

County 1/4¢ State 7¢

City 1¢

One cent of the 8.75¢ sales tax revenue (of every dollar spent) stays locally to support the services we all cherish and depend on: public safety (police and fire), street maintenance, beautiful parks, public libraries, recreation and more! By spending your hard-earned money in Chula Vista, you’re helping your community.

on your doorstep august 2010

out and about August 7 & 8

August 8

August 12

August 14

30th Annual U.S. Open

14th Annual Lemon Festival

Chula Vista Chamber of

Xavier The X-Man’s Cruise

Sandcastle Competition in

– 11a.m. to 7p.m. – Between E and G Streets on Third Avenue; (619) 422-1982;

Commerce Mixer – 5:30-

For the Cause Car Show

7:30pm hosted by Ashlon Realty at 2015 Birch Road #1701; (619) 420-6603 or

at Otay Ranch Town Center; 10am-3pm; donate blood and register for the National Bone Marrow registry; (858) 535-2500 or

August 21

August 28

Family Community Festival

Chula Vista Rotary 8th

– 11am-3pm – presented by New Hope Community Church, 2720 Olympic Parkway; (619) 600-4160;

Annual Wine & Food

Imperial Beach; Saturday

is Street Festival and KidsN-Kastles contest; Open Competition on Sunday beginning at 9am;

August 19 Carpal Tunnel Pain Seminar

– 6-7:30pm at Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center; 1-80082-SHARP (1-800-827-4277) or visit for more information or to register

August 29 Flor Y Canto Music & Art Series – 4-7pm in the

Restaurant Row area near Frida’s at Otay Ranch Town Center;

Pajama Storytime at Eastlake Branch Library – every Monday 6:30-7:30pm; songs, puppets, stories and

Festival – 6-9pm at Otay Ranch Town Center;

Kid Ventures EastLake Grand Opening Celebration

– 9am-noon at Kid Ventures EastLake 851 Showroom Place, Suite 101, Chula Vista CA 91914; 619-651-8622

South Bay Pride & Music Fest – 12-7pm at Memorial Park; Casual and familyfriendly event featuring music, raffles and fun for all;

Beach Body Boot Camp – 8-10am at Rohr Park, Gate A; $20 with proceeds to benefit Rady Children’s Hospital Developmental Disabilities and Autism Unit; All fitness levels welcome, ages 16 and up; RSVP to Keely East at

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

crafts (619) 397-3980 Please note events and times are subject to change.

august 2010 my hometown 21

school news

School News august 2010

Elaine Elefante-Leano Named Principal at Olympian High


fter graduating from Castle Park High School, Elaine Elefante-Leano never thought that education would be her chosen career. Originally, she wanted to be a nurse. While at Southwestern College, something interesting happened to the proud Trojan alumna. She was placed at Sweetwater High as a peer advisor. There, thanks to several students, teachers and administrators, she quickly realized that her calling was to be an educator. “That’s what education is all about,” said Elefante-Leano. “It’s about a journey in life that’s a result of the relationships that you form.” After earning her degree at San Diego State University, Elefante-Leano went on to become a counselor and administrator at several schools in the Sweetwater Union High School District including Palomar High, Montgomery High, Bonita Vista High, Sweetwater High and most recently as Assistant Principal of Olympian High. When newly retired Principal John Devore called her and asked her to be a part of the first administrative team at Olympian High in 2006, Elefante-Leano says she was excited about the opportunity. She felt that being a part of a team tasked with opening a new school would be a “once in a lifetime experience.” Being part of the leadership that not only oversaw the finishing aspects of the school being built, Elefante-Leano was also excited about being able to help develop the identity of the school. She credits the commitment of both students and staff for quickly establishing that identity as one centered on dedication and an overall belief that they can do anything they set out to do. This belief was also something that 22 my hometown august 2010

was passed along to the school’s administration. Elefante-Leano says that the Olympian community has become a real family that encourages staff to step up into leadership roles. It was this communal support that Elefante-Leano credits for helping her to elevate her role and eventually be named as principal. “Sometimes you don’t know where you are going, but when you are surrounded by great people, they help you find your way,” said Elefante-Leano. “That’s what life is all about.” Principal Elefante-Leano is committed to continuing to keep Olympian High on a course for excellence not only in the classroom, but also in athletics and in the community. In the school’s brief four-year history, the local school has won several prestigious awards including the California Golden Bell Award and, earlier this year, the Academic Decathlon team

won the San Diego County championship in their first year of competition. When asked about what she would like to accomplish in the year ahead, ElefanteLeano is very optimistic about what can be done. She hopes that students and staff will continue to push one another to be their best and to further “develop their craft.” Olympian High’s motto is “Where Champions are Made.” It’s a bold statement that sets very high expectations of both students and staff to consistently do their best and strive for excellence. Elefante-Leano believes that despite the already great accomplishments of the school, they can, and will, do better. “Our mission at Olympian High is to be the number one school in California,” said Elefante-Leano. “I want to put us on the map.” my.

The Googins Family I

n every family situation there are bound to be changes and challenges. The commitment to work through these changes and challenges together oftentimes distingushes familes that are successful. In blended families, the need to work together can be even greater. In the Googins household, family members point to two unique entities as positive forces that have brought them together, and kept them together, over the years. When Glen Googins, the newly elected City Attorney, met his future wife Maria Elena in 2001, he already had two children from a previous marriage – Kate and Kevin. Maria Elena was in a similar situation – divorced and busy raising daughter Camille. The couple dated and quickly built a strong relationship. They welcomed daughter Sonya to their family in 2002 and officially brought their families together in 2004 when they married at the EastLake Woods. “At our wedding, Sonya was the flower girl,” Glen recalled. “In fact, all the kids were in the wedding. We’ve been very open with our families right from the beginning. It’s been challenging at times, as on any given day it could be any combination of kids with us. But Sonya is what brings us together, the unifying force.” Like her older siblings, Sonya loves being a part of the EastLake community. The third grader at Salt Creek Elementary says she enjoys the neighborhood parks, bike trails – two of her sister Kate’s favorite aspects of the neighborhood – and tennis courts. It is at the tennis courts where

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

you’ll regularly find the youngest Googins family member hitting balls with her sister Camille, a former co-captain of the Eastlake High tennis team, or Kevin, a sophomore at Eastlake High taking on his dad in a spirited game. All of the Googins children are involved in a variety of activities with Kate having served on the Chula Vista Youth Action Committee, Camille being a youth leader at her church, Kevin participating on the school’s cross country and lacrosse teams and Sonya enjoying hip-hop classes at Montevalle Recreation Center. One of their dad’s recent activities served as the second bonding element for this family. For the last year, the Googins have been intensely dedicated to Glen’s campaign for City Attorney. The family passed out flyers, waved signs at six in the morning and walked precincts in neighborhoods throughout the city– anything to help the campaign. Maria Elena, a graduate of Bonita Vista High, put her talents in graphic design to good use in developing Glen’s promotional materials. While Camille says sign waving was the best part, her brother Kevin has a different memorable experience. “It was kind of scary to walk door-to-door, but we got the hang of it,” he said. “It definitely improved my public speaking skills. It was stressful, but we made the best of it and had a great outcome.” Added Glen: “The coolest part of the campaign was seeing how connected we are to this community.” The family is grateful to all the friends and family who helped with the effort. my. august 2010 my hometown 23

on topic: medical

Future of Surgery Arrives in South Bay


hen Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center unveiled the da Vinci® SI HD Surgical System earlier this year, it became the first and only hospital in the South Bay to offer robotic surgery, and the excitement surrounding the futuristic technology is still going strong. “Bringing robotic surgery to the South Bay is a great thing,” said Julian Anthony, M.D., a urologist affiliated with Sharp Chula Vista and chair of the hospital’s robotics steering committee. “Now, patients have access to the most advanced devices in surgery close to home and their families.” Purchased primarily through funds from an anonymous donation to the Sharp HealthCare Foundation, the da Vinci® system includes three main components: a cart that holds the system’s robotic arms, a three-dimensional, high-definition camera, and a console where the surgeon sits and operates the system using hand and foot controls. Small, jointed surgical instruments are attached to the robotic arms, which provide surgeons with a greater range of motion than the human wrist and allow them to perform complex proce-

dures through much smaller incisions than those used in traditional open surgery. Robotic surgery is currently offered for urologic and gynecologic procedures at Sharp Chula Vista, and plans to offer it for more types of surgeries are in process. Robotic surgery is no more expensive than traditional open surgery and offers a number of benefits to patients. “The da Vinci® system takes minimally invasive surgery a step further, so patients spend a shorter amount of time in the hospital, need less pain medication, and recover faster,” Dr. Anthony said. A fast recovery appealed the most to Sharp Chula Vista patient Raven Macias, who was suffering severe pain from uterine fibroids when Pourang Kamali, M.D., a Sharp Chula Vistaaffiliated obstetrician/gynecologist, recommended a robotic-assisted hysterec-

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24 my hometown august 2010

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tomy. As a busy mother to five children, Macias didn’t have time for the constant pain she was experiencing. Still, she was unsure about robotic surgery until Dr. Kamali explained its benefits to her. “I’ve had traditional surgery before, but I didn’t know much about robotic surgery,” Macias said. “After Dr. Kamali explained it to me, I felt a lot better about it.” A little more than a week after Macias’ surgery in June, her pain was gone and she was able to go to the San Diego County Fair. “I felt really good after my surgery,” Macias said. “The most important thing to me in choosing robotic surgery was that I would be able to help my mom while she recovered from surgery she had around the same time I had mine. I’m really grateful that robotic surgery allowed me to do that.” With her mind changed about robotic surgery, Macias enjoys telling others about her positive experience and encourages them to have an open mind about their surgery options. “I would never have recovered this quickly with traditional surgery,” Macias said. “Now, I talk to everyone I know about robotic surgery and tell them to not be afraid and ask lots of questions because knowledge is key.” my. For more information about robotic surgery at Sharp Chula Vista, call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277) or visit

school news

American Center for Learning


alking into the American Center for Learning feels like walking into a well organized, clean and tidy classroom. An academic air fills the facility and is reinforced by the documents hanging on the walls including the Best of San Diego 2008 Reading Improvement Instruction award presented to this Chula Vista business by the U.S. Local Business Association. But once one meets the members of the staff who teach in this environment, it becomes quite evident what this center is all about. “We’ve always been blessed with special people,” Executive Director Honore Fila said. “They have a teacher’s heart and care about the children they work with. When we went to the one-onone instruction model, it was a big financial decision, but it was based on how to best serve the children we see. The most important goal is for the child to be successful.” The American Center for Learning counts 89 teachers as part of their staff, all part-time. The teachers here use a collaborative approach to assist the students with building academic skills, enhancing social skills and addressing family issues as needed. The emphasis is on math, reading and writing programs, but students can also receive college entrance test preparation assistance, scholarship application guidance and homework help. The center has been approved by the state to work with 10 school districts – providing services for students who wouldn’t be able to afford a private learning center. According to the center’s director, Marilyn Mesina, during the initial stages, the staff works with the student, the student’s school

and the parents to determine the appropriate program design and duration. “In order to arrive at a suitable program for the child, we have to investigate all factors affecting the child’s learning, “ Mesina said. “Typically, we always start with a parent conference. We want to get to know the child – what does the child do in their spare time, what are relationships like at home, what are the child’s particular interests. All of these areas factor into the child’s program. Usually the students come here with the capabilities to do well, but they do not have the motivation.” Mesina, whose mom was a teacher, added that the center does not work solely with school-age children. Their programs also attract adults looking to improve their educational standing. She shared that she has been working with a successful businessman who had a goal of going to law school and becoming a lawyer. Mesina worked with the gentleman and says he was constantly listening and applying the lessons he was being taught. He completed his G.E.D., went on to college and now is preparing to take the LSAT for his law school application. “Watching my mom work as a teacher, I swore I would never go into it,” Mesina said. “Once I stepped in the classroom, I would never do anything else.” my. American Center for Learning, 1415 Ridgeback Road, Suite 1, Chula Vista, 91910, (619) 656-6026;

august 2010 my hometown 25

my hometoWn mercado




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).

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.


Great dental care is one of the most important investments you will make in your life. At Dental Art Designs at EastLake you can have a healthier and more attractive smile. Dr. Gomes and Dr. Vasquez, along with their caring staff, strive to provide patients of all ages with a relaxed and comfortable experience. Call us at .....

(619) 540-1221

(619) 591-5950

(619) 656-9393



WELL BEING Ask about our “Summer Shape-Up Program”… a special program designed to get results in time for swimsuit season and beyond. Semi-private sessions starting at just $20!!!*

E FOR CHILDREN AGES 0 TO 5 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.

on and Hearing ech and Language (619) 216-3937 y Basic Classes


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

• Personalized training programs to keep you motivated and focused on your specific fitness goals

• Behavior • Nurse home visits for first (619) 426-2225 (619) 781-2131 time parents and newborns


• Train with a certified and insured personal trainer at your convenience at our private studio • Proven results – visit our Web site to see before and after photos and client testimonials (* New clients only)


e informationBONITA call 1-888-622-2978 COUNTRY

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Bonita Country Day School is a highly acclaimed private school teaching students how to think, not what to think. Small classes allow individual attention in Montessori Preschool & Kindergarten – Grade 5. Bilingual Program, Art & Music are included with a superior academic curriculum.

(619) 656-0141

“What can we do, Mommy?” At ACL, there’s LOTS to do. Let’s READ! Let’s WRITE! Do fun MATH! The GameTruck is a complete video Prepare for theparty NEXTbrought GRADE.toLearn game birthday your how to STUDY, doorstep. Play or theTHINK most critically popular and PROBLEM-SOLVE. SAT/ACT. video games in the air-conditioned Two-week or long-term comfort of workshops the GameTruck’s mobile programs. orand remegame room. Enrichment Self powered self diation. Summer = a great time to contained, all we need is a place to the gaps. Affordable. parkbridge and people to play. We’ll help Chula Vista, CA 91910

South Bay Community Services helps our community. With a wide-range of programs and services, including free vision, hearing, growth, speech and language, and behavior services for all children ages 0 to 5, and a new resale boutique in Otay Ranch, SBCS is there when the community needs it the most.

1415 aRidgeback Road,game Suite party. 1 you throw great video

(888) (619) 602-4263 656-6026

1/18/2010 4:18:26 PM

(619) 420-3620

my hometoWn mercado BEAUTY


Having a bad hair day? No need to panic! Studio MG Salon in EastLake offers the latest styles and trends. Specialties include the popular Keratin Complex Smoothing treatment, L’Oreal Professional Exclusive, hair extensions, nails, qualified color professionals and glamorous special occasion styling. Call Studio MG Salon today for your next trim or complete makeover. 2240 Otay Lakes Rd. Ste 301 Chula Vista, CA 91915. Follow us on Facebook.

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.

(619) 779-7854


(888) 602-4263

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

folloW Us

Coming attractions

Before we take a look at what is on the horizon for My Hometown, we want to take a quick glance back to announce the winners of our ticket giveaway promotion we ran in the July issue. congratulations to loyal readers melissa farmer and Kimmi ridgeway. each of these local residents won a family-four pack of tickets to the chula Vista nature center. We hope your family enjoys your visit to this wonderful attraction. thank you to the kind folks at the nature center and shortfuse marketing for their support, as well. as plans for chula Vista’s centennial celebration take shape, My Hometown is working with city staff to finalize plans for sharing chula Vista’s rich history in the pages of our community magazine. With a hundred years worth of material, there is a lot to choose from. look for the first of many feature articles in the october issue. We’d also like to invite our readers to share with us any ideas you might have for feature story topics as part of this series on chula Vista’s history. also on the schedule for this community publication will be a feature on several local women business owners and an interview with one of the outstanding educators in our region. We’re also only a couple of months away from our annual dining and entertaining edition. if you have a great holiday recipe you’d like to share, now would be a great time to send that in. We’d like to spice up that issue with loads of local flavor. We invite you to send in ideas on these topics and others to our editor mike minjares. he can be reached at or (800) 497-1309 x710.

Ease EaseCarpal CarpalTunnel TunnelPain PainWithout WithoutaaHospital HospitalStay Stay

If you are suffering from carpal tunnel pain, If you are suffering from carpal tunnel pain, it’s important to know your treatment options. it’s important to know your treatment options. Attend a free seminar at Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center, Attend a free seminar at Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center, where you will learn about treatments including outpatient where you will learn about treatments including outpatient surgery and physical therapy. Neurosurgeon Lance Altenau, M.D., surgery and physical therapy. Neurosurgeon Lance Altenau, M.D., will also discuss risk factors and symptoms, as well as the benefits will also discuss risk factors and symptoms, as well as the benefits of receiving care at the South Bay’s only hospital-affiliated of receiving care at the South Bay’s only hospital-affiliated outpatient surgery center. outpatient surgery center.

Free Carpal Tunnel Seminar Free Carpal Tunnel Seminar 6 to 7:30 p.m. 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, August 19 Thursday, August 19 Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center Nellie Barrington Room (first floor) Nellie Barrington Room (first floor) You are welcome to bring a guest. You are welcome to bring a guest. The event is free, but space is limited. The event is free, but space is limited. To register, call 1-800-82-SHARP To register, call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277) or visit (1-800-827-4277) or visit

CV151A ©2010 SHC CV151A ©2010 SHC

My Hometown magazine - August 2010  

Community News and Events for East Chula Vista

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