MML Jul/Aug 2011

Page 1

Volume 2, Number 4 • July / August 2011

Photo by Ted Brengel

Students read Mira Mesa Living page 8

July 4th Program Inside! Photo by Ron Morales

Bringing The Community Together Mira Mesa • Sorrento Valley • MCAS Miramar

Animation in the program is designed by Cydelyn Rodriguez. Cydelyn is in her second year at SDSU majoring in Psychology. She graduated from MMHS in 2010. She enjoys drawing, listening to Asian music and having coffee or tea with friends in Mira Mesa.

What’s Inside... July 4th Schedule of events

Meet the Marshall


15 6

28 Elementary Principal Published

Mira Mesa Artists

Grand Marshall: H Sergeant Major Don W. Gallagher

Military Units: H H H H

Marine Corps League MCAS Color Guard Montford Point Marines Third Marine Aircraft Wing Band

Community Units: H Aguinaldo Foundation H American Cancer Society Relay for Life Mira Mesa/Rancho Penasquitos H Andrea Lujan for Miss CA USA 2012 H Authentic White Tiger Kung Fu H Being Fit Fitness Center H Black Mountain Masonic Lodge H Boy Scouts of America Scripps Mesa District H Christ the Cornerstone Church and Academy H Cinderella’s Crown Entertainment H Cool Cycles Ice Cream Company H Council of Philippine American Organizations of San DIego County, Inc. (COPAO) H Crown One Productions



Cub Scout Pack 1203 Cub Scout Pack 1209 (Parade Banner) Fil-Am Cultural Group of San Diego Filipino American Association San Diego North County Filipino American Retirees of Southern California Filipino-American Senior Citizens Association (FASCA) Good Shepherd Knights of Columbus, Council 9076 Key Club and Kiwanis Kristan Panuginog (Teen Princess) Mesa View Baptist Church Mira Mesa Bowl Mira Mesa Christian School Mira Mesa Girl Scouts Mira Mesa Girls Softball Mira Mesa HS AFJROTC Mira Mesa HS Band Mira Mesa Presbyterian Church Mira Mesa Theatre Guild Mira Mesa/Scripps Ranch RSVP Mira Mesa Theatre Guild Miramar Mighty Falcons Montgomery Middle School Band Pacific Coast Theatre Company Philippine American Community of San Diego, Inc

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Praise Fellowship/Kids Zone RC Realty of San Diego San Diego County Sheriff R.A.C.E.S. Unit San Diego County International Pageant San Diego Executive Lions Club San Diego Fire Rescue Department Station 38 San Diego Ice Arena San Diego Police Scripps-Mesa Fireworks Stranglehold The Mormon Batalion -The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints VAYA (Vietnamese American Youth Alliance)

Dignitaries: H Kevin Beiser, Trustee San Diego Unified School District H Brian Bilbray , U.S. Representative 50th Congressional District H Carl DeMaio, City Councilmember Council District 5 H Nathan Fletcher, State Assemblyman - 75th District H Shelia Jackson, Trustee San Diego Unified School District H John Witt, Board Member San Diego County Board of Education, First District

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Ho How ow can I use u the Expr re esss Lanes? Laness? Express Riding ng in a ca carpoo ol or carpool vanpool? npool? The I-15 Expr Express ess Lanes nes are are fr free! ee! Or consider consid nsider taking the th MTS Pr em emium Expr ess Bus. Premium Express Visit it ico Solo driv drivers ers ‌ op open pen a FasTrak FasT TrrakkŽ account ount today todaay and enjo enjoyy the he ride! ri ride Visit 511s com//ffastrak a

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page 4

to submit an article or events for publication e-mail

By: Anton Quilala

The sound of skateboard wheels rolling down the sidewalk has become more and more prominent in Mira Mesa lately, as the sport and culture of skateboarding have transcended from their urban roots to the popular phenomenon they are today. Another buzz is happening as well: a movement to raise funds to build a public skate plaza in the heart of Mira Mesa. In its first year, The Willy Santos foundation, lead by professional skateboarder and Mira Mesa’s very own Willy Santos, has been hard at work publicizing efforts to establish a wheel friendly plaza located at the Mira Mesa Recreation Center. The goal of the plaza is to provide skaters with a free and legal skate spot to hone their skills and have fun alongside the general public enjoying a beautiful day at the park. This is just the beginning, as the Willy Santos Foundation’s ultimate mission is not only to build plazas throughout San Diego, but to contribute to the advancement and social awareness of skateboarding culture globally. Maybe you’ve heard about it at a recent town council meeting, read a flier on the @miramesaskatepark twitter or Facebook, or spoke with Willy himself at Willy’s Workshop. Maybe this article is the first time you are finding out anything about it. No matter how they’ve reached you the real question is, will you help?

Skateboarder: Willy Santos Photographer: Kevin Metallier

The Willy Santos Foundation will have a fundraising booth at Mira Mesa’s Annual 4th of July Picnic at the Park, as well as an art show fundraiser on August 5th in Downtown San Diego to auction off skateboard deck art submitted by local artists supporting the foundation.

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July 4th Community Stage Schedule 10:00 AM 11:30 AM 1:00 PM 1:15 PM 1:30 PM 2:00 PM 2:15 PM 2:30 PM 2:45 PM 3:00 PM 3:30 PM 3:45 PM 4:00 PM 4:15 PM 4:45 PM 5:00 PM 5:45 PM


Adolescents Nasty-O w/Kevin Ray Junkyard Dance Crew Illatary Infantry She Wrote It Prince Deekon Torrion Aon Kanji Circulators Square Dancers C'Cruz & Castro Nutty Buddies B-Hop Mr Dubie Willie Psyco Katriz Trinidad

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6:00 PM - Ras Kass 7:00 PM - Mira Mesa Theatre Guild presents "Mira Mesa's Got Talent" featuring: SarahRose Gomez (belly dancing), Lorina Alfaro (singer), AJ (singer), Julianne Manalo (singer), and Rayne (singer) 8:15 PM - NoFace 8:45 PM - Milk Bone 8:30 PM - Adolescents

Hip Hop Stage Schedule 12 pm - Music 2 pm - 2-on-2 Bboy/Bgirl Battles 6 pm - Performances by Dannu of the Visionaries, and Beehive. DJ Sets by Norm Rocwell, Pnutz, Eclektic, King Saso, Mane1, Son of Jarel, and VTEC the VINYLinist. A special performance by the Battle Star

Program Schedule 7:00am

Pancake Breakfast, presented by Black Mountain Masonic Lodge


Family Fun Day at the Park, presented by Mira Mesa Town Council and San Diego Park & Recreation Department


Mira Mesa 4th of July Parade, presented by Mira Mesa Town Council

9:00pm 4th of July Fireworks Extravaganza, presented by Mira Mesa Town Council and ScrippsMesa Fireworks to submit an article or events for publication e-mail

New Look

for Banner District By: Jennifer Kvalvik The previous banners that were put up in 2007 have been removed due to deterioration, weathering and a need to give a fresh look to the Mira Mesa Community. We are working very hard to accomplish this as the Mira Mesa Town Council Banner District Committee. There are 54 banners in the Mira Mesa Banner District, which spans Mira Mesa Blvd from the 805 in the west to the 15 in the east, in both zip codes 92126 and 92121. This is a heavily-trafficked road in San Diego and it comprises both residential and commercial zones. The banners are being redesigned and should be hanging in time for the annual 4th of July Community Celebration, parade and fireworks display. The banner has been designed by 2011 Mira Mesa High School graduate, Daniel Custodio. He worked very hard to get the design perfected to depict the attitude of Mira Mesa catching the eyes of people passing though every day. Daniel said, “I've been doing graphics since about 3rd grade. I've used Photoshop primarily as my medium for creating graphics throughout that time, but used Adobe Illustrator for the banner which I just started learning in computer graphics with Mr. Spurlock during the 2010-2011 school year. I'm also really interested in art, art history, and fashion which contribute to shaping my aesthetic and style when creating any graphic work. I'm going to go to San Diego State University as a journalism major this fall.” Banners foster community pride, awareness of local businesses and create visual boundaries for neighborhoods. On average, 84,000 cars travel along Mira Mesa Blvd. each day. Banners are very successful in other parts of San Diego such as Hillcrest and the Gaslamp District. . Also in the works is the opportunity for businesses and organizations to participate as a sponsor of the banners, which will be highly-visible along a main transportation artery in San Diego. Sponsoring the banners will be wonderful exposure for local businesses and community organizations who wish to have their advertisement, logo or information on an attached placard of the 30x94 banner. For more information on the banner district and upcoming sponsorship opportunities please contact the or Jennifer Kvalvik at 858-353-0634.

By: Leah R. Singer Restaurants in Mira Mesa and Scripps Ranch participated in the first-ever “Feast for the Fireworks” on June 8 and 9. On these special days, restaurants agreed to donate a portion of their evening purchases toward the Scripps-Mesa Fireworks Fund. The event was coordinated by the Mira Mesa Chamber of Commerce. The annual fireworks celebration costs $25,000 to put on this year. As such, residents of both communities came out in full-force to do their

part to keep the July 4th tradition alive. “Feast for the Fireworks” was proceeded by an online auction for fireworks support. The Council is hoping to make this an annual tradition to support the community. Participating restaurants included: Ashoka the Great, Callahan’s, Capriccio’s, Chick-Fil-A, China Chef 2, Daphne’s California Greek, El Pollo Loco, El Torito, Extreme Pita, Fuddruckers, Happy’s Sushi, Panda Express (Mira Mesa and Scripps Ranch locations), Pat & Oscar’s, Pernicano’s, Pick Up Stix, Rubio’s, Stone Flats, and Yogurtland.

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Mira Mesa Living Turns “1” Michelle Tsai was approached by community leaders to start a publication for Mira Mesa because of her connections in the area. She thought the commitment might overwhelm her because she already had a business in Mira Mesa and she did not have a team to work with her. She never stopped thinking about the possibility of a community-based magazine. One day she met Steve Nicoles at a coffee shop in Mira Mesa. The two talked about Steve’s background as a journalist; he spent nearly a decade as TV news reporter winning multiple awards. They also talked about Michelle’s desire to create a magazine promoting one of San Diego’s most diverse communities. Combined, their desire was to create a publication that unite our diverse community by sharing positive stories about real people and spread good energy to ignite and inspire others to make a difference in people’s lives.. It took a year from Michelle and Steve’s first discussions before Michelle approached him in April 2010 with the green light to move forward on the first issue, set for publishing before July 4th. Leah Singer joined the team shortly after the first publication. She and her family moved to Mira Mesa from Tierrasanta in 2005. One July after-

noon in 2010, Leah stumbled upon – and proceeded to read cover to cover – the debut issue of Mira Mesa Living on their doorstep. A professional writer by day and blogger by night, Leah immediately contacted Michelle and asked how she could get involved in this community endeavor. Leah recalls leaving her initial meeting with Michelle energized and excited to get involved with the publication as well as the community. Leah has been writing articles for Mira Mesa Living since the magazine’s second issue. Publishing every other month has given the trio time to pursue their professional and personal lives while having time to allow Mira Mesa Living to progress and advance with each issue. The biggest positive steps include moving to a glossy page format after the premiere issue and getting kids from Mason Elementary School to use Mira Mesa Living for a school project. The project proved successful. Soon, children throughout the San Diego Unified School District could have this magazine in their hands. The staff has doubled from three to seven with photographers Ted Brengel and Ron Morales and interns Cecilia Areta and Cydelyn Rodriguez. It gets larger each issue as Mira Mesa residents contribute news, information and pictures of everything Mira Mesa.

Ms. Debbie Campbell from Mason Elementary used Mira Mesa Living as a tool to teach her English Booster class this last spring!

Michelle Tsai, Publisher – Ms. Tsai holds an MBA with an emphasis in finance and a BA in marketing from University of San Diego. She has lived in the Mira Mesa neighborhood for nearly a decade. In that time she has joined several committees including serving as Vice President of the Mira Mesa Chamber of Commerce. Ms. Tsai believes her strengths include connecting people and groups and building longstanding relationships in the community.

Steve Nicoles, Editor – Mr. Nicoles worked for nearly a decade as a professional television news reporter. He brings that experience along with several journalism awards including a regional Emmy ™ to Mira Mesa Living. As a graduate of San Diego State University, Mr. Nicoles is excited to be living and working in San Diego while focusing on one of the city’s most diverse and unique neighborhoods.

Leah R. Singer, Writer –

Photographer: Ron Morales Ron grew up in Mira Mesa. He specializes in portraits, events, commercials and sports. Ron enjoys sharing his photography experience through his blog (

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Ms. Singer is a freelance writer and blogs about family, motherhood, traditions, cooking and other such topics. She earned a master’s degree in communication and bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science, both from San Diego State University. Ms. Singer enjoys living in Mira Mesa with her husband, daughter, and animal family. Read more about her at:

Your vote will help us win a

Small Business Grant! Mira Mesa Living’s vision is to unite our diverse community by sharing positive stories about real people and spread positive energy to ignite and inspire others to make a difference in people’s lives.

You can vote for us in two ways: 1. – Enter Mira Mesa Living under business name and vote for us 2. Text2Vote – Text “6688” and Send it To “244326”

Please spread the word for us. Thank you for your support!

USMC Band and Silent Drill Platoon

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Photo by: Ted Brengel Ted was born in Chicago and during his youth lived all over the country from Tustin, California to New Orleans Louisiana, and from Dallas, Texas to New York State. He developed his love of photography at a tender age when his father gave him a camera for his birthday. As he grew older his father let Ted use his expensive German cameras on the condition that he studied photography books his father brought home. After retiring from active duty in the U. S. Navy having served 21 years, Ted and his family moved to San Diego permanently. Ted, now using completely digital technology, works at improving his photography business, Brengel Productions, and at keeping up with his grandchildren.

for advertising information call 858-335-2484 or

Street Fair Photo Credits: Ted Brengel,

Mira Mesa Street Fair Program Deadline August 15th

Call 858-335-2484 or Email: for more info page 9

Message from the Marines and Sailors of MCAS Miramar

The Marines and Sailors of Marine Corps Air Station Miramar and the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing are excited to use this opportunity to thank the Mira Mesa community for the unwavering support and dedication in these challenging times. Our Marines and Sailors are constantly deploying to regions throughout the globe, including the war in Afghanistan, and they do so with unwavering dedication to support the United States of America. The support they receive from the local communities and their families helps them to focus on their missions. We are extremely grateful for this vital support.

work and play with our amazing neighbors. Our enduring relationship with Mira Mesa is most evident in the myriad of activities our military men and women participate in throughout the year. From coaches and mentors, to intramural sports and school activities, your Marines and Sailors are honored to be part of the devoted, patriotic and vibrant community of Mira Mesa.

Independence Day is a special day for every American. We take this time to remember the sacrifices which gave us our freedom. We are honored to be part of the Armed Forces maintaining that freedom today. Here at home, we are committed members of the great communities. We live,

Thank You! Make your policies sing. Ask us how. Jerry Salcedo - Lic 0D86120 Jerry Salcedo Agency 162 S Rancho Santa Fe Ste E100 • Encinitas, CA 92024 Phone: (877) 260-7104 E-mail:

I would like to offer my sincere congratulations and gratitude to the Mira Mesa Town Council and residents for their hard work and dedication in organizing another successful Fourth of July celebration. Each year Mira Mesa volunteers take the time out of their busy schedules to work tirelessly to raise funds and organize one of the largest firework shows in the City, which is free of charge for all of San Diegans to enjoy. I feel fortunate to represent such a diverse and unique community like Mira Mesa, filled with hard working and active residents. Thank you again for your dedication and look forward to continuing to work with Mira Mesa residents in the future to improve our community.

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Sincerely, Carl DeMaio to submit an article or events for publication e-mail

“Quality Work For A Fair Price”

The centennial of Marine aviation began in San Diego earlier this year with a symposium of the Marine Corps Aviation Association. The Miramar Air Show, which will be themed "A Salute to San Diego: Birthplace of Naval Aviation 1911-2011," runs Sept. 30 through Oct. 2. We hope to see you there. This Independence Day, we join you in remembering all who have made our freedom possible. This is our time to celebrate as Americans. We wish you and your families a safe and memorable Fourth of July.

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$ This 4th of July, as we celebrate independence and freedom with family and friends, please take a moment to remember those who have struggled and sacrificed to protect our country, especially those currently overseas in harm’s way. As a veteran Marine, I know first-hand the sacrifices our service men and women abroad are making to defend the values that make the United States the greatest country on earth. It is their sacrifice that allows the rest of us to enjoy family, friends, fireworks, and freedom. I am grateful for them and for those who have served before. Mira Mesa is a diverse San Diego community with strong cultural values, families and local businesses. It’s the steadfast commitment of community group leaders that has made Mira Mesa such a wonderful place to live and such a great example of the American Dream. I wish the entire Mira Mesa community a happy and safe 4th of July!

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Mira Mesa News & Announcements Read About Mira Mesa’s History Author Pam Stevens recently held a book signing for her new book, detailing the growth of Mira Mesa. She signed copies at Barnes & Noble in Mira Mesa and copies of the book are available there as well as

Marauders 2nd Annual Youth Football Camp This summer the Mira Mesa Marauder football staff will be putting on their 2nd Annual Youth Football Camp. This year the camp will be on Saturday, July 9th from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm at Mira Mesa High School. The camp is for children ages 7 – 15. The cost for the camp is $40 if you register by July 1st. After July 1st, the cost will be $45. Walk-up registration is also welcome. Participants will receive a free t-shirt and lunch will be provided. They will learn individual and team techniques on both offense and defense. For more information about the camp please contact Coach Mike Gapasin at (858) 945-2163 or

Summer Reading Program 2011 Join the Summer Reading Program at the local Mira Mesa public library branch. Presented by the San Diego Public Library, this summer tradition is a great way for the entire family to enjoy reading over the summer. The Program includes entertainment, story times, music and, of course, lots of great books! There are sign-up and completion prizes for children ages 0 – 11; teens ages 12 – 18; and even adults. The Reading Program is underway now and ends August 15. Families can sign up now at any public library location.

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Are You Ready To Wear The Crown? The Mira Mesa Town Council and the Mira Mesa Chamber of Commerce present the first ever Miss Mira Mesa and Miss Mira Mesa Teen Combined Pageant September 10, 2011 at the Country Inn and Suites in Mira Mesa. This pageant, is open to girls 14 to 27 years old who live in Mira Mesa or are employed by a local business. Miss Mira Mesa and Miss Mira Mesa Teen will represent our community for one year at all community events, grand openings and happenings. The winners will also be presented with scholarships to be used to further their education and the entry fee to the next level pageant. For more information please contact Maria Pankau, pageant coordinator, at 858-271-1572 or

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7160 Miramar Rd. #116 • 1.5 blocks west of the Pyramid • San Diego • 858-586-1672 to submit an article or events for publication e-mail

Support Luke Barbarita and JDRF The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation is holding a contest called “Design Your Own NASCAR.” Sandburg Elementary School student Luke Barbarita has a chance to have his artwork on NASCAR driver Trevor Baynes’ car! Visit and select Luke’s picture. The winning child and family get a trip to Dearborn, MI for the unveiling of the car. Make a donation to keep Luke in the top 5 and maybe get his design shown around the country during an upcoming race. All donations help JDRF research treatments and cures for Type 1 diabetes.

Senior Nutrition Program The Verne Goodwin Senior Center provides a noon lunch Monday through Friday, except for holidays. For seniors aged 60 or older, the cost is just $4. Lunch is $6 for everyone else. Please sign in and 10 - 15 minutes early on the day of the meal. Home delivered meals in Mira Mesa/Scripps Ranch for sick, homebound and caregivers is available on an individual or recurring status. Call the Senior Nutrition Program at (858) 578-8224 in advance for home delivery.

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Fun activities for the summer

1 Private Lesson New students only. With this coupon.

RSVP Needs Volunteers RSVP is an organization of retired seniors who wish to serve our community. We assist the San Diego Police Department (SDPD) in many ways. Duties include: the YANA (You Are Not Alone) program in which we check on shut-ins to insure they are doing okay; check on homes for people who are away on vacation; visit com-

munity parks, check and monitor schools and banks and write disabled parking citations.

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We need more volunteers. Qualifications are that you possess a valid driver's license, be 50 years or older and complete a 40-hour SDPD Academy. Please contact the Police Storefront on Mira Mesa Blvd. or call 538-8156.

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KIDS MEAL Correction: In the previous issue of Mira Mesa Living, we wrote that a chair donated to the Taste of Mira Mesa was supplied by Hage Elementary. In fact, it was donated by Mason Elementary School. for advertising information call 858-335-2484 or

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page 13

Neighborhood Atmosphere • Attentive and Friendly Staff Over 11 Zumba® classes a week

This class fills up fast. Please call in advance to reserve your spot and redeem coupon when you come in for a free class.

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Thank You 4th of July Sponsors!

Sweet Start for Independence Celebration The 4th of July festivities start in the morning, with the traditional pancake breakfast hosted by the Black Mountain Lodge #845 F&AM at the Epicentre at 8450 Mira Mesa Blvd. Since taking this event over for the Mira Mesa Women’s Club in 2002 the tradition has continued to be a great way to start off the day. The menu includes eggs, sausage, coffee, orange juice and of course, pancakes. Breakfast will be served from 7:00 to 11:30 am.

The cost is $6.00 for adults or $3.00 for children between three and eight. The funds raised from this event help support the fireworks display, the Epicentre programs, and scholarships for graduating students. Come on over and pick out a great place to watch the parade. The Lodge will also have a picnic after the parade and invites anyone to come over and meet some of our members and watch the fireworks.

For more info call Bill Byous @ 858 337-7344. HAPPY JULY 4th!

$2,500 - Pyrotechnics

H Mira Mesa Recreation Council H Mira Mesa Town Council

$1,000 - Roman Candles

H "Marvelous Marv, Realtor" at Property Gallery H Praise Fellowship

$500 - Bottle Rockets H Collins Family Jewelers H Firestone Complete Auto Care, Mira Mesa Mall H Newbreak Church H Scripps Ranch Civic Association

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4th of July Vendors H

Barely Broke Intellects


Mira Mesa Theatre Guild


Best Buy Mira Mesa



Boy Scouts, ScrippsMesa District



Mira Mesa Town Council/Mira Mesa Chamber of Commerce


Coastal Kona


Newbreak Church


Egyptian Delights




Gol Ice Cream



United Studios of Self Defense

Harbor Church


Harmonium Inc


WorldMark by Wyndham


Jamaican Jerk Hut


Kettle Masters


Kona Ice of San Diego


Ledesma Foods


Micken's Kettle Corn

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Dedicated Marine Named Parade Grand Marshall By: Christopher Gunn Don W. Gallagher graduated from Charles M. Russell High School in Great Falls, Montana in 1979. Enlisting in the Marine Corps on March 3, 1980, he entered recruit training at MCRD San Diego. Upon graduation of recruit training he attended his MOS school at Infantry Training School Camp Pendleton, Calif. for training as a 0311 Marine Rifleman. Upon completion of school he received orders to Marine Barracks, Yokosuka, Japan, also serving at Atsugi Naval Air Station Japan. In January 1984, he returned to CONUS to First Tank Battalion, First Marine Division Camp Pendleton for duty as a 0352 Antitank Assault Man. In 1986 Gallagher completed a West Pac deployment with Weapons Company 1/1.

to Maine Maritime Academy Castine, Maine, for duty as an AMOI for the NROTC Program. During the summers of 1994 and 1995, Gunnery Sergeant Gallagher was assigned to OCS Quantico, VA where he trained Officer Candidates. In September 1996, Gunnery Sergeant Gallagher received orders to 1st Battalion, 5th Marines for duty. He served as the Company Gunnery Sergeant for Alpha Company, Bravo Company 1/5 and Lima Company 3/5. He also served as the Company First Sergeant for Weapons Company 1/5 and Headquarters and Service Company 1/5. During 1996 and 1999 he deployed with 1/5 to the 31st MEU Okinawa Japan conducting operations in the Western Pacific. In August 2000, First Sergeant Gallagher received orders to Echo Company, 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion Camp Pendleton. In June 2001, First Sergeant Gallagher returned to MCRD San Diego and was assigned to Second Recruit Training Battalion, Golf Company as the Company First Sergeant.

Team-1 to Fallujah / Ramadi AO East Al Anbar Province Iraq OIF 07-09 returning late January 2009. Sergeant Major Gallagher is posting as the Third Marine Air Wing Sergeant Major August 2009.

Upon completion of his successful tour in August 1990, Staff Sergeant Gallagher was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. In September 1990, Staff Sergeant Gallagher was deployed to Saudi Arabia for the Gulf War, participating in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm into Kuwait. During this time Staff Sergeant Gallagher was assigned to Weapons Company 3/3, Heavy Machine Guns Platoon. In April 1991 he reported to Kilo Company 3/3 for MEU SOC operations with the Battalion, completing 2 UDP deployments to Camp Hansen Okinawa Japan in 1992 and 1993.

January 2003 he was selected to the rank of Sergeant Major. Sergeant Major Gallagher posted as Second Recruit Training Battalion Sergeant Major May 2003, to September 2004. Sergeant Major Gallagher then reported to 3rd Marine Air Wing, posting as MTACS-38 Sergeant Major September 2004 to December 2005.

Sergeant Major Gallagher’s personal awards include: Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with Gold Star, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation

In January 2006 he deployed to Al Asad Air base Al Anbar Province Iraq for OIF 05-07 as the MACG-38 Sergeant Major FWD. Sergeant Major Gallagher posted as the Sergeant Major, 1st Marine Regiment in December 2006.

In August 1993, Staff Sergeant Gallagher received orders

In January 2008 he deployed with Regiment Combat

Medal with Combat “V” and Gold Star, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with Gold Star, Combat Action Ribbon and Good Conduct Medal 9th Award.

In August 1987, Sgt. Gallagher received orders to Drill Instructor School, MCRD San Diego. He was assigned to Third Recruit Training Battalion Kilo Company.

Hanson Aggregates is proud to be a member of the Mira Mesa community and a sponsor for the July 4th Fireworks.

From all of us at Hanson Aggregates, We wish you a safe and happy 4th of July.

Hanson for advertising information call 858-335-2484 or

page 15

13th Annual Mira Mesa Town Council Street Fair September 17th 2011 10:00 am to 5:00 pm Camino Ruiz, North of Mira Mesa Boulevard Accepting Vendor Applications Now! Postmark Late Fee Deadline: August 6, 2011 Last Day to Register: August 20, 2011 Copy of Seller’s Permit and/or Non Profit Status required. All vendors will be given a 10’x10’ space, and a Program listing. Tables, chairs and canopies are available for rent. Vendors can bring their own.

Business Displays and Campaign Displays: Crafter Displays: (Hand Crafted items) Community Service/Non-profit Organizations: Food Vendors 15’x10’ space

MMTC Members $170.00 $80.00 $60.00 $200.00

Non MMTC Members $220.00 $130.00 $110.00 $250.00

Food Vendors must have Seller’s Permit and Health Permit. Please attach to the application. Follow guidelines from the Health Department

Rentals 10’x10’ canopy............................................$90 each Electrical hookup (Generator Charge) .........$75.00 1Table and 2 chairs.....................................$20 (No personal generators allowed) Security Deposit (Separate Check) $20.00 Late Fee after August 6, 2011 $50.00

Please fill out Vendor Applications on line:

Bringing the Community Together!

CartSnap By: Cecilia V. Areta During the April 4 Town Council meeting, the community of Mira Mesa was unofficially deemed the model community for the smart phone application called CartSnap. Throughout March the Mira Mesa Town Council partnered up with CartSnap to host a cart reporting contest using the CartSnap iPhone application. iPhone owners downloaded the CartSnap app for free and used it to report abandoned shopping carts in Mira Mesa. Town Council President Ted Brengel said he was proud that Mira Mesa came together as a community to be deemed the model community of CartSnap. During the meeting Coleen Murdock was announced the official winner from candidates who submitted acceptable pictures. Murdock was selected at random and received a gift basket of

various merchandise and gift certificates to Mira Mesa businesses. Everyday throughout Mira Mesa, dozens of shopping carts are ditched in the neighborhood and dumped in back alleys. Serving as a key element in our commerce driven society, carts act as modern day pack-mules carrying goods down the aisles of stores and across large parking lots to waiting cars. For those shoppers without transportation, these carts often make the slow journey home only to be cast aside after reaching their driver’s destination. To combat what has been deemed a public nuisance, the city has passed numerous laws making it illegal to be in possession of a shopping cart in public and will fine businesses for allowing customers to repeatedly make-off with them. Some carts have been equipped with wheel-locking devices and some markets in Mira Mesa have attached tall poles so as to not let them out of the door, yet many still escape. As a last resort, contractors are hired to scour the neighborhood in search of stolen pushcarts, which are then sold back to their respective establishments to wait for the next customer and possibly the start of another strange odyssey.

With the help of CartSnap, Mira Mesa residents are able to help store owners and other community members report abandoned carts. Now it is noticed that carts are rarely seen around the neighborhood. When an abandoned cart’s location is locked under global tracking, CartSnap automatically sends a message to the California Shopping Cart Retrieval Corporation and the cart is picked up the next day.

For more information about CartSnap visit or

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Marv Miles DRE# 00585385 page 17

Bringing City Services to your Fingertips By: Councilmember Carl DeMaio How often have you driven down Mira Mesa Blvd and seen a large pothole in the road? Or even worse, discovered it right after your car runs it over? You want to report the problem to the City when you get home, but by the time you get there you have forgotten the location of the pothole. Unfortunately with no one reporting it, the pothole only gets larger and more dangerous. This scenario has unfortunately become a Mira Mesa tradition and is a common story I hear when meeting with residents. They are frustrated by the state of their road conditions and feel that there should be more simple and efficient way to report potholes in the City of San Diego. After hearing these concerns my office decided to partner with an outside firm to develop “San Diego 311” a Smartphone app and online widget that serves as a one stop shop of City services and streamlines how those services are provided. San Diego residents can report potholes, abandoned vehicles, graffiti,

illegal dumping, broken sidewalks and much more instantaneously from their Android, Blackberry or I-Phones. The program can also be accessed online through an online widget. San Diego 311 uses the latest geotagging technology to automatically provide the problem’s location when residents report problems from their phones. This simplifies the reporting process for residents and speeds up the time for City employees to respond to the report. This program finally catches the City up to modern day technology and creates a new platform that will cut costs and provide an instrument that easily allows residents to report problems in their community. San Diego 311 literally puts City services at residents’ fingertips, and I hope you’ll join me in downloading this app to start improving our community today. For instructions on how to download the App and Widget please visit or contact our office at 619-236-6655 or email CarlDemaio@SanDiego.Gov

Speak Now for a Unified Mira Mesa By: Mitz Lee Mira Mesa’s future is being considered by the city’s Redistricting Commission. Those of us that live here and raise a family in Mira Mesa know how important it is to keep Mira Mesa together. Others, for political reasons,

Every ten years, a Redistricting Commission comprised of San Diego citizen-residents convenes to draw new city council district boundaries based on the latest census data. In addition, when voters approved the Strong Mayor form of government in 2010, they also approved the creation of a new Ninth City Council District to coincide with the census redistricting.

5 1



6 Current City Council Boundary

APAC Proposed City Council Districts District (Total Population*)


3 4

1 (144,508) 2 (144,201) 3 (144,575) 4 (144,209) 5 (144,704) 6 (144,970) 7 (144,434) 8 (144,931)

want to split Mira Mesa into two parts. Now is the time to lend your voice and stand together for a unified Mira Mesa.


The Redistricting Commission has the sole authority to change the boundaries of the city council districts and they will shape the direction of San Diego politics for years to come. To keep partisan politics from dominating the process, the Redistricting Commission is charged with uniting “communities of

interest” into the same city council district to help ensure fair and effective representation. Voices have emerged asking the Redistricting Commission to split Mira Mesa into two different city council districts and deny fair and effective representation to our Mira Mesa neighborhoods. Mira Mesa and our neighboring communities of Rancho Peñasquitos, Miramar Key West and Kearny Mesa function as a cohesive unit with similar demographics, shared transportation and municipal infrastructure, and police and fire-fighting resources constitute a community of interest and need to be united when drawing the new council district boundaries. (See APAC Proposed Map.)

9 (145,427) * 2010 U.S. Census

Mitz Lee is a resident of Mira Mesa since 1983, former Vice President, Board of Education, San Diego Unified School District and the co-convener of the Asian & Pacific American Coalition (APAC).

page 18

There are few simple ways to support a “unified Mira Mesa”: 1. Email the Redistricting Commission: 2. Sign the APAC online petition to support the APAC map (online petition found at 3. Call the Redistricting Commission: 619-533-3060 4. Send a letter to: Members of the Redistricting Commission, 1010 Second Ave., Suite 1060, San Diego, CA 92101 5. Send a fax to the Redistricting Commission: 619-533-3085 6. Attend the Redistricting Commission meetings: for meeting dates, times and locations, visit

If not you, who? If not now, when?

Bánh Mì By: Alexander Nguyen

Just FYI, bánh mì (sans diacritics) is now an English word according to the Oxford English Dictionary. In the latest update to its dictionary, OED, the arbiter of proper language usage, added several culinary words. Banh mi, a Vietnamese sandwich, is now ubiquitous enough to be included. “As the culinary appetites of the English-speaking world grow ever more diverse, loan words referring to new cuisines are a perennial source of new OED entries,”

OED editor Katherine Connor Martin said in a statement. Bánh mì in Vietnamese refers to both the bread and the sandwich made from said bread. Bánh means bread and mì means wheat, the word literally means wheat bread. Banh mi joins another culinary word, pho,

Vietnamese Shrimp Spring Rolls - Goi Cuon By: Cecilia V. Areta One of the most well known Vietnamese appetizers out there is shrimp spring rolls, also known as Goi Cuon. It is a healthy dish that is relatively easy to make. Tinh Nguyen, a resident of Mira Mesa, has gladly provided her rendition of the Goi Cuon recipe. Mrs. Nguyen found herself residing in Mira Mesa because a number of her family members had chosen to live in the neighborhood and she decided to raise her family of four in the community as well. Mrs. Nguyen is currently a manicurist and an active member of Good Sheppard Churches Vietnamese choir. She frequently cooks traditional Vietnamese dishes for her family and friends. Goi Cuon is among her favorite appetizers to make.

How to Cook: Dipping sauce: 1. Combine hoisin sauce, coconut milk, rice vinegar and onion in a blender and puree. 2. Place mixture in a saucepan and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes, adding water to maintain creamy consistency when necessary. 3. Place some dipping sauce in small bowls and top it off with roasted peanuts.

Ingredients: Shrimp Spring Rolls: ½ pound of cooked lean pork ½ pound of cooked shrimp 1 pkg of rice vermicelli 1 pkg of rice paper sheets 1 bunch of cilantro 1 cup of basil 1 head of lettuce, shredded 2 cups blanched bean sprouts

Vietnamese noodle soup, as the only Vietnamese words to have entered the English language. Mira Mesa, of course, is home to a large Vietnamese population and has several banh mi shops and pho restaurants.

Photo by Ron Moralez,

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Sauce: ½ cup of chopped peanuts 2 ⁄3 coup of hoisin sauce 2 ⁄3 cup of coconut milk 1 ⁄3 cup of chopped onions ¼ cup of rice vinegar

Prepare rolls: 1. Cut pork into thin strips. 2. Peal shrimp, remove the heads. 3. Boil vermicelli for about 2 to 3 minutes, then rinse in cold water and drain. 4. Separate cilantro into sprigs that are of the right size to go onto the rolls. 5. Wet rice papers, one at a time. 6. Place some noodles, pork, shrimp, lettuce, bean sprouts, basil and cilantro on each roll. 7. Fold in the sides, and wrap the top down and roll up, envelope style, keeping tension tight enough to stay wrapped. 8. Place it on a plate and cover with a very damp paper towel, while you finish the others. 9. Repeat until all ingredients are compiled in the wraps. 10. Eat and enjoy!

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page 19

from sea to shining sea... By: Grady Blumenthal Part of being an American is having a shared investment in a rich heritage that dates back over 200 years; race, religion, and ethnicity are irrelevant. Without the Spanish, French, English, African slaves, American Indians and all the immigrants that came later, we would not be the nation we are today. Though many of us claim this great heritage, the meaning of the word patriotism has really been watered down and convoluted over time for most. And don’t bother looking in a dictionary. Living the life of a true American Patriot is far more than written words in a book; it's a state of mind, a love for your country and above all else, the principles of

freedom and democracy that were instilled in us by those who penned the documents by which our government continues to be bound. As a nation, we have often forgotten those ideals, pushed them aside for reasons of profit, religion or sheer bigotry. But in spite of it all, they have somehow survived. It’s easy for most Americans to become complacent in their patriotism. For most of us, raising a family, keeping a roof over our head and putting food on the table ranks much higher on the priority list than sitting around pondering the meanings of such lofty words such as “patriotism.” And don’t get me wrong: it should rank higher. As a result, we work hard and keep our heads down. We get used to the familiar faces in our communities, the familiar ideas, the familiar ways of life. We forget that there is a much larger nation out there – that we are part of something bigger. We assume that our communities represent the greater America when, simply put, they do not. In short, whether you live in Beverly Hills, South Central LA, or a small Iowa farming community, it’s easy to forget where we came from.

So in celebration of the upcoming Fourth of July, I approach my readers with an opportunity to better their understanding of the word patriotism, and with it, empower their own lives with the ideals that created this great country. It’s a simple enough idea, yet many of us neglect to take advantage of it. Travel! Sure, kicking back in your hometown at a family BBQ with beer and burgers is great – in fact I’ll be the first to crack a beer with you, but what’s patriotic about that? Has celebrating the fourth really come to mean nothing but scoring a buzz and putting on a few extra pounds? So this fourth I challenge you. From Maine to San Diego, Florida to Alaska, and everywhere in between, there’s a lot to see, and if you haven’t yet experienced other ways of life in this great country, you’re really missing the beauty of it all. If you’re serious about being a patriot and don’t want to break the bank in order to see a bit of the world, check out AskAboutTravel’s eBay store. Its chock-full of destinations around the world priced at 30%-70% off. Visit


858 768 2610 Your experts for Luxury Travel & Honeymoons To Hawaii, Mexico, Caribbean and South Pacific! page 20

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We also sponsored our 1st Annual Golf Tournament to benefit the Athletic Department

We also indulged with the town at our 6th Annual Taste of Mira Mesa

Photos by Cindi Mitchell

Celebrated the news that we were one of only six schools awarded as both a California Distinguished School AND Exemplary Career Technical Education Program School!

But most of all, we were overwhelmed by community support! Thank you to all who have celebrated with us! Membership $25 - Silver includes entrance to two free athletic events $40 - Gold includes entrance to four free athletic events $60 - Platinum includes entrance to six free athletic events For all the latest updates on what the Foundation is doing, visit us on Facebook! And be sure to "like" our Farmer's Market Facebook page as well!

For more information, please go to or call (858)692-7662 PMB 264 10606-8 Camino Ruiz, San Diego, CA 92126

Mira Mesa Living

Sandburg Elementary School Principal Leads With the Heart By: Leah R. Singer Laurie Hinzman’s love of children, teaching and learning began at a very early age. When she was just 7-years-old, her parents bought her a chalkboard for her personal “classroom.” With that tool, she began “teaching” her neighborhood peers reading and other school skills from her family’s own home. Now – as the outgoing principal of Sandburg Elementary School – Hinzman’s love of teaching is still running strong. Hinzman was principal of Sandburg Elementary since 2004, overseeing approximately 720 students each year. Although she left the school at the end of the 2010-11 school year, Hinzman loves the work she accomplished in this Mira Mesa school. She firmly believes that education – of both children and adults – starts with life skills such as being kind and respectful to each other. “Once those are built, the expectations for academics follows,” said Hinzman.

“Since I’ve been [at Sandburg] we have established a mini community reform model,” said Hinzman. “We have built a community of learners who take pride around learning and the school. The staff works very collaboratively together. We create a vision, our goals and core values. That’s what drives our work.” Sandburg’s vision includes that all children will be honored for their individual talents, and the teachers will do their best to ensure the students acquire the knowledge they need and students will always be groomed to grow to their potential. It’s critical to Hinzman that Sandburg creates a learning environment where all children want to come to school. Sandburg has demonstrated that commitment by consistently being one of the top Mira Mesa elementary schools for student attendance. An aspect of learning and education that

Hinzman has been passionate about for many years is what she calls leading from the heart. While a classroom teacher for nearly 20 years, Hinzman was constantly taking notes on various leadership styles and the ways in which ideas and suggestions were presented to teachers and school district employees. She often found herself noting phrases like, “If only you used this tone…” or “If only you had said the phrase this way, a much different result would have happened.” It was thoughts such as these and her history of notes and ideas that prompted Hinzman to return to school and obtain her administrative credential. She then became vice principal – and later principal – at Lindbergh Schweitzer Elementary School, and then Sandburg Elementary School.

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page 22

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Still, Hinzman’s ideas for leading better and from the heart persisted and eventually became the components of her book, “Leadership, the Heart Matters”. In fact, the seven sections of the book represent Hinzman’s core values and beliefs of teaching. She stresses – above all - taking time to remember the heart and that the TLC matters in everything we do. She believes leading and facilitating with the heart will create analytical and critical thinkers for life.

In Times of Need AREA YOUTH TURN TO TEEN ADVISORY COUNCIL By: Charmaigne Justiniano

Hinzman is also a believer in telling stories and finding the stories of the students. As a teacher, she would often wonder why she was not reaching certain children. She quickly realized that in order to teach students using different learning styles, she needed to learn the stories of the children, that is, how each child learns. “Every child comes to us with their own stories about their home life, relationships, upbringing, ability to interact with other children,” said Hinzman. “We need to assess their strengths and weaknesses. As we teach and model knowledge, we need to present in different ways. It’s important for people and children to tell their stories. My mission in life is to coach educators to model and understand the children’s uniqueness, and weave that into our teaching.” Listening to the school’s story is one way Hinzman urges the community to become involved in education. She encourages parents and community members to be well informed about the state of education, and to seek answers from expects. “Come in and discover the heart of what we do. Let us tell the story and give you the inside story.”

Many teenagers turn to the Teen Advisory Council (TAC) in time of need and help. There, teens are able to be heard, serve the community in a variety of ways, as well as learn life skills such as speaking to an audience, time management, etc. TAC is known for its persevering attitude!

“I absolutely have fallen in love with the community,” said Hinzman. “I tell people Mira Mesa is the jewel community in San Diego. Residents love their children. Family and schools are a priority here. This is an awesome community.”

One of the many goals TAC plans on pursuing is serving the community as much as possible. Recently, the teens were engaged in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. There, the teens took their time to walk laps at Hilltop Park for 24 hours straight, just for cancer victims. Within the event, they were also congratulated with two awards: Best All-Around Rookie Team and Most Spirited Team. In addition, they successfully raised over $1,200 to help cancer research and provide for services to victims and their families. This is just one of the many things that TAC participated and succeeded in.

Learn more about Laurie Hinzman and purchase her book, “Leadership, the Heart Matters”, at

In addition to what the TAC has achieved this year, the youth of Epicentre’s Eco-Eventerprise

Hinzman’s work has not gone unrecognized. She was awarded the 2010 Elementary Principal of the Year by the Association of California School Administrators for the San Diego and Imperial Counties. This was the first time in many years a principal from San Diego Unified School District received this award. She is proud of what has been accomplished at Sandburg Elementary and feels fortunate to have been part of the Mira Mesa community for the past seven years.

won the Regional Junior Achievement “Next Best Thing” Entrepreneurial showcase, and are now on their way to Washington DC to compete in a national competition. Stay tuned to hear the results of the DC experience and competition. With the school year ending, the TAC and EcoEventerprise are currently looking for new dedicated members to join their teams and are currently nominating new officers. A new year comes with a whole new door of opportunities.

If you or anyone you know would like to join the Teen Advisory Council, please contact Sigrid Batara at (858) 217-5636, come by the Epicentre at 8450 Mira Mesa Blvd, 92126, or go to our link and download the application form at

Temple Adat Shalom Teacher Wins National Prize By: Jan Liebman Temple Adat Shalom’s, BeLinda Singer, teacher of middle school and high school students at Temple Adat Shalom’s Mosad Shalom Religious School, and preschool teacher of 4 year-olds for the TAS Ganon Gil preschool is the San Diego recipient of the Grinspoon-Steinhardt Award for Excellence in Jewish Education for 2011. This award recognizes and honors outstanding teachers across North America who have made a commitment in the field of Jewish education in formal Jewish educational settings. BeLinda is a graduate of Mira Mesa High School. BeLinda was nominated by Mosad Shalom Director of Education Susan Cohn for her love of children, her natural gift and talent for teaching all ages, her intense curiosity and for her passion for Judaism and Israel. Temple Adat Shalom’s Rabbi David Castiglione said, “BeLinda is a beloved teacher within our schools. She is a teacher, guide and resource for the youngest of our students, our middle school students and our senior high school students.” Ganon Gil Preschool Director Marilyn Milne said, “Each day BeLinda approaches her work with positive energy and unique ideas. BeLinda has exceptional qualities in her ability to relate to children, parents, and families.” The Grinspoon-Steinhardt Award will be presented to BeLinda at the annual San Diego Back to School Teacher Workshop on Sunday, August 28th. At that time she will receive national recognition, a $1,000 cash prize and $1,000 Award stipend for her own professional development. In addition, GrinspoonSteinhardt Award winners become part of a newly formed Community of Practice together with other outstanding educators.

Mira Mesa Teachers Honored By: Ann Marie Council Who hasn’t known a teacher that went above and beyond for them or their child? Those of us raising children in Mira Mesa are especially lucky because we have so many outstanding teachers who go above and beyond for our children every day. The Community Advisory Committee for Special Education in the San Diego Unified School District (CAC) gives ”Above and Beyond” Awards each year to outstanding teachers who find creative ways to educate special needs children. This year five Mira Mesa teachers were nominated for this award. Only 13 awards for all of the San Diego Unified School District were given and over 140 teachers were nominated. Hickman Elementary teacher Melissa Martinez and Ericson Elementary teacher Rhoda Stephens-Yoder received 2 of

these 13 coveted awards. Additionally, Ericson Elementary teacher Debbie Chiles, Walker Elementary teacher Ethan Salsitz and Wagenheim middle-school teacher Suzanne McCurley were selected for the 2011 CAC “Above and Beyond” Honor Roll. Melissa Martinez was honored for her innovative teaching methods that helped a behaviorally challenged child adapt and thrive in a general education classroom. Rhoda Stephens-Yoder helped a family whose house was lost to fire by advocating for their children’s scholastic consistency and coordinating a community effort to assist them. For more information on the CAC, contact them via email at or at

Enter Your Home To Win A

$200 Home Depot Gift Certificate!


Here’s how it works: Go to to vote for the Mira Mesa home with the most Curb Appeal! You can also nominate homes by sending photos and descriptions to Street names of the nominated homes from top to bottom: #1 Embry Point Home, #2 Canright Way and #3 Northrup Dr. Voters can view photos and vote for these homes on Each Mira Mesa Living issue will feature three nominated homes. 2

Go to and vote for the Mira Mesa home you think has the most Curb Appeal and you can Win a Dinner for 2 just for participating! DRE License #01379675

For more information Call Alex Delgado 858-922-8205 for advertising information call 858-335-2484 or

3 page 25




9028 WESTMORE RD., MIRA MESA 858-566-1741

Mira Mesa Youth Football and Cheer For more than three and half decades, Mira Mesa Youth Football and Cheer Association (MMYFC) has been an integral component of youth athletics in Mira Mesa. MMYFC provides boys and girls, between the ages of 5-14, the opportunity to learn and participate in football and cheer in an organized, supervised, and safe environment. In addition, school and education are a priority for MMYFC and, as such, the Association works diligently with parents and children to promote and recognize the scholastic achievement of participants. Through its affiliation with

The San Diego Youth Football and Cheer Conference (SDYFCC), volunteers at MMYFC are provided with a wealth of skill-building camps, thus assuring that the children of the organization are taught the skill sets necessary for success, either on the field, on the mat or in the classroom. The organization is deeply committed to the Mira Mesa community and recognizes that participation in youth athletics can be difficult. Thus, MMYFC tries to assist, as much as limited funds allow, with sponsorships to help families with children who want to participate in football or cheer. Through the selfless dedication of its volunteers (including Board Members, Coaches, General Managers and Team Parents) and the spirit of its participants (and their parents) MMYFC will continue to create and provide a positive atmosphere for the benefit and enjoyment of Mira Mesa and its surrounding communities.

Class of 2010 Pays to Honor MMHS By: Steve Nicoles Mira Mesa High School students can look up and see the class of 2010 towering dozens of feet above them. Last year’s graduating class donated more than $11,000 for a mural overlooking the lunch quad area. Alex Toporovsky, owner of Modern Masters Studio in La Mesa, and his staff spent two months painting a 23-feet high wall. “I think it’s great for all of them. I hope it’s here for 30 to 40 years to come so a lot of generations will see it,” said Toporovsky. According to MMHS Principal Scott Giusti, most outgoing classes have extra money, and that cash is generally willed to another class. Last summer, after graduation, a group of the former students met with Giusti to tell him they wanted to do something dif-

ferent and leave their mark on the campus. Together, they looked at several possible projects, including sculptures, before deciding on the mural. It showcases a marauder man and woman, each more than 18 feet tall. In the center of the mural is an enormous Mira Mesa High School logo with the phrase “Life is blue & gold.” Johanna Spencer was the class of 2010’s advisor for four years. She is very proud of how the young kids she mentored as freshmen turned into adults by graduation. “Over four years you build relationships. It was very rewarding for me. I am very lucky to work with a great group of kids,” sad Spencer.

For sign ups or for more information call

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Jeff Stevens: By: Cecilia V. Areta The Pacific Coast Theatre Company (PCTC) was formed in 2009 by a group of Mira Mesa High School Alumni who had been active with the schools dramatic arts department, working on the set by touching base from everything from acting to set design, choreography and more. Andrew McAtee, the founding President of PCTC, has been involved in theatre since his freshman year in high school. He held positions such as the Technical Director, Production Manager, Set Designer and Master Carpenter. McAtee also gains his experience from being a part of the American Rose Theatre where he worked on set construction and as a member of the running crew. He formed this company to help continue the love of dramatic arts in Mira Mesa. He wanted to contribute to his own community as well as pay his dues to the place where his passion for the stage began. PCTC is currently the only non-school theatre producing full length plays in the Mira Mesa community. It has produced four plays in Mira Mesa and is working on the fifth production which will be a musical. A few of the productions include "Art" by Yasmina Reeza and “Laughing Wild” by Christopher Durang, both performed at Mira Mesa High School. PCTC held auditions for the new musical “Poof” in June. On March 20, core members and supporters got together to celebrate PCTC’s second anniversary at their Annual Anniversary Barbecue. Key members such as Nick Tonkin, the founding Treasurer, Sean Fahey, the founding Secretary and Gustavo Garcia, the founding Vice President, were there to celebrate the progression of their company and upcoming projects. The founding members did not want their experience to end and they wanted to share their love of theatre with the community and help local schools keep dramatic arts active. PCTC has been greatly involved with Mira Mesa High School. Members volunteer with the high school’s technical theater department and help the drama classes by conducting improvisational workshops. They plan on continuing their participation in Mira Mesa’s dramatic arts department by conducting plays and implementing their knowledge to the students at the high school. They stated that “as a community theatre we love finding people for whom local theatre is important.” PCTC is continuously looking volunteers to help with productions. For more information visit or follow them on Facebook.

Mira Mesa Resident and Member of the Global Geophysics Community By: Leah R. Singer Most Mira Mesa residents know Jeff Stevens as a faithful community member involved in several aspects of community living. But what most people do not know is that he is one of only a few hundred geophysicists in the world that specialize in nuclear seismology research. While Stevens did not anticipate he would study geophysics and seismology for a living, he knew from an early age he always wanted to be a scientist. This love of science is what prompted him to study physics as an undergraduate and later while earning his doctorate. Stevens began his career 30 years ago as a geophysicist for the San Diego-based company S-Cubed (Systems, Science and Software), which later became part of SAIC (where Stevens works today). He and his wife, Pam, have been Mira Mesa residents since 1980. Stevens’ work uses seismology, analysis of ground motion recorded on a global network of seismometers, to identify nuclear explosions and the seismic impact such explosions have throughout the world. The recent tsunami and earthquake in Japan, and its subsequent nuclear impact, is an example of the type of simulation Stevens has studied in his work. “We estimate the amount of shaking expected at a nuclear power plant from a large earthquake,” said Stevens. His work also involves the monitoring of nuclear testing throughout the world based on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty signed by then-President Clinton in 1999. While that treaty was never officially ratified, it still remains the nuclear guideline by which most countries abide. Stevens’ work revolves around conducting the research that allows him and other geophysicists to identify a nuclear explosion when it occurs in the world. According to Stevens, this work can be difficult because naturaloccurring phenomenon such as earthquakes and other man-made events such as quarry blasts generate seismic signals similar to a nuclear explosion. Scientists such as Stevens must distinguish between something nuclear and natural.

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Using the recent events in Japan as an example, Stevens notes the release of radioactivity from the Japanese nuclear power plants (which resulted from the earthquake) tests very similar to that of a nuclear explosion. However, Stevens is quick to point out the damage inflicted from the tsunami and earthquake is far more devastating than the amounts of radiation that was released as a result of those disasters. One aspect of Stevens’ work he has enjoyed is the traveling throughout the world. He travels to Vienna, Austria several times a year, and has studied geothermal energy in Japan. His work has also taken him to Beijing and Moscow. One of Stevens’ most memorable travels is attending a conference in Germany that later turned into a family vacation. Stevens’ daughter, Brenda, was studying abroad at the University of Bristol in England at the time. She joined her father in Berlin following the conference. And later, Pam and their other daughter, Sharon, flew to meet them in Paris for a full family vacation. When Stevens is not testing seismic earthquake and nuclear activity, he is heavily involved in the Mira Mesa community. He has served on the Mira Mesa Town Council, Planning Group, and the Recreation Council for several years. Stevens has enjoyed being a Mira Mesa resident for the past 30 years and is proud to have raised two children in the proud community.

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Mira Mesa Living

Comic-Con’s Hometown Hero By: Steve Nicoles Two decades of drawing and attending Comic-Con conventions led Otto Dieffenbach, IV to a career as a concept designer and illustrator for companies like Lucasfilm, New Line Cinema and Microsoft. In 2008, Otto reached a pinnacle moment in his career. While attending a convention in Japan, a five-year-old girl approached his booth. Even through a language barrier, Otto understood the girl liked the character Yoda from Star Wars. Otto handed the girl a drawing of Yoda he made that day and her face lit up with excitement and gratitude. Otto later saw that the girl had hung up the picture in her room, much like the article from a newspaper describing Comic-Con 1993, Otto’s first, hangs in the bedroom of his Mira Mesa home to this day. Otto said, “That one moment made it rewarding and solidified this is what I want to do.” As much as his art brightened that little girl’s day a few years ago, the art from Otto’s godfather’s sons have spawned a love for drawing that put him on a path to work with some of the biggest companies in the industry. Otto says it is pretty cool that some of his drawings of characters from popular movies like Star Wars and Lord of the Rings sell around the world for more than $100. Laughing, he said, “They’re selling for a lot more than I got paid for them.” Otto can joke now, but he put in serious hours to reach the level where a shopper can walk into Target, buy a package of Lord of the Rings trading cards and find he drew and signed. It started in the summer of 1993 as his godfather’s sons were drawing and had a booth at that year’s Comic-Con. Back then the event was much less a spectacle than today, Otto said. He could easily walk around. No one dressed up as their favorite characters. Today he calls the event a madhouse. The 42nd annual Comic-Con runs at the Convention Center from July 21-24 and tickets sold out minutes after going on sale. Otto will spend most of an hour to buy a pen to make more drawings. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people dress up as everyone from Luke Skywalker to Bilbo Baggins; you can see literal armies of Storm Troopers led by Darth Vader. page 28

Otto loves how the convention has transformed into a spectacle. Fans dress up for other fans. He calls it a community of people sharing what they love. The same love that Japanese girl found in her original Yoda sketch. The same love Otto felt back in 1993 when he saw his friends create a life-size image of the Marvel Comic Superhero Silver Surfer and then sell it at a charity auction. Otto said, “Art always helped me and now I got to see it help others.” For years, Otto filled notebooks with drawings. If he finished a school test early, he would scribble on the border of the test pages. Drawing consumed his early years and helped him through the difficult stretches of adolescence that plague all of us. He said, “For me, art was a crutch to get through the rough patches. To take a negative of my life and make a positive.” Otto often vented his frustrations of the day onto a piece of paper, creating images some might consider disturbing. “I probably scared my mom a bit, but it was art, so she encouraged it,” Otto remembers. Family support helped Otto stay focused on his drawings. He said he needed to hit milestones and overcome obstacles to maintain his motivation and grow as an artist. His family and Comic-Con fueled his enthusiasm. Once Otto started college at San Diego State his drive to make drawing a profession kicked into a higher gear. Three days a week he travelled to Encinitas to study under famed local artists Ron Lemen and Jeff Watts. On weekends he went farther, driving to Los Angeles to work with Marshal Bandroff. Otto wanted to take his knowledge beyond drawing and get to the anatomy of it all. His understand of the human form, from a medical point of view, meant he could accurately draw people and understand how a creature with four arms, for example, would actually look. Otto said, “It’s always good to keep honing skills.” With all the work and travel Otto put into fine-tuning his craft, he never missed another Comic-Con. He made friends and colleagues. In 2002 he got a break from his first idols. Those men, whose dad was his godfather, offered Otto a seat at their booth at Comic-Con. He laid out some of his sketches. By the end of the day Otto inked another notch in his career path with a permanent marker. An art director for Topps Trading Cards saw his work and offered him a job drawing trading cards for Lord of the Rings. It proved Otto’s biggest break so far. From Lord of the Rings, he went on to draw for Indiana Jones. From there he made contacts at Lucasfilm. The work meant he qualified to have his own booth at Comic-Con. In 2003 he sat at his own booth. Otto never looks back, unless it is to reminisce on the highlights, his first Comic-Con, his first paying gig, meeting the young Japanese girl. Instead, he chooses to look forward to see how many more rewarding experiences drawing can bring him. His current goal and focus is to jump into video game design. He says it offers more diversity and freedom to create. It also creates more competition. Otto knows, however, that if he stays true to himself by having fun with his work while staying focused at the same time, good things will happen. They already have for him, the people who idolize him and those he idolizes as well.

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Bringing the Community Together!

Mira Mesa’s Got Talent! By Cecilia V. Areta On May 21, Mira Mesa’s Theater Guild held the first competitive talent show at the EpiCentre. There were two rounds of tryouts, on May 5 and 12, before the finalist tried to win the official title of the most talented person in Mira Mesa. Steven Woods, “Woodsy”, and Lauren O'Brien, “L.O.B.”, from FM 94.9’s Mickey Show, which airs from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. daily, hosted alongside with the president of the Mira Mesa Town Council, Ted Brengel. Woodsy and L.O.B. advertised the event on air, calling all “singers, dancers, musicians, comedians, jugglers, anything [you] think is a talent”. Fox 5 news reporter, Danielle Saar emceed the event. Saar had the privilege to ask questions to the contestants after their performances and found out their personal journey towards achieving such great talents. Third place winner, A.J. Rockit, won a cash prize of $100 after performing “Johnny Be Good” by Chuck Berry. This 10-year-old guitarist and singer has been playing the guitar for two years. Saar’s first question to A.J. was “Can

Itake him home?”, jokingly. When asked how he started playing the guitar he claimed he was inspired to learn by playing the game Guitar Hero. After getting tired of the game he thought “enough of this, I want to play real guitar”. Judge O'Brien claimed that he was “already better than people five times his age” and Woods stated that he has “a lot of talent in those little tiny hands”. Second place title went to Julianne Manalo. She sang “Listen” from the Broadway and movie production, Dream Girls and won $200. Manalo was no stranger to the stage, a recent competitor in the last American Idol. Manalo stated that she her time on American Idol was “amazing, really nerve racking. A really good experience and learned a lot”. Judges encouraged her to try out for American Idol again because the judges “they never know what the heck they’re looking for and [she] obviously has the talent”.

Drawing A Dream By: Steve Nicole Andrew Alcasid draws paints and makes tshirts. You can often find the 20-something on the sidewalk beautifying our electrical boxes. Andrew doesn’t point to one time in his life when he started drawing. He says he’s always been doodling around and drawing. His artistic interest and skill really took off when friends took him out to graffiti parts of Mira Mesa. He learned a lot watching his pals vandalize property. Andrew says the electrical boxes provide a good outlet for him to work with spray paint as a medium while not breaking the law. Andrew loves all aspects of painting, from experimenting with his technique to seeing reactions to his final product. Ideally, Andrew would like to sell his work and make some money as a pro-

fessional artist, but the going has been tough so far. If you would like to see some of Andrew’s work, go to Facebook and search his name.

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First place this year went to Rayne, a 16-year-old guitar player and songwriter. She won a cash prize of $500 and the title of the most talented person in Mira Mesa. Rayne performed a song that she made herself and some claimed that she was the next “Taylor Swift”, writing her own lyrics and composing her own tunes on the guitar. Her performance gained the most audiences cheer and her song was catchy and relatable. The judges predict that being in the competition is just the beginning of her successful music future. The winners will perform at the annual 4th of July Day in the Park and the Mira Mesa Street Fair. Keep an eye out if you would like to see them perform in Mira Mesa again. The Mira Mesa’s Theater Guild will hold another Mira Mesa’s Got Talent competition next year, the dates and times will be announced on later dates. If you would like to become involved for more information log on to or follow them on Facebook.


By: Steve Nicoles For 23-year-old Jamie Land, life has been full of hardship. He spent years circling through the court system from juvenile hall to prison. Perhaps it is no surprise the painful art of tattooing proved to be Jamie’s escape back to Mira Mesa. He said, “Tattooing was a hobby I picked up to kill time.” As more time passed, Jamie discovered his talent for ink-work sticking. He said, “I’ve always been sketching and drawing. A few years back I took it to a professional level.” Jamie’s hobby turned into an apprenticeship. To get the chance to learn Jamie had to promise his mentor he would no longer get into trouble. After a couple of years the apprenticeship turned into a job at Dang’s Tattoo (, 4226 El Cajon Blvd.) Jamie hopes the job turns into a career.

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July & August Calendar and Cultural Holidays July 1

Canada Day

July 4

Independence Day Mira Mesa Community Celebration, Parade & Fireworks

July 4

Filipino-American Friendship Day (Philippines)

July 5, 12, 19, 26 Mira Mesa Farmer’s Market July 9

Bon Festival / Feast of Lanterns (Japan)

July 14

Bastille Day

Aug 1-29 Ramadan Aug 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 Mira Mesa Farmer’s Market Aug 14

Pakistan’s Independence Day

Aug 15

Acadian Day

Aug 15

India’s Independence Day

Aug 15

Liberation Day (Korea, South Korea)

Aug 26

Women’s Equality Day

Photo credit: Wissinger Photography

Filipino-American Friendship Day Designated by President Diosdado Macapagal to commemorate the liberation of the country from Japanese occupation by joint Filipino and American forces at the end of World War II.

Bon Festival / Feast of Lanterns Japanese Buddhist custom to honor the departed (deceased) spirits and ancestors. This Buddhist custom evolved into a family reunion holiday during which people return to ancestral family places and visit their ancestors' graves. It has been celebrated in Japan for more than 500 years and traditionally includes a dance, known as Bon-Odori.

Bastille Day The French national holiday that commemorates the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789. The storming of the Bastille prison was seen as a symbol of the uprising of the modern nation, and of the reconciliation of all the French inside the constitutional monarchy, which began the French Revolution.

Acadian Day remembered mostly by those of us who are descendants of those driven out of Acadia during “Le Grand Dérangement” (the British drove all of the occupants of French-speaking Acadia onto ships and set them adrift in the Atlantic Ocean). "L'union fait la force" (Strength through Unity)

Women’s Equality Day Commemorates the 1920 passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote. This was the culmination of a massive, peaceful civil rights movement by women that had its formal beginnings in 1848 at the world’s first women’s rights convention, in Seneca Falls, New York.

Family and Individual Portraits Sports Action Photography Portfolios • Albums • Fine Art

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Christ The Cornerstone Academy To finish up the school year, 25 Fourth and Fifth graders from Christ the Cornerstone Academy as well as some of their parents left on a three day trip to Sacramento, Coloma and San Francisco. After two years of fundraising, it was a wonderful opportunity to see California History in action. The students got to tour the state capitol and see where our congress persons make our laws. They saw where gold was first discovered in California and visited Sutter’s mill before panning for gold on the American river. On the way to San Francisco they visited a fish hatchery where they got to see how baby salmon are raised and then released back into the Sacramento River. In San Francisco the students had hands on experiences at the Science Exploratorium and then traveled to Alcatraz Island where they took the audio tour of the Alcatraz prison.

Christ the Cornerstone has a summer program for students who have finished Kindergarten through having finished the Sixth grade. The mornings are made up of reading and math review as well as computer and music enrichment. Afternoons are a summer camp with two to three field trips per week. Watch for our float in the 4th of July Parade. Christ the Cornerstone Academy is currently accepting enrollments for fall of 2011/2012 school year. The school is known for its high academic standards as well as its small student to teacher ratio. In addition to their regular teachers, students will have music, computer, and PE classes. For more information on the school visit:

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“I can fix that!” – Steve Stutsman Multimedia, Networking Complete Custom built systems (858) 566-0066

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PETS Slithering companions looking for a lovable home. Some for adoption and some for sale. Call 619-933-1213 for more information.

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Businesses Serving the Mira Mesa Community Category Activity Activity Bank Chiropractor Day Care Fitness Fitness Food Food Food Food Insurance Liquor/Lottery MML MML Organization Organization Pet Sitting Photographer Plumbing Realtor Realtor School School Traffic Travel Tutoring Yoga Youth Sport



Vulcan/Open House for Scouts Curb Appeal Contest Pacific Marine Credit Union Dr. Anderson Christ the Cornerstone Academy Academy of Martial Arts Being-Fit Fitness Centers Robecks Extreme Pita Chibugan Ashoka Nationwide Insurance Plaza Wine Vote for Mira Mesa Living Street Fair Advertising Mira Mesa Town Council Harmonium Peggy's Animal House Pet Sitting Brengel Productions Lewis Plumbing Sandy Smith Marv Miles Mira Mesa High School Foundation Miramar College SANDAG Ask About Travel American Center for Learning Four Seasons Yoga Mira Mesa Youth Football & Cheer

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Businesses! Advertise and Show Your Love to the Community for As Little As $50 a month! Our Volunteers deliver Mira Mesa Living at the door steps in their neighborhood. We also have pick up locations throughout Mira Mesa community (Sorrento Valley, Mira Mesa and MCAS Miramar): Ashoka the Great, Cuisine of India 9474 Black Mountain Rd.

Callahan’s Pub & Brewery 8111 Mira Mesa Blvd.

Champ’s Pub & Deli 7040 Miramar Rd.

Christ the Corner Stone 9028 Westmore Rd.

Endodontics, Dr. Gary Car DDS 6235 Lusk Blvd.

Happy Nails of Mira Mesa 10760 Westview Parkway

In2It Nutrition 6755 Mira Mesa Blvd., Suite 124

MCAS Miramar Joint Reception Center, Library, Lincoln Housing Office and Family Practice Clinic.

Mira Mesa Chamber of Commerce Mira Mesa Farmer’s Market Mira Mesa High School Foundation Booth

Miramar College Library

Property Gallery

Mira Mesa Library

RC Realty

8405 New Salem Street

Mira Mesa Senior Center 8460 Mira Mesa Blvd.

Mira Mesa Town Council MJ’s Deli 6450 Luck Blvd.

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Postal Annex 10606 Camino Ruiz, Suite 8

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Mira Mesa Street Fair Program Deadline August 15th

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Sorrento Valley Dental Group 5915 Mira Mesa Blvd.

Starbucks 6765 Mira Mesa Blvd. Suite 149

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