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Mira Mesa News

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DECEMBER 2016

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COMMUNITY CHOICE ENERGY CREATES BUZZ

by Carol Warschauer

In California, state law allows local governments to set up their own not-for-profit electricity providers to give customers choice in who provides their electricity. Legislators called the concept ‘Community Choice Aggregation,’ but it’s popularly known as Community Choice Energy (CCE). The draw is that it enables local control over rates and more clean energy in the mix. Two key provisions in California’s legislation are that (1) the CCE becomes the default provider of electricity; and (2) customers can opt-out, either before the CCE is launched or after, and continue receiving their power from the local utility. The utility, SDG&E in our case, would continue to operate and maintain the grid and send out monthly electric bills, with the only difference being that there would be a new CCE line item covering the charge for your energy consumption. This, along with having a choice, is what makes CCE

different than a municipal utility. There are five CCEs in California. Cities in Marin, San Mateo, and Sonoma Counties banded to form CCEs, and the Cities of Lancaster and San Francisco run their own. Each CCE has a basic plan that they offer customers, and all five are procuring more clean energy, anywhere from 5% to 20% more than what the competing investor-owned utility has in the mix. Customers who want to be really green can purchase a 100% clean energy option at $5 to $25 additional per month. What about rooftop solar? CCEs have set up their own solar programs so that existing and future rooftop solar customers get higher credit for the excess energy they put into the grid. A CCE can use electricity customer dollars to invest in local clean energy projects that create jobs and save money for residents and businesses. You can find examples at www.mcecleanenergy.org/local-projects/

CCE rates are set in local public meetings with public input. They have consistently averaged 1-3% less than those of the investor-owned utilities while providing more clean energy. The City of San Diego is conducting a CCE technical study. It is scheduled to be completed by next summer. Then Mayor Faulconer will make a recommendation to the City Council on whether or not the city should launch a CCE provider. The cities of Del Mar, Solana Beach, Encinitas, Carlsbad, and Oceanside are also exploring CCE for North County The Sierra Club is a leading proponent of CCE in the San Diego region and invites people to go to www.sc.org/sdenergychoice if they would like to express support for it. If the City of San Diego forms a CCE, residents, businesses, and schools will have more clean energy and a choice rather than a monopoly. Carol Warschauer is a Sierra Club Volunteer

Quick Facts on Community Choice Energy (CCE) • Locally controlled not-for-profit electricity provider • Buys and generates power for its customers and sets the rates • SDG&E continues to operate the grid and do monthly billing • Default provider of electricity • Opt-out feature for customers that prefer to stay with SDG&E • Higher clean energy content • Opportunity to create better rooftop solar program • Rate competition for SDG&E


2 • The Mira Mesa News • December 2016

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Rock Boulder Stone

FLAGSTONE PATIOS

STEPS AND WALKS

RETAINING WALLS

Thad Murwin 619-252-0522

From the Publisher by Chris O’Connell

Happy Holidays folks, I hope you enjoy this edition. Momentum is building with this little newspaper in just a couple short months of existence. Emails and phone calls are coming in more frequently requesting information to advertise as well as content ideas so needless to say the future looks great and we are just beginning ... remember this is YOUR community newspaper. Ideas and input are wanted. Last month we were out doing drops at 0 dark thirty and heard the Mira Mesa High School Band rehearsing and then just prior to sending this to print I received an email about the MMHS Band. There will be three upcoming performances in December; the Winter Band concert is December 8, the Winter Orchestra concert on Dec. 9. On Dec. 15 the Wind Ensemble/Symphony Orchestra concert. For more information, visit: www.MiraMesaBands.org I know I will be at one of the performances

bundled up with some hot cocoa. If you have ideas for content or if you are a business owner looking to promote your company, please do not hesitate to call or email directly. Also, if you know of any new drop spots, let me know. We are constantly finding new spots to drop the papers, however if you have any specific locations whether it be in a particular store or strip mall or community rooms in a condo complex please let me know and we will coordinate. (858) 752-9779 call or text and/or chris@clairemonttimes.com On behalf of my wife Renee and all who help to make this newspaper possible, we would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. Cheers.

Chris O’Connell, Publisher

Local References • Fully Insured www.RockBoulderStone.com

If you are looking for the perfect gift this holiday season, send along a copy of Christmas in San Diego by Squaremont columnist Bill Swank. “Bill Swank, the author, knows a few things about holiday cheer. Since 2002, he has been Santa Claus at the annual December Nights celebration in Balboa Park.” -San Diego Union-Tribune “If you’re looking for a true treasure to share with someone on your holiday gift list, a copy of Bill

Swank’s Christmas in San Diego is ideal.” -East County Magazine “If you love both Christmas and San Diego, I know you’ll treasure this book. It’s loaded with history, local traditions and hundreds of fun, very unique photos. Read Christmas in San Diego, and you will be able to peer into Santa’s heart.” -coolsandiegosights.com For information on how you can purchase an autographed copy, email Bill@ClairemontTimes.com

Religious Directory Church Name Church Website Physical Address Phone Worship Times For information on advertising your place of worship in the Religious Directory, please call or email Chris O’Connell, Publisher

(858) 752-9779 chris@MiraMesaNews.com Information includes examples from the current Clairemont Times Religious Directory.


The Mira Mesa News • December 2016 • 3

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Councilmember to Host Holiday Breakfast Benefitting Toys for Tots 2nd Annual Toys for Tots event expected to yield 350 toys for military families On Saturday, December 17, 2016, Councilmember Chris Cate will trade in his suit and tie for gloves and an apron to serve flapjacks at his 2nd Annual Pancake Breakfast. All proceeds from Chris Cate, District 6 the pancake breakfast will benefit the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. From 8:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m., the Mira Mesa Senior Center will welcome children, families, senior citizens, and

Santa for a free pancake breakfast. In return, each guest is encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy. Last year, more than 300 toys were collected for Toys for Tots. Founded in the 1980’s, Toys for Tots delivers, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive, and patriotic citizens. To date, the Marine Toys for Tots Program has distributed over 512 million toys to over 237 million less fortunate children. www.toysfortots.org “I have seen first-hand the generosity of the residents in District 6. Making a day brighter for a child during the holiday season is a gift that keeps on giving,” stated Councilmember Chris Cate. Mira Mesa Senior Center, 8460 Mira Mesa Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92126

Miramar College Named to Victory Media’s 2017 Military Friendly Schools List San Diego Miramar College has been designated a 2017 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, publisher of G.I. Jobs®, STEM Jobs, and Military Spouse. First published in 2009, Military Friendly® Schools is the most comprehensive, powerful resource for veterans today. Each year, the list of Military Friendly® Schools is provided to service members and their families, helping them select the best college, university, or trade school to receive the education and training needed to pursue a civilian career. Institutions earning the Military Friendly® School designation were evaluated using both public data sources and responses from Victory Media’s proprietary survey. More than 1,600 schools participated in the 2017 survey; 1,160 were awarded with the designation. Ratings methodology, criteria, and weightings were determined by Victory Media with input from the Military Friendly® Advisory Council of independent leaders in the higher education and military recruitment community. Final ratings were determined by combining the institution’s survey scores with the assessment of the institution’s ability to meet thresholds for Student Retention, Graduation, Job Placement, Loan Repayment, Persistence (Degree Advancement or Transfer) and Loan Default rates for all students and, specifically, for student veterans. “We are very proud of this annual distinction,” said Dr. Patricia Hsieh, president of San Diego Miramar College.“With San Diego being a

military town and our close proximity to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, we understand and value the important role we play in the educational journey of many service members and their families.” According to Daniel Nichols, a Navy Reserve veteran and Chief Product Officer at Victory Media,“Our ability to apply a clear, consistent standard to the majority of colleges gives veterans a comprehensive view of which schools are striving to provide the best opportunities and conditions for our nation’s student veterans. Military Friendly® helps military families make the best use of the Post-9/11 GI Bill and other federal benefits while allowing us to further our goal of assisting them in finding success in their chosen career fields.” San Diego Miramar College received this honor by offering the following services to Veterans, active duty military and their dependents: Classes offered on base at MCAS Miramar; a Veterans Affairs office that staffs a fulltime Veterans Affairs Specialist; the college received a sizable grant from San Diego Gas & Electric to develop the “Vets-2 Jets” program. This successful program offers varied grants to cover books, tuition, and living expenses; the transfer center assists military students by providing a pathway for transfer to 4-year institutions; the college’s student health services assists with screening for depression, anxiety, and PTSD; awarding of credit for military training and experience according to ACE

Mira Mesa Senior Center Mira Mesa Senior Center Christmas Party Come celebrate the holidays with us at the Mira Mesa Senior Center! Share good tidings and have fun with us at our festive Christmas Dinner & Party! We will have dinner with all the trimmings, entertainment, and more! Tickets are $10 and you must buy your ticket by Monday, December 5th to attend! Bring an unopened toy to donate to our Toys for Tots toy drive! (Not required for entry) When: Sunday, December 11th, 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm Cost: $10 per person Contact: Mitz Lee or Sandy Smith at 858.860.5355 Recurring Events Mondays: 10-1pm Life Painting Classes Mondays: 1-5pm Observational Painting Students will paint from life and still life. Tuesdays: 12-1pm Senior Serving Lunch Wednesdays: 8:30-10:30am Tai Chi Thursdays: 8:15-11:30am Watercolor Painting Class Fridays: 9-11am BINGO Mira Mesa Senior Center 8460 Mira Mesa Blvd San Diego, CA 92196 – 1943 (858) 860-5355 miramesacenter@miramesacenter.org www.facebook.com/miramesaseniorcenter

Short Term Rentals: Coming to YOUR Neighborhood At the December meeting of the Mira Mesa Town Council, John Thickstun of “Save San Diego Neighborhoods” will discuss the current efforts to regulate short-term rentals in residential neighborhoods. We’re all familiar with short-term rental services such as AirBNB, but why should Mira Mesa residents be concerned? Aren’t all those short-term rentals in tourist neighborhoods near the beach? A recent search of AirBNB, looking for a “room for rent” for the week of Christmas (Dec 19-25) turned up more than two dozen rooms available for rent in the 92126-zip code. And those are just the ones that are available – there is no real way of knowing how many homes and condos in Mira Mesa might be renting a room or the entire house on AirBNB and similar services. The legality of short-term vacation rentals in San Diego are not clear, as the zoning rules for residential areas

were written before the advent of the short-term vacation rental market. Other concern regarding short-term vacation rentals in residential neighborhoods include noise, overflowing trash cans, strangers coming and going from the neighborhood, drunken parties late at night during the week as well as weekends and numerous other nuisances. STVR have also been blamed for increasing home and rental costs, as the supply of available homes and apartments is reduced as homes are converted to short-term rental units. At the December 5 Mira Mesa Town Council meeting, John Thickstun of Save San Diego Neighborhoods will discuss these and other concerns regarding short-term vacation rentals, and what regulations are being considered by the San Diego City Council.

recommendation guidelines. In 2015-2016, San Diego Miramar College served the needs of 2,198 students who declared as active duty military or veteran. This number represented 10% of the student population for the academic year. Miramar College will be showcased along with other 2017 Military Friendly® Schools in the annual Guide to Military Friendly® Schools, special

education issues of G .I. Jobs® and Military Spouse Magazine, and on militaryfriendly.com For more information about San Diego Miramar College’s commitment to attracting and supporting military students, visit our Veterans site http://www.sdmiramar.edu/students/v eterans or our active duty military page http://www.sdmiramar.edu/students/m ilitary.


4 • The Mira Mesa News • December 2016

A Grand Plan, A Grand Dame, A Grand Community by Al Radick

Quite possibly many folks in our community do not realize the full extent of the aging Grand Dame of Mira Mesa, our very own Mira Mesa Community Park. It occupies approximately 17 acres right in the heart of “downtown” Mira Mesa and at the present time it is in the process of adding another 11 acres or so which will give it a grand total of about 28 acres. When the addition is completed the campus will be home to the Gil Johnson Recreation Center, Verne Goodwin Senior Center, Outdoor Basketball Courts, Gazebo, Two Children’s Playgrounds, Restroom/Concession Stand Building, Shaded Central Plaza, Mira Mesa Volunteer of the Year monument, Veterans Memorial, many Multi Sport Playing Fields and plenty of room to run and play, all on one campus! Appended to the campus is the San Diego Fire Department Station 38, the Mira Mesa Public Library and the Epicentre, which currently only houses the Community Office of the SDPD and the RSVP.

Now that’s what I’d call one hell’uva complex and it’s directly across the street from the award winning Mira Mesa High School. They’re literally so good that they blew their own horn ... in the 2016 Rose Bowl Parade! Next up for the Old Lady is the addition of some new facilities and the renovation/replacement of some existing facilities. Decisions, decisions... High on the list of new facilities is a new larger Recreation Center and an Aquatic Complex. These are needed because Gil’s old Center is waaaay to small and Ned’s Complex is really overloaded. Also under consideration is a Wheels Friendly Plaza for all the folks who prefer some form of wheels to walking or running. How about two seniors doing the electric scooter shuffle on their way home from a shopping trip? YouTube is waiting with baited breath. While we’re at it, we’ll tear down the Basketball Courts, Gazebo and the original Children’s Playground, replace them with brand new state-of-the-art facilities and incorporate plenty of shaded areas for protection from the

www.miramesanews.com suns damaging rays. And, Oh yeah, we could also repurpose and renovate Gil’s old Recreation Center ... perhaps primarily as a Community Theatre and Performance Center or maybe just demo it? In addition to theatrical performances it would create an ideal environment for such things as community meetings, lectures and the dance classes that San Diego Park & Rec presently offers the community. When completed, we could have the Gil Johnson Community Center. This is a great opportunity for the Community of Mira Mesa and the City of San Diego to truly turn our Mira Mesa Community Park into one of the Crown Jewels of the Northern portion of the City of San Diego. Alas, all of this will require many millions of dollars and perhaps as much as 7-10 years to complete. But hopefully, one of the new facilities will come on line every year or so, once the big ball starts rolling. While all this is going on, in parallel, the folks with our Mira Mesa

Community Foundation are putting together a plan to present to the city to take over the operation of the now vacant Epicentre and operate it as a teen and a community center. Again in parallel, another group of Mira Masons is pursuing having a bridge built over Mira Mesa Blvd. to safely connect MMHS and their parking lot to our park. It was suggested by some old guy that they should hire some of the dudes who dig tunnels under the border rather than build a bridge, might save a lot of money ... I kid, of course. And then, of course, there’s a myriad of possibilities of what facilities might/might not be built in the park, it just goes on and on and on ... stay tuned, there will be public meetings on this thorny subject next year, probably more than one, so keep smiling Mira Mesa, good things are happening! Just be sure to remember that “politics” and “bureaucracy” are NOT synonymous with “speed” and “expedite”!!


The Mira Mesa News • December 2016 • 5

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Volunteer Drivers Urgently Needed – An Opportunity to Serve Local Veterans The Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Transportation Network is in critical need of volunteer drivers. DAV provides free door-to-door transportation to San Diego County veterans with VA medical appointments but the service is struggling to keep up with requests. DAV donates all the vehicles, so the service is only limited by the number of available drivers.“We are turning away veterans just because we don’t have enough drivers,” said David Strobehn, a DAV Transportation Coordinator. Anyone interested in becoming a driver is encouraged to call DAV. It usually surprises people when they learn that the drivers are not all veterans. Although the current roster includes retired Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel Jean White, a Chosin Reservoir Battle survivor; along with White, you will find a stay-at-home Mom, a private pilot, a small business owner, an attorney, and a man who is a self-described “butler for two cats.” Who’s riding shotgun? When you see a DAV van arrive at the VA, you will often find a WWII veteran beside an Iraq War vet. Bill Clark, an Air Force veteran, will tell you it is a privilege to be a DAV driver.“I had a great day at the DAV. One of my passengers was Marshall (“Big Hands”) Barnes. He was a wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys when I lived there 25 years ago and a Huey Door-Gunner in Vietnam the same time I was there. As you can probably imagine, he’s a great man and he has some great stories. I had another passenger who was a WWII B-17 pilot who was shot down and captured. What an honor to help him.” Kim Vincent, a Navy Veteran, drives 250 miles round-trip from El Centro to

the La Jolla VA once a week. For Vincent, it is a personal mission. She refers to the men and women she transports as “My Veterans” with a maternal tone. She knows their stories and their families. Ed Berger, the 2015 San Diego County Veteran of the Year, has been a DAV driver for nine years. He explains, “Many veterans do not have reliable transportation or family members to take them to their medical appointments, and some cannot use public transportation due to physical or financial limitations.” Making a difference Keela Dudley relies on the service for her grandfather who is a World War II veteran.“The DAV has been a Godsend for us. He is 90 years old and I can’t tell you how much this has helped.The drivers are great.They pick us up and drop us at the front door.” Access to care continues to be a top priority and challenge for the Dept. of Veterans Affairs. Although it is a multi-layered concern, transportation was recently identified as one of the top six causes of missed medical appointments.This successful grassroots operation helps thousands of local veterans every year, one veteran at a time. Any ambulatory veteran with a VA appointment can call for a ride.The DAV’s motto is “Fulfilling our promises to the men and women who served.”To be a volunteer driver, you must have a valid driver’s license and pass a VA provided physical and background check. Anyone who would like to like to volunteer should contact the San Diego DAV Transportation office at 858-552-7470 and for additional information visit: www.davcal.org

COMMUNITY MEETINGS - OPEN TO THE PUBLIC Mira Mesa Recreation Council 2nd Tuesday of the Month 12/13/16 • 7pm Lopez Ridge Neighborhood Park Recreation Center 7245 Calle Cristobal, San Diego, CA 92126 Topic: TBD Mira Mesa Town Council 1st Monday of the Month 12/5/16 • 7pm Mira Mesa Public Library 8405 New Salem St., San Diego 92126 Topic: TBD Mira Mesa Planning Group 3rd Monday of the Month NO MEETING IN DECEMBER Mira Mesa Public Library 8405 New Salem St., San Diego 92126

San Diego Surf Basketball to Ring in New Season San Diego Surf Basketball is bringing professional basketball to San Diego, and providing fun, fast-paced action for all ages of our community. San Diego Surf Basketball is looking to provide a place where families, children, and people of all-ages alike can see a professional sporting event, and do so without breaking the bank. Their next home game of the season is on December 4th, 2016, at 7pm. These games include crowd entertainment with a half-time show, as well as a DJ providing a backdrop to the fast-paced, high-flying action taking place on the court. San Diego Surf Basketball is an ABA team, America’s largest pro league, with over 100 teams. It was the birthplace of many commonplace NBA fixtures as we know it today, such as the 3-point shot, the shot clock, and the slam dunk competition. Dr. J, Iceman Gervin, and Moses Malone were just a few of the names that starred in both leagues, beginning with the ABA, and translating over to the NBA in light of the ABA/NBA merger in 1976. The ABA was reborn playing out of college gyms, on a level near the NBA Developmental League. There have been about five or six minor league teams in San Diego since 2000, none lasting more than two years except for San Diego Surf, created in 2009 by Ross Kurland. San Diego Surf Basketball is taking part in not only continuing the legacy of the league, but also determined to make a positive impact on the community, and play our part in serving a better San Diego. The home opener will just be the beginning of a great season for San

Diego Surf Basketball, continuing through the beginning of March, thanks to partnerships with Spalding Sporting Goods and G.T.T. Muscular Rejuvenation Therapy. Owner Ross Kurland, self-proclaimed to have more years playing on the court than anyone in the country, still plays pickup basketball six days a week, is in three leagues at night, and running San Diego Surf Basketball, accomplishing this with having had over 30 operations and currently dealing with leukemia. Associate head coach, Andy Graham, currently coaches with two kinds of cancer and operates another business as well. All home games for San Diego Surf Basketball will take place at the Hourglass Arena at Miramar College (10440 Black Mountain Rd, San Diego, CA 92126). Thanks to San Diego Surf Basketball, all bases of professional sports are now covered in “America’s Finest City.” The San Diego Surf Basketball schedule takes them all over to take on different teams around California, Arizona, and even Nevada, providing them with a distinguished schedule. The Surf have played 9 foreign teams, in 3 foreign countries including 17 cities in China. Former players have signed contracts to play in over 25 countries. Two notable players, guard Richie Williams from SDSU and guard Devon Guinty from USD both played with the Surf prior to going overseas to play, Williams in Germany and Guinty in England. Currently, Tyrone Shelley, who played with Kawhi Leonard in their first year at SDSU and Jerry Dupree, who traveled with Dennis Rodman’s traveling team to North Korea, both play for the Surf. For more information visit: www.surfbasketball.com

Trey Lomax Making an Impact at SDSU by Rob Stone

Former Mira Mesa High Marauder and current Aztecs junior safety Trey Lomax contributed four tackles (one solo, three assisted) for SDSU in the winning effort earlier this year against the Nevada Wolfpack. Throughout the season, Lomax has been making plays, four tackles against California, two solo tackles and an interception versus Northern Illinois, three tackles against South Alabama,

one assisted tackle versus UNLV, three tackles against Fresno State, one solo tackle for a loss of three yards versus San Jose State, three tackles against Utah State, and a solo tackle with a couple passes broken up versus Hawaii. Rob Stone is a lifelong resident of the San Diego area and is also a certified talent scout through Sports Management Worldwide. Contact: Sportsguyrob@att.net or (858) 262-3966


6 • The Mira Mesa News • December 2016

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Tune into your heart, body and mind. We welcome All levels to our Clairemont neighborhood studio! Weekly classes & private yoga sessions. Classes include: vinyasa/hatha, yin (restorative), healthy back, & yoga wall. Try our NEW Healthy Back Yoga Walls to reverse the aging process and bring health back into the body and mind!

Healthy Back, Yoga Walls classes are held on Thurs, 5-6 pm & Sat., 10:15-11:15 am. Visit our website for full class schedule & to meet our teachers. www.InRhythmsYoga.com

Email christi@inrhythmsyoga.com for more information or call (619) 952-4957

San Diego Police Departments RSVP by Pat Clark, RSVP Board Member

Merry Christmas from RSVP---your neighborhood Retired Senior Volunteer Patrol. We are “serving” our community and we need more volunteers to continue our work. The Mira Mesa/Scripps Ranch RSVP has been an active supporter of our communities for over 20 years!!! Many men and women have participated in RSVP raising awareness and visibility and promoting safety and caring. “Giving”---- can you give back to your community? We think you can! We drive by all the schools, banks, shopping centers, and community parks. We also check on our senior citizens living alone (YANA) You Are Not Alone and vacation home checks. We are people helping people. How can you join? You must have

a valid California driver’s license, be 50 years or older, retired or semiretired, go through a background check, spend one week at an academy learning the ins and outs of patrolling, and finally donating 3 ½ days a month. It’s not a large commitment, but a

worthwhile one. Please contact Jim Shulte, RSVP administrator, at 858-538-8120 to join this important community organization. You can also ride along one day and see if this is something that might interest you. Drop by the storefront at 8450-A Mira Mesa Blvd. (across from Mira Mesa High School). Be a volunteer and help Mira Mesa!


The Mira Mesa News • December 2016 • 7

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Mira Mesa Recreation Council Wants to Name Parks after Community Volunteers by Fidencio Pampo

A debate is brewing in Mira Mesa, and it isn’t over the Stone Creek mega-development. Earlier this year, the Mira Mesa Recreation Council proposed naming three community parks after individuals for their considerable volunteer efforts in Mira Mesa. While the recreation council sees this as recognizing four community members for the many years of community volunteering and advocacy, it has experienced a backlash because of a perceived lack of public notice and outreach in the naming process. The Parks All of the parks at the center of this debate have been on the city’s master development plan for years, and the recreation council is finally in a position to solicit public input. The Canyon Hills Open Space is nestled in between Westview Parkway, Mercy Road, and Interstate 15, and overlooks Mira Mesa. The green space in between Wangenheim Middle and Walker Elementary Schools will be combined and repurposed into one large park. The Mira Mesa Recreation Council will host a workshop in January to discuss the changes envisioned for the Wangenheim/Walker park site. And the open space and Maddox Park adjacent to the new Jonas Salk Elementary School will be combined as well to become a large park. What’s the issue? The proposal to name the parks isn’t a new topic within Mira Mesa’s civic groups [Planning Group, Town Council, or Recreation Council]. But the issue appeared to catch fire back in May when Mitz Lee used Nextdoor.com to publicize the MMRC’s intent to name the parks after Bruce G. Brown, Pam and Jeff Stevens and Julius Hitchens. Lee, a former San Diego Unified School District Trustee, was requesting the Recreation Council to hold more discussions about the park namings at other civic gatherings like the Town Council or Planning Group, or use other means like social media to publicize the park names. The Nextdoor post included concerns that the council was recognizing living individuals. It also raised the perception of a conflict of interest because Brown currently serves on the recreation council. She cited Park and Recreation Board Policy #1001 that in naming parks, “As a general policy, parks and recreation facilities should be named to identify their

locations. Especially for parks, the name of the community area, the names of nearby geographic features, the names of adjacent schools and street names should be given first consideration.” Al Radick posted an announcement of the park names on the recreation council’s website dated April 23rd, 2016. After Lee’s requests, the recreation council added the park naming item to its meeting agenda and invited the public to attend the council meetings through notices on Nextdoor.com and its own website. At the November 15th MMRC meeting, a community member voiced her concern that parks shouldn’t be named for living individuals. Another individual suggested that the parks be named relevant to their geographic location. If the park is adjacent to Flanders Drive, then it should be known as Flanders Park. The main argument, though, was a need to get the community involved in the discussion on naming parks. Is There Any Interest? Communicating to Mira Mesa’s 75,000 residents seems to be an ongoing challenge for the community’s civic associations. The Mira Mesa Town Council, Recreation Council, and Planning Group have informative websites and are interconnected so that site visitors can easily obtain information about Mira Mesa events. Members of each civic group also enthusiastically invite residents to attend their monthly meetings to learn more about the community as well as affect change in emergent issues. Still, the civic groups struggle with attracting participation from Mira Mesa’s ethnic groups and younger residents. The audience at any of the civic associations is nearly void of Filipinos, Mexicans, Vietnamese, and Indians - ethnic groups that largely represent the community. It is arguable that a massive outreach program would even be effective - ethnic groups just aren’t interested in civic affairs. One Vietnamese businessman said that he doesn’t care. As long as his property tax doesn’t change, he isn’t interested in whose name shows up at a park or what changes at a park. For the Indian populace, the indifference may be rooted in long-term goals. An Indian software developer reasoned that most Indians see Mira Mesa as a temporary residence. Their work visas are temporary, and they don’t get involved because they don’t plan to stay in the community. The Filipino community seems to

be an enigma in this situation. Even though Filipinos have been well rooted in Mira Mesa for nearly forty years, participation in the town council, planning, and recreation has been light. Conversely, they have been active in Mira Mesa’s Senior Citizen Center over the years. Who is Bruce Brown, the Stevenses, and Julius Hitchens? Brown, Pam and Jeff Stevens, and Julius Hitchens have all lived in Mira Mesa for decades and have served the Mira Mesa Community in different capacities. After serving in the US Navy, Bruce Brown was a human resources professional at a local engineering firm. As a Mira Mesa resident, he coached soccer and baseball in Mira Mesa before taking active roles in the Mira Mesa Town Council and Harmonium Inc., a social services agency deeply connected to Mira Mesa’s early years. Arguably, Brown has been involved in some manner to improve youth activities in Mira Mesa in the past 25 years. It was Brown’s idea to convert the old Mira Mesa library into the Epicentre, a place that youth could call their own. Brown would also go on to help in the planning of the Lopez Ridge park. Pam and Jeff Stevens have also been long-time residents of Mira Mesa. In the 1980s, Pam contributed articles in the Mira Mesa Sentinel. She even wrote a book of Mira Mesa’s history for the Images of America series. Pam and Jeff are familiar fixtures at the Mira Mesa Town Council having actively participated in the civic group ever since 1980. One of the most significant contributions to the community was Jeff’s work to complete the construction of Jonas Salk Elementary School off Parkdale Avenue. The school was to have been built in the late 80s, but an environmental controversy on the school site halted the construction indefinitely. Jeff Stevens continued to pursue the construction of the school even after many of the residents waiting for the school had grown up and moved on. Jonas Salk Elementary finally opened its doors to students in

September 2015. Julius Hitchens’ family business, Top Gun Realty, has been a fixture in Mira Mesa for years. Hitchens is likewise a fixture to the scores of children that have played in AYSO soccer, Mira Mesa’s recreation soccer league for youth. He also oversees the girl’s soccer program at Mira Mesa High School. Hitchens organizes the annual Top Gun Tournament, Mira Mesa’s largest sporting event. Hitchens’ contribution to Mira Mesa spans close to 19 years and he was named Volunteer of the Year in 2014 by the Mira Mesa Town Council. Recognizing Mira Mesa’s Volunteers For the sake of argument, it makes sense to maintain the existing names of the parks to eliminate possible costs in changing signs and maps. But park and facility names so often carry symbolism and pride - think of Challenger Middle School and Jonas Salk Elementary School. So why not recognize more personal community advocates and trailblazers like Brown, Hitchens, and the Stevenses given their years of work and support to the community? South San Diego recently did this to recognize San Diego Police Department Asst Chief Cesar Solis. Solis is still living and resides near the park named after him. What Comes Next? Mitz Lee may not have issue with recognizing community volunteers, but it is clear that she wants the park naming to be a more public discussion. If the general Mira Mesa population doesn’t want or can’t get involved, then the work to improve Mira Mesa inevitably falls to those who consistently participate in its civic groups. The recreation council will try again to reach out to the community to participate and provide feedback on what the parks should be named. But there is a chance that a genuine effort will still not generate significant impact. Consider the Mira Mesa Fireworks funding issue and Epicentre closure after much public outreach. For now, Mitz Lee has volunteered to drum up more awareness and participation from the community. The January 10th Recreation Council Workshop at Wangenheim Middle School will hopefully be a litmus test of what the community wishes for a park name.


8 • The Mira Mesa News • December 2016 LoloLovesFilms

This Month:

Moana by Lolo & Big J

The Mira Mesa News PO Box 17671 San Diego, CA 92177 (858) 752-9779 info@miramesanews.com Founding Publisher: Chris O’Connell Graphic Designer: Elaine Hall Contributors: Gary Hyde Susan Lewitt Josh & Lauren Rains Brian Riehm Robert Ross Rob Stone Bari Vaz The Mira Mesa News is a publication published every month and circulated throughout the neighborhoods of Mira Mesa, Miramar, Sorrento Valley, Sorrento Mesa. Story ideas, advertising and editorial questions/comments can be sent to: Mira Mesa News PO Box 17671 San Diego, CA 92177 or chris@miramesanews.com Copyright 2016 Mira Mesa News. Reuse of material from this edition or past editions is strictly prohibited without permission from the publisher. The opinions in this publication do not necessarily reflect those of the Mira Mesa News owner, but rather of each individual author/contributor. The Mira Mesa News is proud to partner and contribute to:

Moana (Auli’i Cravalho), daughter of the chieftain of their island, sets out on an oceanic adventure to find the demigod Maui (Dwayne Johnson) in order to have him return the heart of the goddess Te Fiti, which he stole centuries earlier. “Moana” is the latest film from Disney Animation Studios. It is the second film from the studio this year, the first being the box office and critical juggernaut “Zootopia.” Newcomer Auli’i Cravalho voices the titular Moana, who is the daughter of her tribe’s chieftain. She has been drawn to the ocean ever since she was a very little girl, but her father has laws about not going beyond the reef that surrounds their island. Recently, however, the island has begun dying and the fishing grounds have dried up. The ocean has chosen Moana for a mission to save her people. That mission is to find the demigod named Maui, voiced by Dwayne Johnson, so he can return the heart of the goddess named Te Fiti, which comes in the form of a green stone, that he stole centuries early. If she succeeds, all of the dying life can be restored, not just on her island, but for all of Polynesia. It is safe to say that Disney is having a fantastic 2016, even if no one else is. Now, they can add “Moana” to their list of stellar achievements. This is a beautifully animated family adventure film bolstered by brilliant voice over work, ever-evolving, lush, nearly photo-realistic animation, and well developed characters. Auli’i Cravalho does a fantastic job as Moana, who has a stellar vocal presence for such a young woman. Moana is a strong female protagonist, and though she has been labeled the latest in the Disney princess line, she is not your typical princess. This is one of the few Disney princess movies where the princess doesn’t have a love interest. She is the hero of the story and is never a damsel in distress. Of course, this does not mean she can do everything by herself and she finds the help she needs in Maui, voiced by Dwayne Johnson, who eventually teaches her how to properly sail. Is there a more charismatic actor working right now than Dwayne Johnson? Get used to seeing him everywhere, because he is here to stay. Johnson plays his typical self, even in animated form, and does a flawless job helping bring the Polynesian folk hero Maui to life. His

www.miramesanews.com charm pours out of him, even when he’s not physically on screen. He even gets a chance to showcase his vocal chops, and who knew the dude could sing in addition to all of the other fabulous things he can do?! Speaking of music, there are some really masterful, fitting songs written in part by “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, as well as Opetaia Foa’i and Mark Mancina. Finally, actor Jemaine Clement also gets a chance to sing a very David Bowie-esque tune as one of the antagonists of the movie, which is one of the best on the soundtrack. “Moana” gives many of the other Disney princesses a run for their money in a film filled with genuine heart, a fantastic message for kids and adults alike, a ton of glorious humor, a pivotal story, and an exciting, fun, and emotional adventure. It’s everything

we look for in an animated feature wrapped up with some outstanding music and voice over work. This is the type of movie that can be truly enjoyed whether you are young child or just young at heart. Please take not only your girls, but your boys to see this magnificent movie! Our rating: 4.5/5. “Moana” is directed by Ron Clements, John Musker, Chris Williams, & Don Hall. It is rated PG for some perilous situations and themes. LoloLovesFilms is comprised of Lauren and Josh Rains, lifelong San Diegans and current residents of Clairemont. As avid cinephiles, they began their quest to see and review as many movies as possible in 2013, and can often be found at any one of San Diego’s fine cinemas watching newly released films each week. Visit our blog: www.lololovesfilms.com follow us on Social Media: Facebook, Instagram & Twitter @lololovesfilms Email:lololovesfilms@gmail.com

POTHOLES IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD? Report the Street & Cross Street to City of San Diego Streets & Potholes Division

619 527 7500


The Mira Mesa News • December 2016 • 9

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DECEMBER LIBRARY EVENTS MIRA MESA BRANCH 8405 NEW SALEM ST SAN DIEGO, CA 92126 (858) 538-8165 SPECIAL EVENTS Chess Tournament Saturday, December 3, 2:30- 5:30pm Join us for our 2nd Chess Tournament – winners will receive a special trophy. For all ages. No registration required. First Annual Christmas Ornament Making Party! Tuesday, December 6, 5:30-7pm Join us in making 6 different hand-crafted Christmas ornaments. Open to all ages and refreshments will be served. No registration required. All materials provided. Gingerbread Houses Friday, December 9, 4-5pm Create your home gingerbread house. For all ages, one house per family. Please bring 1 large bag of candy to share. Registration required, space is limited – registration begins November 1. Hour of Minecraft Coding Saturday, December 10, 3-4pm For students grades 4-10. Must be able to bring own laptop with keyboard. Space is limited -Leah Panos, Harpist Saturday, December 17, 2-3pm Come enjoy music of season as played by Harpist Leah Panos. Leah has performed throughout Southern California and appeared as a featured guest performer on a televised KPBS Christmas special and with the U.S. Marine Band. Literature Comes to Life: Littlest Fir Tree Tuesday, December 20, 6pm Interactive theater holiday program. Family friendly event, for all ages. No registration required. WEEKLY PROGRAMS Duplo and Lego Clubs Saturdays, 11-Noon Open for free play with Legos and Duplo Blocks. Get creative and have some Lego fun! All ages are welcome! Children 3 and under must use Duplo blocks. (Duplo and Lego donations accepted. See Youth Services Librarian.) Mondays, Kids’ Arts & Crafts 4-5pm Arts and crafts for children 5 and

up. Materials provided. Tuesdays Chair Yoga 2-2:45pm Enjoy the health benefits of this gentlest form of Yoga. No mats needed; just wear comfortable clothing you can stretch in. Tuesdays Chess Club 4-5pm Learn how to play chess. Develop new strategies and improve your game. For children and teens. Materials provided. Appropriate for children & teens. Wednesdays “Modern” Line Dancing 4:30-5:30pm Learn modern line dancing to current songs and Latin music. Appropriate for adults and teens. Homework Help Wednesday, December 7 & 14, 6-7:30pm Free homework tutoring for students grades K-12. Tutors will assist with all subjects. No registration required. Thursdays Reading Buddies 3-5pm A reading enrichment for students entering Grades 1-5. An adult or high school volunteer will tutor the student on the following: Letter identification, Pronunciation/understanding of individual words, Practice reading aloud, Identifying main themes, characters, and Reading comprehension. Registration required. Reserve a time slot of 25 minutes by phone (858) 538-8165 or in person at the Reference Desk at the Mira Mesa Branch Library Fridays Bumblebee Toddler Time 10:30-11am For Toddlers 18 – 36 months and accompanying adults. Playful songs, stories, fingerplays, dance and yoga too! Great for developing toddler oral, listening, motor, and social skills. Limited to 20 children. Registration for each session begins at 12:00 the Friday prior. Register in person or by phone (858) 538-8165. Saturdays Zumba Gold with Azi 11:30-12:15 Come and get a great low-impact workout and have fun! Saturdays Match Olympiad Squad 1-2pm For students grades 6-8. Do you enjoy math and are eager for a new challenge? Learn new math concepts and strategies known for math competitions. Prepare for math Olympiads and contests. Register in person at the library or by phone (858) 538-8165. ON-GOING PROGRAMS & EVENTS *NEW* San Diego Seed Library and California Rare Fruit Growers Monthly Gardening Workshop & Seed Library December 10, 2:30-5pm

Growing strawberry and lemon guava from seed. Seed Library—Cool season vegetable seeds. The California Rare Fruit Growers and San Diego Seed Library, in partnership with the Mira Mesa Branch Library, will hold monthly workshops. Do you have an easily propagated fruit tree that you would like to share cuttings from? Bring them to the workshop and trade with other fruit enthusiasts. There will also be seeds and cuttings available for “check out” to be planted in your own garden. After you have grown and harvested your vegetables and fruit, you then “return” them by bringing seeds or cuttings to be shared with others. Children’s Origami Art December 7 & 21, 3:30pm Create origami art. No registration required. Materials provided. Love on a Leash: Paws to Read December 8 & 22, 3-4pm A volunteer pet-provided therapy group brings specially trained dogs into the Mira Mesa Library. Children have an opportunity to meet the dogs and read their favorite stories to them. This national reading program is shown to improve reading skills of children who might otherwise be intimidated to read in front of adults. To learn more about San Diego Love On a Leash: Paws to Read Program, visit their website at www.SanDiegoLOAL.com. Anime/Manga Drawing Club December 14, 4-5pm Children and teens develop and nurture their creative talents in Anime/Manga Art. No registration required. Materials provided. Quilling with Mona December 16, 4-5:30pm Learn how to do this beautiful paper-craft technique. Materials provided. Adults only (for their safety, no children allowed in the room). Limited to 20 maximum. First come, first served. No advance registration required. Mira Mesa Town Council Meeting December 5, 7pm The Mira Mesa Town Council (MMTC) is a volunteer organization that focuses on the improvement of the Mira Mesa Community. The Mira Mesa Town Council holds monthly meetings on the first Monday unless scheduled otherwise.

SCRIPPS MIRAMAR RANCH 10301 SCRIPPS LAKE DR SAN DIEGO, CA 92131 (858) 538-8158 Special 10th Anniversary of One Book One San Diego Event! Join us

Saturday December 3rd from 1pm to 3pm with acclaimed children’s author William Joyce. Churros and hot chocolate served; copies of the book for sale; presentation from author of ‘The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore’. RSVP at www.kpbs.org/joyce Go Full STEAM Ahead at the Library on December 8th, from 3-5pm! We will be investigating motors, electricity and exploring introductory coding activities in celebration of Computer Science Education Week. The program is designed for ages 7 and up; please pre-register for the program at the Library. At the same event, teens and tweens ages 10 and up can learn about Scratch, a free visual programming language. The Scratch portion of the program is limited to 12 participants; please pre-register at the Library as well. Saturday, December 10th 11am @ the Mira Mesa Barnes & Noble: Storytime! All purchases benefit the Scripps Ranch Friends of the Library. Fundraiser continues in-store through 12/17; online continues through 12/22. For further details please call the library. Live music! Sunday, December 11th 2:30pm, join the Scripps Ranch Friends of the Library for “The Pleasure of Your Company”: this month we are featuring Laura Vaughan, playing classical and holiday hits on the harp! Join us Wednesday, December 14th 6pm for ‘Great Books You May Have Missed!’ A panel of 4 librarians will make book recommendations across genres, styles and titles-- you will definitely walk away with great suggestions from 2016 and beyond! Join us for some holiday fun at our Winter Wonderland on December 15th from 3-4:30pm. We’ll be learning how winter holidays are celebrated throughout the globe while creating a variety of winter crafts, and enjoying some toasty hot cocoa! No registration required; all ages welcome. Play Chess at the Library! Learn the basics of how to play chess or practice your skills and strategies for becoming a chess master. No matter your level, join us for some chess playing fun! Every Tuesday in the Children’s Area at 3:15pm. Storytime for ages 0-6 Thursdays 10am! Brilliant Babies Storytimes is Wednesdays 1pm Homework Help Mondays and Thursdays, 3-6pm, Tuesdays and Wednesdays 3-7pm


10 • The Mira Mesa News • December 2016

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Bodhi BREED: Shepherd/Mix DOB: 1/13/15 Place of Birth: San Diego, CA Likes: Kearny Mesa Dog Park, Daddy’s homemade meals, and Olivia (girlfriend). Dislikes: Baths, Vet, and being left home alone.

Adoptable Pet of the Month

Name: Rory Age: 10 years old Gender: Neutered male Breed: Beagle/Chihuahua mix ID #: 226144 Adoption Fee: $25 Rory, a 10-year-old Beagle/Chihuahua mix, is looking for his new best friend. When he first arrived, Rory wasn’t feeling very well and needed immediate medical attention. He’s feeling so much better now and is eager to show his humans how grateful he is for their help. He loves to gently put his front paws on his humans lap to let them know he’d like to be pet. He loves chin scratches and will wiggle his tail when he’s told he’s a good boy. He’s

quiet in car rides, gently walks on leash and is great with other dogs. Rory’s ideal family is a mellow, loving home where he can be snuggled and spoiled for years to come! November is Adopt-A-Senior- Pet Month. On average, senior pets spend four times longer in shelters than younger animals. Open your heart to the ageless love of a senior pet today! His adoption fee includes his neuter, current vaccinations, permanent microchip identification, a certificate for a free veterinary exam, and worry-free medical insurance from Trupanion Insurance! Rory is available for adoption at the San Diego Humane Society’s San Diego Campus located at 5500 Gaines Street. To learn more about making him part of your family, please call (619) 299-7012. www.sdhumane.org ADOPTION HOURS: 7 DAYS A WEEK 10 A.M. TO 6 P.M.


The Mira Mesa News • December 2016 • 11

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POLICE BLOTTER VEHICLE BREAK-IN 10700 Westview Pkwy 9900 Reagan Rd. 8800 Centaurus Way 8500 Summerdale Rd. 11000 Ice Skate Pl 9700 Mesa Springs Way 10200 Drumcliff Ave 9400 Camto Cabana 9800 Reagan Rd 9000 Dewsbury Ave 10800 Westonhill Dr 9500 Camto Toga 7900 Goleta Rd

RESIDENTIAL BURGLARY 9700 Mesa Springs Way 10200 Camto Covewood 10800 Westonhill Dr

FRAUD 10700 Black Mountain Rd 8300 Capricorn Way 10900 Janice Ct 10400 Maya Linda Rd 1400 Orion Dr

VANDALISM 10700 Westview Pkwy 11100 Montongo St

VEHICLE THEFT 10800 Via San Blas 10100 Camto Zar 10400 Amantha Ave ASSAULT 10900 Belgian St 10400 Black Mountain Rd

BATTERY 8700 Bennington St

“If you do not report it or call us, in our mind it did not happen” San Diego Police Officer Call 911 to report an emergency Non Emergency 24 hours (619)-531-2000 www.sandiego.gov/police Compiled from info at www.CrimeMapping.com


12 • The Mira Mesa News • December 2016

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Provide Your Input on the Draft Design Alternatives for the De Anza Revitalization Plan! The De Anza Revitalization Plan project is a three-year comprehensive outreach and planning program to reimagine, repurpose and revitalize the De Anza project area. Following significant community input on the long-term vision, guiding principles, and desired uses and design preferences, the City of San Diego is excited to present three Preliminary Draft Concept Alternatives and wants your thoughts and feedback! Your input will be considered as part of the process of developing a final design. Review the concepts and provide your feedback at: www.deanzarevitalizationplan.com/contact-us

Mira Mesa News December 2016  

Community Choice Energy, San Diego Surf Pro Basketball, Christmas in San Diego the Book, Mira Mesa Senior Center, Short Term Rentals in Mira...