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LIVING MAGAZINE 20 1 5 | O C E A N S I D E ’ S U N I Q U E P E O P L E & P L A C E S

14 Years in Prison for His Father’s Crime

The Story of Pastor Adam Riojas

South Oceanside’s Exclusive Community

A Peek Into St. Malo

From Refugee to Businesswoman

An American Success Story: Mary Nguyen

Mission Avenue Through the Years A History of 2nd Street

Publicationof ofthe theOceanside OceansideChamber Chamberof ofCommerce Commerce AAPublication 928 Coast Highway, Oceanside, CA 92054

Selling the most at the coast! The Source in North San Diego County Real Estate

The Source in North San Diego County Real Estate



760-717-1229 “John has sold many properties for us over the last decade, maybe longer. He is professional and knows how to get the job done. His tenacity, along with his marketing plan and kind personality keep us going back to him. He is a highly ethical real estate professional we trust with all of our dealings.” - Frank & Sheila

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things to do in Oceanside, California A

Live theatre MiraCosta College



Music concerts MiraCosta College



Art exhibits MiraCosta College




Painting classes MiraCosta College

theatre & concerts art exhibits classes and so much more!

Cultural events MiraCosta College 1 Barnard Drive, Oceanside, California




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Paris in Oceanside 14 Years in Prison for His Father’s Crime Oceanside’s Homegrown Wine Exclusive South Oceanside Community What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger History Comes Alive at Heritage Park History of Oceanside’s Eastside Neighborhood The Bledsoe Family Serving Oceanside From Refugee to Businesswoman Officer Jon Hoover in His Element Oceanside Lifeguard Blake Faumuina Oceanside’s Guajome Park Eileen Turk: She’s Got Personality A Stop in Oceanside Leads to a Lifetime Dr. Duane Coleman, OUSD Success Story Mission Avenue Through the Years Gem in the Center of Crown Heights Buena Vista Lagoon Meet our Publishing Staff


LIVING MAGAZINE 20 1 5 | O C E A N S I D E ’ S U N I Q U E P E O P L E & P L A C E S

14 Years in Prison for His Father’s Crime The Story of Pastor Adam Riojas

South Oceanside’s Exclusive Community A Peek Into St. Malo

From Refugee to Businesswoman


An American Success Story: Mary Nguyen

Mission Avenue Through the Years A History of 2nd Street

Publicationof ofthe theOceanside OceansideChamber Chamberof ofCommerce Commerce AAPublication 928 Coast Highway, Oceanside, CA 92054



Produced and published by the staff of the Oceanside Chamber of Commerce 928 North Coast Hwy., Oceanside, CA 92054 760-722-1534 Copyright Oceanside Chamber of Commerce 2015 All Rights Reserved.


Articles: Scott Ashton, Kristi Hawthorne, Kierstin Hill Advertising: Scott Ashton Concept/Project Manager: Scott Ashton Editors: Kristi Hawthorne, Kierstin Hill, Laci O’Brien Art Direction: Peter Turner 760-757-8725 Design, Layout and Prepress: Tiffany Smith Cover Photo: Kierstin Hill


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Paris in Oceanside Arts & Culture Thriving in Oceanside Public art beautifies an otherwise drab building, it enhances the neighborhood and it inspires new possibilities.

Photo by Alessio Indegno

Paul Knebels pictured with his Jennie’s Café mural. Photo by Kristi Hawthorne




HUSBAND RECREATES FRENCH CITY by Kierstin Hill It all started with a sword. Shirley Indegno gave her husband, Alessio, a sword for a Valentine’s Day present one year and he hung it on their living room wall. Alessio decided to add more decoration to the sword and asked his wife if he could paint a lion’s head above it. “You can paint anything but a lion’s head,” is what she responded with before leaving for the afternoon. She returned home a few hours later to find a 10 foot tall castle painted in her living room next to the sword. The extreme renovations had begun.

The Paris living room is only the beginning for this extreme renovation family. Alessio’s son requested that his bedroom be converted into a New York-style loft and his two daughters want an underwater-themed room. The Indegno house is already an example of a one-of-a-kind house and Alessio and his family are only continuing to gather more and more ideas for beautiful household renovations. Alessio can be reached at (760) 908-1578 if you or anyone you know would like a room, building or office “extremely renovated.”

A short while after that, Alessio, Shirley and their three kids took a vacation to Las Vegas and stayed in the Paris Hotel. While walking around the hotel, decorated as a replica of Paris, Alessio said to Shirley “I can do this. I can make the inside of our house look like this.”

“Extreme Renovations will transform an ordinary space into an extraordinary place,” is the tagline for the new business. Photo by Kierstin Hill

Making every event more successful Whether you’re holding a small meeting, hosting a large conference, or planning a wedding or other social event, there’s no better place than the QLN Conference Center. Our versatile, inviting spaces range from 570 to 10,500 square feet and accommodate 7 to 700 people. Facilities include prep kitchen for your chosen caterer, audio-visual equipment and other event amenities.

Photo by Kierstin Hill

Alessio is a general contractor and had all the necessary skills and tools to transform his living room into Paris. “I don’t really watch TV and I get bored easily. One thing led to another and now, well here we are,” he said pointing to the inside of his living room, decorated with an outdoor Café in the corner, L’ Hotel under his front door and the “flor de lie” painted on the wall. Alessio said instead of watching TV at night, the family sits on the couches in the Café room and enjoys the ambiance while discussing their day. Being the entrepreneur that he is, the project spun into another contracting business for Alessio - Extreme Renovations. “Extreme Renovations will transform an ordinary space into an extraordinary place,” is the tagline for the new business.

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an inmate handed Adam a Bible and said, “I can see that you are angry and troubled. God can help you.”

14 Years in Prison for his Father’s Crime Adam Riojas Senior Pastor, At the Cross Oceanside

”Adam threw the Bible back at him and said “God? There is no God. God wouldn’t incarcerate someone who didn’t commit a crime.” After thinking about it a few days, Adam picked up the Bible and read it cover to cover. Then again, and again. He read the Bible five times that first year in jail and truly found God. After his first year in LA County Jail, Adam was transferred to a Level 4, high-security federal prison. He wrote letters to Christian publishers and told them his story and asked them to send him their books. He filled his time by studying the Bible and reading Christian literature. While in prison, Adam recalls he would yell in the hall “Okay guys, we’re going to talk about Jesus right now!” At first he received quite a few explicit comments back, but a handful of people started listening. Pretty soon that small group of people grew and grew and Adam had formed his first congregation. The Chaplain of the prison approached Adam and said “I don’t usually do this with inmates, but I want to ordain you as an inmate pastor.” Adam accepted and quickly became an extremely successful inmate pastor. Traditionally, a good day in the prison church would have 20 people in the room, but when Adam was preaching a room of over 500 people was standard. During his 14 years in prison, he was transferred six times and earned a total of 12 vocational licenses, which equates to two PhD’s. Adam always remained the most popular

by Kierstin Hill Adam Riojas spent 14 years in a level 4 federal prison for a crime he did not commit. His father committed a murder in Los Angeles and inaccurate evidence was able to place Adam at the scene of the crime. Adam, an Oceanside High School graduate, was an extremely successful real estate agent living in Hawaii when he was arrested the first time. He was detained in solitary confinement and interrogated non-stop for three days straight, but did not know any answers associated with the murder. After three days, he was released and did not think much of it, because he knew those days had just been a mistake. Eight months later he was arrested in Hawaii again and this time was immediately sent to LA County Jail. He was offered a plea – if he told the detectives who actually committed the murder, he would be set free. Only problem was, he didn’t know who did it. Adam did not talk to anyone in LA County Jail – he was angry, he was innocent, he wanted to be set free. One day 6



Adam and his wife Cleta

Adam and friend David Seau

pastor at each different prison and continued to pull record number crowds at his services. In 2004, Adam’s father was in a coma and dying. Out of nowhere, his father woke up from the coma and shouted “I’m guilty, my son should not be in prison. I did the crime.” A witness heard and Adam’s mother hired a private investigator. After an investigation, his case was submitted to the Board of Prison Terms. His case was reviewed and the Board found him not guilty. The California Innocence Board fought on Adam’s behalf and soon after, Adam was a free man again. After his time in prison, Adam moved back to North County and started work as a general contractor. Ironically, the vocational skills he learned in prison made him the perfect candidate to become a successful handyman. He opened his own business and within two years, had twenty employees and was able to buy a few properties. However, he still didn’t feel like he was doing what he was called to do. A regular at Calvary Chapel Oceanside, Adam was approached by the senior pastor and was asked to become a pastor at that church. He accepted and completed a four-

year internship program in just one year. He helped to grow the church membership by leaps and bounds and enriched the lives of those who attended his services. Even with his success at Calvary Chapel, he still felt as though that was not his true calling. Adam always felt as if God called him to open his own church, but he did not know much about the back end of running a church. However, after a series of events, Adam opened ‘At The Cross’ church in Oceanside and is currently the Senior Pastor. At The Cross Oceanside currently meets at Oceanside High School and “Where Families Come First” has two services on Sunday mornings at 9:00 am and 11:00 • Pediatric Speech/Language Therapy am. • Pediatric Occupational Therapy • Pediatric Physical Therapy


760.529.4761 fax 3355 Mission Avenue, Ste. 123, Oceanside, CA 92058

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Explore, discover, relax, experience... Your next destination is Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. Marine Corps Community Services (MCCS) offers many exclusive recreational activities, which are open to the public, including a historic golf course, bowling center, paintball park and stables, along with event centers with full service catering for weddings and special events. The Paintball Park at Camp Pendleton is a 30-acre extreme park with fun-filled activities for all-ages! This worldclass facility offers some of the best paintball fields in the country, with real castles, tanks, airplanes, tiki villages, dinosaurs, and more! There are four ways to play: traditional Paintball & Airsoft, kid-friendly Splatmaster for children as young as 6 and low-impact Paintball Lite, which offers all the fun of Paintball with none of the pain! There is also a Kid’s Theme Park called Playland, which boasts ziplines, a coconut climbing tree, laser tag, an inflatable world and a video game trailer. The Paintball Park has extended hours for summer and holidays, and turns into a zombie-hunting fright fest for Halloween!

The Marine Memorial Golf Course is the ultimate hidden jewel of Windmill Canyon. Situated amongst rolling foothills and lush foliage, this 18-hole PGA Championship Golf Course, Mulligan’s Grill and Eagle’s Landing Lounge is the perfect destination for a day on the greens, wedding or special event to exceed your expectations.

Leatherneck Lanes features a 40-lane state-of-the-art bowling center. Offering private party rooms, exciting new score system, Facebook game connect, leagues, classic and skill games, arcade, billiards, live sports TV, enticing food at The Grill and more! Adults and families alike will enjoy the new features and amenities. Stepp Stables boasts some of the best trail riding in San Diego offering boarding, training and lessons. A friendly staff and nationally ranked trainers/instructors provide guidance for all levels of horsemanship at a competitive price. One hour Western, English, jumping and dressage lessons for ages 7 years and up. Private lessons available for ages 3-6. Pacific Views Event Center showcases a panoramic ocean view that accommodates both small and large groups up to 1,200. Features include a Grand Ballroom, Iron Mike’s SNCO Lounge, The “O” Officers’ Lounge and Conference Room, The Compass Room, Seaview Room, Pavilion and Patios. It accommodates both indoor and outdoor weddings and special events. La Casa is a new event center at Del Mar Beach Resort offering indoor event spaces, patios and outdoor stage. Experience extraordinary hospitality and catering services against a picturesque ocean backdrop at one of Southern California’s most exclusive beach resorts. MCCS Business Development & Sales (BDS) at Camp Pendleton offers the largest range of military marketing services including: media, advertising platforms, events, and customized strategic marketing to support successful ROI through military market exposure. The BDS Program is the solution to reaching YOUR Military Market. Let us support your business objectives and the success of your brand strategies. Invest in partnership activities with MCCS TODAY! For more information about events and programs and for business and brand development, visit Revenue from Marine Corps Community Services activities support quality of life programs for Marines, Sailors and their families.






Photos by Kierstin Hill 10



BEACH HOUSE WINERY by Kierstin Hill Located in the agricultural region of Oceanside in South Morro Hills, Beach House Winery is Oceanside’s only vineyard and winery. The winery offers incredible, panoramic views of Oceanside, Fallbrook, Bonsall, Camp Pendleton, and sunsets over the Pacific Ocean. Beach House Winery is named for the place where their venture began in 2005, at a small beach house, blocks from Oceanside’s finest beaches. Owners, Kim and George Murray, have turned their favorite pastime into a full scale operation. The pair got involved with wine-making in the late nineties; they were both working full-time and a co-worker thought wine-making would be a fun way to socialize with friends. Kim and George quickly fell in love with the art of wine-making, going solo in 2000. They decided it was time to turn their wine-making hobby into a full-time business, incorporating Beach House Winery in 2010. Beach House Winery is an award winning boutique winery specializing in fine wines produced with timehonored natural processes. Handcrafted and barrel aged, their vintages continue to gain recognition in the local community, nationally and internationally. Kim and George have over 30 years of wine-making experience combined, and have gone on to win many national and international winemaking awards. Presently, Beach House Winery produces 2,500 cases each year. George and Kim have 2,000 vines growing on their 4-acre property which includes Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot and Sangiovese, which creates a stunning view as guests drive up the driveway to the tasting room. Beach House Winery wines can be purchased at the winery, as well as the Red & White Market in South Oceanside. Beach House Winery is located at 1534 Sleeping Indian Road in Oceanside. Tasting room hours are Saturday and Sunday 12 to 4:00 pm, all other times and days are by appointment. Visit their website at or call (760) 732-3236.




CHURCH CONSERVATION PROJECT CREATES COMMUNITY GEM by Scott Ashton In their efforts to save money on water and play their part in conservation efforts, Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church has turned much of their property into an inviting venue for the community. The two-fold effort includes a large xeriscape project in the front of the church along with a community garden on the back of the property. According to Pastor Allen Kolkman, the front of the church used to be just grass, which was very costly to water, and was hard to keep green. Members of the church collaborated with a local landscape company to create a beautiful front yard, highlighted by dozens of plants along with walking paths inviting the neighbors in for a stroll. Kolkman said that most of the plants will require little water after the first year of growth and that the church’s water bill is expected to eventually be cut in half. According to Kolkman, the feedback from the neighbors has been very positive and some have been inspired to look into xeriscape projects for their own properties. The back side of the church property features a large community garden managed by North County Community Services. The church provided the land and took responsibility for the grading and irrigation along with the soil enhancement. NCCH uses some of the food from the garden to feed their pre-schoolers and also to donate to food banks. The other plots within the garden are leased by community members, mostly from Oceanside, but some from as far away as Cardiff and San Clemente. Individuals pay a nominal annual fee to help cover the cost of the water. Gardens are all organic with no pesticides allowed. Even the rabbits are welcome, according to Kolkman.

Serving for over 40 years in Oceanside

Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church

4510 No. River Road • Oceanside, CA 92057

(760) 433-9250

Email: Website:

Reaching ... Teaching ... Caring ... Sharing 12



Photos byScott Ashton

Ohana Offers Fun Family Experience by Scott Ashton From inspiration to completion, Ohana Cupcakes in Oceanside has truly been a family endeavor for Mark and Susan McKenna, their daughter and three sons. What started as a desire to create a fun, family business is now a reality for the McKenna family. “Ohana” means family in Hawaiian. Ohana Cupcakes in Oceanside is a “create, bake and take” concept that is completely new and unique, and is all about family. According to Susan McKenna, “We strive to create a memorable experience that will last.” Mark McKenna has a background as a chef and restaurateur, so naturally his interest in cooking inspired his children. Susan recalled, “The boys loved cookies and brownies and wanted to bake them themselves, but the ovens that were made for kids were pink. That got us thinking that we should do something to include boys.” In addition to his culinary background, Mark has also worked in commercial development. Susan has a background in sales and training. “We were very excited to combine our talents into this new endeavor,” said Susan. Ohana’s concept is based on stations, which was inspired by Mark’s catering background and the idea of not keeping people waiting. Each area is there to give the customer the experience they want. The decorating station stocked with an abundant choice of toppings, allows for fun and creativity.

Each of the McKenna family members plays an important role in the business. Their son Collin, thought of Ohana Express where the cupcakes are made “naked” so the customer gets to pick the filling, icing and toppings. The area where customers pick up their finished cupcakes and can purchase a coffee or Hawaiian ice is named after their daughter Megan. Megan’s enthusiasm and joy in making yummy treats for her older brothers was the inspiration for the business. Brandon, a senior at Oberlin College helped create the corporation name, “McKendeavors” and Austin, a senior at Cathedral High School, who loves to lift weights and stay fit, was the inspiration for a high protein cupcake. The McKenna’s have created a place where Ohana, “family” is the theme. They will also be giving 5% of their profits to local children’s charities and hope to have future franchises do the same…Ohana is about making a connection and paying it forward.

“Ohana” which means family in Hawaiian, is all about just that... FAMILY. We strive to create a memorable experience that will last.

Ohana cupcakes is a whimsical Hawaiian themed cupcake shop for all ages... where you get to create the cupcake of your dreams. Between our “Create, Bake and Take”, “Ohana Express” and “Megan’s Corner” there is something for everyone.

(760) 757-4262 • • 2455 Vista Way, Suite M, Oceanside, California 92054




St. Malo

Photo by Kierstin Hill 14



Exclusive South Oceanside Community by Kristi Hawthorne While Oceanside has been described in its early days as a sleepy little beach town, it quietly became the home away from home for some of the rich and famous. In 1929 Pasadena resident Kenyon A. Keith purchased 28 acres of oceanfront property and began developing a private gated community at the end of Pacific Street in South Oceanside. The homes were built to resemble a French fishing village, St. Malo. By 1930 twelve homes were built in the exclusive enclave and while it has grown to over 80 homes, each is still built to strict guidelines with its distinctive architecture. For most, the homes were vacation homes or hideaways for the wealthy, wanting to escape from the city, and St. Malo offered them privacy, in a upscale setting of which they were accustomed along with oceanfront and lagoon views. Early film director Jason S. Joy’s home was identified as “La Garde Joyeuse” and included an outdoor bowling alley and volleyball court.

The homes were built to resemble a French fishing village, St. Malo.

Songwriter Nacio Herb Brown who wrote “Singing in the Rain” built a home at St. Malo. When Pasadena residents would “summer” in St. Malo, they brought their staff including maids and cooks. St. Malo’s amenities include a private beach, playground, 3 tennis courts, a volleyball court and a clubhouse cabana. In 1950 the City of Oceanside annexed the St. Malo subdivision which at the time had grown to 24 homes.

Jitters Coffee Pub

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Author Ben Hecht purchased his St. Malo home in 1950. Hecht, whose works include “Scarface,” wrote a children’s book while living in St. Malo about a cat who roamed the streets of Oceanside. He said in an interview that he often wrote from his den overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Over the years visitors have included Harpo Marx and Hugh Darling, mayor of Beverly Hills, and James Maytag. During the 1960’s St. Malo was a summer destination spot for members of the Kennedy family and in 1984, England’s Prince Phillip and Princess Anne stayed at St. Malo while attending Olympic events in Los Angeles.

Another notable resident was Frank Butler, who co-wrote “Going My Way.” Frank Butler was a long time resident of St. Malo and died at his oceanfront home in 1967.

Today the exclusive community is still carefully guarded. And while residents are less famous, St. Malo remains one of Oceanside’s best kept secret.

Photo by Kierstin Hill




What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You


Theresia Heyden has led an interesting, albeit difficult life, but lives by the adage, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” At age 91, Theresia has a sharp mind along with a sharp wit. She shares stories of her adventurous travels and remembers with great detail the people she has met along the way.

Born in Germany in 1923, Theresia was formerly trained as a nurse practitioner. Her life, however, took a tragic turn when as a young woman the home her family owned since 1173 was occupied by the Russians during World War II. She was held as a prisoner of war in Russia and forced to work in a coal mine for three years. Theresia was awarded the Iron Cross during the war when she bravely crossed into “no man’s land” to milk a cow to bring nourishment to the soldiers she was caring for and caught a pig so they could have meat. She tells this story as if everyone would have done the same in her position and is baffled that anyone would lack the very fortitude that has shaped her life. Married to Peter Heyden in 1952, the couple arrived in New York in 1956. With a Masters in Nutrition and Nursing and a PHD in Foreign Relations, Theresia is most proud of her volunteer work, including as a Nurse Practitioner for the World Health Organization. The Heydens moved to Oceanside in 1970 from Los Angeles after they saw an ad espousing the beauties and amenities of the city. Five years after arriving in Oceanside with her husband Peter, she was asked by the Red Cross to volunteer at the Vietnamese Refugee camps at Camp Pendleton. While others worked 8 hour days and were often paid for their time, Theresia worked 16 hour days six days a week and

accepted no compensation. Working at the camps tirelessly for 6 months, she delivered 15 babies, many of which remain in contact with her. She explained that people are her passion and caring for the refugees was second nature to her. Theresia related to them in a way most volunteers could not, she herself left home with nothing but the clothes on her back. She tended to the sick and the children with an unmatched dedication and commitment. After the camps closed, Theresia continued to volunteer at Tri-City Hospital.

Theresia has visited many countries around the world including Indonesia, where she helped to build 3 schools; and Papua New Guinea, where she lived and cared for the Stone Age people for six months in Irian Jaya. She quipped that she speaks two languages fluently and knows eight others well enough to get her into trouble. Her travels have also taken her to Turkey as well as Afghanistan where she started a school and was confronted by the Taliban, but she was and remains undeterred in the face of adversity. Her world travels gave her an interest in an import business and she enrolled at MiraCosta College in 1977 taking a course in business. Theresia continued to work until the age 85. Although “retired” her passion for people and nursing continues to drive her and the legacy that she has created will continue to benefit countless people for many years to come.

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Emerald Isle ... North County’s Most Challenging Executive Course Emerald Isle Golf Course is an 18 hole executive course located in Oceanside, California, owned and operated by four local PGA Professionals; Nikki and Don Gatch, and Holly and John Kennedy. Located between San Diego and Los Angeles, the course is only minutes away from miles of smooth white beaches, the West Coast’s longest wooden pier and the Oceanside Harbor. Originally built in 1965 and designed around two natural lakes, the property features championship quality greens, and all grass driving range, a short game practice area, club fitting and golf instruction provided by award winning PGA Professionals.  Emerald Isle has earned a reputation as “North County’s Most Challenging Executive Course”, and with an average round taking less than three hours, you can count on a fun, fast and affordable golf experience. Our mission at Emerald Isle is to provide our customers with a welcome, friendly environment for golfers of all ages and skill levels. Our guests are our #1 priority – and that goes for their dogs too! (yep, we are dog friendly here at Emerald Isle). Our golf course amenities include: a practice putting and chipping green, an all-grass driving range stocked with new practice balls, private and group instruction for adults and juniors, a snack bar (including beer and wine), brand new E-Z-Go golf cars, pull carts, and rental clubs.

ABOUT THE OWNERS With over 80 years of combined service and experience in the golf industry, PGA Professionals Don & Nikki Gatch and John & Holly Kennedy possess a wealth of knowledge in numerous aspects of the business, including club operations, golf administration, and player development. The four took over operations at Emerald Isle in December 2014 and are managing and operating under Green Clover Golf, LLC. Their goal is to preserve the hard work and dedication that was invested in Emerald Isle over the last 30 years, and utilize their expertise in fulfilling opportunities like increasing resident play and accessibility, tournament and charity event outings, and growing the instruction and player development programs. Based on their experience, and what they see on a daily basis with the current state of the golf industry, they believe creating a welcoming and affordable facility with top PGA professional guidance is the key to a property’s success.

Visit Emerald Isle Golf Course today! • New golf cars and new range balls • All-grass driving range • Fantastic greens • Affordable rates and the friendliest staff in Oceanside!


760-721-4700 660 South El Camino Real Oceanside, CA 92057 OCEANSIDE LIVING MAGAZINE



History Comes




Photos by Kierstin Hill

Heritage Park Village

old jail house, the Libby School and the Johansen House, which once served as Oceanside’s Post Office.

by Kierstin Hill

Heritage Park is also home to the Model Railroad Museum. The Museum is currently working on creating a replica of San Diego County in the 1950’s.

Located walking distance from the Mission San Luis Rey, Heritage Park serves as a beautiful backdrop for reunions, corporate events, private parties, family gatherings and weddings. Heritage Park was established in 1973 in preparation to commemorate our Nation’s bicentennial in 1976. It has become a permanent way to view and enjoy Oceanside’s history.

Heritage Park was established in 1973 in preparation to commemorate our Nation’s bicentennial in 1976. Situated at the eastern end of the park sits several historic buildings, some of which were moved from their original location in downtown Oceanside and relocated to the site in the 70’s. Visitors can see a General Store, a saloon, a blacksmith shop, as well as “The Blade” building. The Oceanside Blade served as the primary newspaper in Oceanside from 1892 to the 1980’s, finally being purchased by the North County Times. Also located in the park is the

Heritage Park is available for rental and has a gazebo, P.A. System, Bridal Ready Room and a parking lot that can accommodate 100 vehicles. More information can be found by going to the City of Oceanside’s website at




Thank you to the citizens of Oceanside for your continued support!




Paradise Falls:

Wedding & Event Venue

Photos by Kierstin Hill

by Kierstin Hill A true hidden gem in Oceanside, Paradise Falls offers a stunning private venue for weddings, conventions, company picnics, corporate events and parties. Located by the back gate of Camp Pendleton at 190 Wilshire Road, this venue offers lush, tropical gardens and waterfalls that gracefully cascade into a unique fire lagoon. In addition to a spacious grass area perfect for a garden reception with a stone dance floor and surrounding seating area, Paradise Falls also houses a 4,000 square foot pavilion tent, one of San Diego’s largest, with a honey-oak dance floor, draped ceiling and rustic chandelier for an indoor



reception. The walk to the pavilion tent is lined with towering bamboo trees wrapped in romantic twinkle lights, creating beautiful photo opportunities. This venue is customizable to a specific wedding as well. There are three stunning ceremony sites – a waterfall, gazebo or willow tree, as well as the choice to host the reception outdoors in the garden area, or indoors in the pavilion tent.


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(760) 435-9310 603 Seagaze Drive #216, Oceanside, CA 92054




Photos courtesy Oceanside Historical Society

History of Oceanside’s

eastside neighborhood by Kristi Hawthorne The common name for the neighborhood east of Interstate 5 and north of Mission Avenue is “Eastside.” Today this would puzzle many people because Oceanside city limits go much farther east than the Eastside neighborhood. However, after the turn of the century when the area was being developed and populated, this neighborhood was near the most eastern city limits. Families from Mexico who came to Oceanside in the 1910s and 1920s settled in Eastside, which included the subdivisions of Mingus & Overman, Reece, Spencer, Higgins & Puls. Most of the early residents were laborers who worked in the fields of the San Luis Rey Valley and the Rancho Santa Margarita (now Camp Pendleton). Eastside is often referred to by long-time residents as “Posole.” In recent years the term has come to be associated with a neighborhood gang and carries a negative connotation. However, the story of the name Posole has nothing to do with gangs or crime but is attributed to 22


a woman who epitomizes the hardworking residents of Eastside. Anita Cruz Romero came to the United States from Mexico in 1910 with her son Ralph Romero. Mrs. Romero was one of the first residents in the Eastside neighborhood and purchased property and lived in a home on Higgins Street. Romero was a widow and made a living as a housekeeper for affluent Oceanside residents. To supplement her income she sold her home-made soup. According to Eastside resident Aurora Soto Badillo, Mrs. Romero placed her soup in a hot pot on top of a little red wagon and walked throughout the barrio, shouting “Posole, posole!” While there may be another version of why Eastside was called Posole, many longtime residents still remember Anita Romero and her posole. Ygnacio and Socorro (Duarte) Adame migrated to Oceanside from Michoacan, Mexico in 1926. They moved to the “Eastside” community, also known as “Barrio Posole”,


and established a home at 408 San Diego Street. In 1945 they established the La Chiquita Market next door at 410 San Diego Street. Socorro cooked and sold fresh tortillas and tamales and the market also provided fresh produce. Another popular store was the Mission Market situated near the corner of San Diego Street and Mission Avenue. These markets were important because residents were often not able to walk to downtown Oceanside and back for their groceries and other needs. The Eastside Neighborhood was segregated and separated in many ways. Eastside was separated from the rest of Oceanside by a large canyon or gully (now Interstate 5). In the 1930s, their children, many of which spoke only Spanish, were sent to the Americanization School on Division Street where they were immersed in English. The neighborhood had dirt streets while most of Oceanside enjoyed paved ones. Indoor plumbing was nonexistent because there was no sewer system (all the way up until the late 1940s). The neighborhood welcomed its own school when Laurel Elementary was built in the late 1950s. Today the school has a wall of fame featuring former students which have become successful citizens including Oceanside Police Officer Sylvia Guzman, Junior Seau, Willie Buchanon, Dr. Duane Coleman and more. Lucy and Marie Chavez, who operated the East Star Market on San Diego Street, became community activists due to the plight of Eastside residents. Lucy fought long and hard to bring needed improvements to the Eastside Neighborhood. She also held neighborhood forums to help register voters and inform Eastside residents concerning issues important to them as citizens of Oceanside. Her continued efforts and role as a voice for the people launched her political career, later becoming Oceanside’s Deputy Mayor in the 1980s. In 1957 Eastside dedicated its own community center. It was noted that the building was “begun by a group of people – not officials, not councilmen, not rich men, not poor men,

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WE HAVE CATERING! NOODLES.COM/CATERING but citizens who lived in the neighborhood.” Residents took it upon themselves to build, plaster, pour cement and raise funds to make the center a reality. The building is now known as the Chavez Resource Center and for years was manned by local residents including Joe Chavez and Concha Hernandez Greene, two community activists who had a passion for the neighborhood. In 1970 a new $300,000 community center was built in Balderrama Park, formerly known as the Eastside Recreation Park. The park was renamed in 1967 in memory of John “Joe” Balderrama who was killed in action during World War II on October 13, 1944. His family lived on San Diego Street across from the park. Although many in Oceanside referred to Eastside as “Mexican Town,” by the 1950s the mostly Mexican community became more diverse as AfricanAmerican families settled in the neighborhood. Other families from the Philippines and Samoa who came in the 1960s continued to diversify Eastside. While many new families make their home in Eastside today, there is a still a rich history interwoven in the streets of the neighborhood.




Generations Serving Oceanside:

THE BLEDSOE FAMILY by Kierstin Hill Harriett and Marvin Bledsoe moved to Oceanside, California from Ontario, CA in 1966 the day after their youngest daughter, Janet, graduated from high school. The family packed the house prior to attending her graduation ceremony and after the ceremony ended, they were on their way to Oceanside in search of relief from the heat and smog. Marvin was a retired real estate loan advisor and wanted to stay busy, so he became active with neighborhood politics and slowly immersed himself into city politics. Marvin’s start in the political arena began with a neighborhood signature campaign. Located on the corner of Mission Avenue and Brooks Street is a present day shopping center that previously housed a public park. Marvin gathered enough signatures to take the petition to city council where he was granted the ability to write a City Ordinance. The Ordinance, still in place today, says any land designated for recreational use must go to a city-wide vote in order to be rezoned and converted into commercial or other land use designation. This start led Marvin to eventually run for the City of Oceanside Treasurer position and he was elected in 1984. Harriett and Marvin were always interested in local politics and were known to write multiple letters to the editor on a variety of issues for many years. Harriett and Marvin’s oldest daughter, Marva, had just graduated from Cal Berkeley when the couple moved to Oceanside. Unfamiliar with Oceanside, Marva moved back to her hometown of Ontario after college for a few short

Marva and Janet present day Photo by Kierstin Hill 24


years, until finally giving in to the persuasion of her family to join them in Oceanside in 1978.

Harriett and Marvin

In 1974, Marva’s sister, Janet Bledsoe, along with friend Colleen O’Harra and three other local women, opened a rape crisis center, known as the Women’s Resource Center. The Women’s Resource Center was designed to serve the North County population because at that time, the closest center was in Hillcrest in downtown San Diego. Soon after opening the crisis center, the Oceanside Police Department came to WRC and asked them to help with child abuse as well. WRC accepted the request and started another organization, known as Casa de Amparo. A short while later, law enforcement came to WRC with another request, to help with domestic violence. The Women’s Resource Center was growing too large so the Board of Directors decided to split into two organizations. Casa de Amparo would focus on child abuse and the Women’s Resource Center would focus on sexual assault and domestic violence. Founder of WRC, Colleen O’Harra served as Executive Director from 1974-1980. Marva Bledsoe took the job as Executive Director and has not looked back since. People often ask Marva if she is bored of the job, and her response is “Bored? How could I be bored? I have a long list of things to do the day I get bored.” Marva is also frequently asked if the work she does is depressing and she responds with, “the work we do is all about hope and saving lives, so how can that be depressing?” The WRC is truly a life-changing organization. When Marva accepted the position as Executive Director in 1980, she had a staff of 12. Today, Marva works with a staff of 42 plus about 200 volunteers who work as needed. The family continues to have strong civic involvement in Oceanside. Marva has just begun her second term as the Chair of the Oceanside Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. Janet, after serving for over 21 years, just retired from the Oceanside Unified School District Board of Trustees, and is still maintaining a strong involvement in the education community. Janet remains a partner in Oceanside’s oldest and largest law firm, Greenman, Lacy, Klein, O’Harra & Heffron.


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by Rick Wright Decades in the making, Oceanside will finally see many new projects rising from the vacant lots in the downtown area over the next few years. These lots are part of the so-called “Nine Block Master Plan” that was developed by the City of Oceanside in collaboration with the California Coastal Commission. GF Properties owns five of the nine blocks and recently completed construction of a Springhill Suites by Marriott hotel on one of the blocks. They are about to break ground on a second block in preparation for the construction of a 66 unit luxury apartment building with a restaurant and retail space on the ground floor. The company will go on to build out their remaining three blocks with similar projects over the next few years.



Vision for Downtown Oceanside Begins to Take Shape

The Pacific Street Resort Hotel Project is slated to be built on the two blocks closest to the ocean along Pacific Street. This project calls for the construction of a four star hotel with 225 rooms on the south block and a 135 room boutique hotel on the north block. Additionally, the project will feature a 6,400 sq. ft. ballroom, 2 levels of underground parking, 20,000 sq. ft. of visitor-serving commercial space and 36,000 sq. ft. of public open space.

Oceanside will finally see many new projects rising from the vacant lots in the downtown area over the next few years. The remaining block in the master plan is owned by the City of Oceanside and is currently being used for surface parking. The City has contracted with Pelican Properties to build a 325 space parking structure on the property. The project will also have 40 residential units and an additional 80 parking spaces for these units. 10,000 sq. ft of commercial space will house a restaurant and/or retail businesses. The builder is hoping to break ground on this project by the end of 2015. Other projects slated for the downtown area include SeaCliff Terrace on North Coast Highway which features 52 condominium units and a 1,056 sq. ft. retail space. Oceanside EcoVillage is planned for the vacant lot at 314 N. Cleveland Street and will consist of two retail units at the street level and 10 residential units above. More information on these projects and other projects in downtown Oceanside is available on the MainStreet Oceanside website at






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Oceanside is on the road to zero waste with a goal of recycling 75%-90% of materials out of landfills by 2020. Help us reach our goal by following the zero waste equation: Reduce + Reuse + Recycle + Rot + Rethink =

Photo courtesy MiraCosta College



Oceanside...Thinking Globally, Acting Locally. Our goal is Zero Waste. Everyone who lives, works, and visits Oceanside can be a part of the movement by embracing their own Road to Zero Waste. Simply follow the 5 R’s of sustainability: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot and Rethink. Reduce: The key to a Zero Waste lifestyle is to reduce the amount of waste we create in the first place. • Say no to disposables, and yes to reusables! • Don’t bring everything and the “kitchen sink” to the beach! Bring only what you need to have a good time. For example, store your favorite snacks and finger foods in a reusable container instead of plastic baggies, and just say no to the one time use foam coolers. • Build a home or office party pack for your next big event. Party packs include reusable plates, flatware, and decorations. • Start with one simple Zero Waste habit, and second and third actions will come easily. Reuse: Make it a goal to reuse items as many times as possible. Before tossing it in the trash, give it a second life through donation. Speak with your dollar. When purchasing items it is important to search for durable items that can be recycled or donated when you are finished with them.

as plates, bowls, and paper, beverage cartons, coffee cups, cardboard, bi-metal cans, glass bottles and aluminum foil. Please note! You do not need to wash your recyclables before placing them in the bin. • Save money by right sizing your home recycling, landfill and green waste services. Check out to learn how to save money by recycling more at home or work. • What you recycle at home, you can recycle at work and at the beach. Look for the nearest blue recycling container near you today. • Last but not least, dive into your trash can and find ways to take the waste out of your life forever. Rot: Compost your food and yard waste to create mulch and top soil for your garden. Rethink: Think of new ways to reduce your overall impact. Joining the road to zero waste is a process to an effective solution to saving our planet and resources. Practicing the 5 R’s (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot, and Rethink) allows YOU to send less trash to our local landfill while producing jobs, saving energy, and preserving our natural resources. Shop local businesses taking a lead on sustainability, and share your Zero Waste ideas, practices, and photos through our Green Oceanside mobile App (Free at both Apple and Android iStores). Remember to think globally, act locally to make a difference in Oceanside and beyond.

• Shop Resale and Vintage!! Find creative ways to decorate your table, add flair to your wardrobe, or even just get a great deal on that retro furniture piece that is going to complete your décor. Grab your friends for a fun afternoon perusing one of the many reuse and consignment stores here in Oceanside! • Drink tap, and remember to bring your reusable water bottle with you wherever you go! You will save 6 gallons of water per day by using a reusable water bottle, even with dishwashing being accounted for. • DIY crafting and reuse goes hand in hand. Check creative websites for your next DIY project. Recycle all you can, all the time, every time: • Recycle all hard/rigid plastics, paper products such






AMERICAN Success Story Mary, left, in Malaysia

Photo by Kristi Hawthorne

Mary Nguyen by Kristi Hawthorne Born in 1967 in Vietnam, Nhung “Mary” Nguyen was the 7th of 11 children born to her parents. Her father was a professional musician who worked for the United States government. Her mother made chow mein from home and sold it throughout the town of Bien Hoa Dong Nai. Although crowded, their life was an overall happy one, but in 1975 when the communist party took over, life as they knew it changed forever. Mary’s father was imprisoned for three years because of his association with the US. The children were not allowed to continue their schooling and Mary’s formal education stopped at the sixth grade level. With their father in jail, their mother saw there was no future for her children and she began to use what little resources she had to send her children one by one out of the country. In 1979, her mother saved and borrowed nearly $10,000 to send Mary’s oldest sister to freedom, and in 1986 at the age of 17, Mary escaped Vietnam along with her 7 year old nephew. Her harrowing journey began on the back of a motorcycle, with her young nephew clinging to her. They left with nothing because if they had packed any kind of bag they would have been stopped and questioned. Mary remembers the sadness of leaving her mother and father and wondering if she would see them again. They left Vietnam for Malaysia on an open fishing boat, no more than 8 feet wide and 15 feet long. Sixty five people crawled and then crouched against each other as they began their journey to freedom. The fear of being caught 28


was palpable and she saw it in every face of each passenger. The boat was chased by thieves from Thailand who would hunt down refugee boats to steal supplies and rape the women. They managed to evade the marauders, but two days into the journey the boat’s pump broke and filled the boat with water. Male passengers worked around the clock bailing water out of the boat to keep it afloat. Then the engine failed and the boat was adrift on the open sea. There was only enough water for 3 days; what little fruit they had was rotted, and the boat was now at the mercy of the currents. Everyone prayed. Out of food and desperate, a storm approached and they did everything they could to collect the precious rain water. No one knew how long they would be at sea. On the 7th day they saw birds and knew they must be close to land. As the dawn began to break, they spotted the coastline of Malaysia. When they landed in Malaysia they were taken to a refugee camp. Mary was sent to attend an ESL class to learn English. She was in Malaysia for nearly a year, awaiting a sponsor in order to get to the U.S. Four of her siblings had escaped and were living in San Jose, CA and with help from a local priest, Mary was able to make her way to the land of freedom. After arriving in San Jose, Mary knew that it was important to start work right away. She had agreed to pay for her expenses to America, and she and each of her siblings would eventually pay their mother back the tens of thousands of dollars she spent or borrowed to send her children here. Her limited English hindered her in many ways, but she worked at a series of fast food restaurants, worked two jobs and as many hours as she could, along with going to school to make up for her lack of education.


She got a job with IBM working on an assembly line. She challenged the foreman to take a chance on her and he did. She consistently out-performed others and asked for more work. In 1990, she married her husband Phong Hoang in San Jose. When asked how they met, she casually answered and said he was in the same boat with her when she fled Vietnam and had helped to save the sinking boat. Mary worked multiple jobs while her husband Phong attended college. In 1992 they were able to purchase their first home. She went to beauty school to become a nail technician and eventually was able to rent a booth at what she calls an “American salon.” Mary credits her clients with helping her to learn English and understand phrases and slang. Mary became an American citizen in 1992. One of the things that impressed her when she came to this country was something we take for granted: parking spaces for the handicapped. She said that in her country handicapped people are treated like garbage and thrown away, and in contrast, she views America as such a gracious country that we afford our handicapped special parking and access. Mary’s children

In 1998, Mary returned to Vietnam to see her parents for the first time since she had escaped. It was a happy reunion but one filled with mixed emotions. Her parents refuse to leave Vietnam now and they are living comfortably, and Mary along with her siblings continues to support them.

to earn the family income as a rental, and Mary used the proceeds of that sale to purchase a storefront in downtown Oceanside in 2004. Looking for just the right location, Mary saw that Oceanside was affordable and development seemed to be favorable. She described the building she bought on Mission Avenue as an empty shell and she and her husband worked together to redesign and transform the building into “Ocean Shine.” Mary saw the potential in Oceanside before many of the now trendy restaurants and microbreweries. Opened in 2005 and located at 613 Mission Avenue in downtown Oceanside, Ocean Shine offers a variety of services including spa pedicures, hair braiding, facials and massages. Mary still does nails, but now she has four employees and rents out 9 booth spaces. Along with being a business owner, wife and mother, she most recently has returned to beauty college for two years to become a skin esthetician. Mary and Phong have 5 children, their eldest just graduated from college this year. Mary won’t rest until each of them receives a higher education. She views her achievements as the means for her children’s successful future and the fulfillment of her mother’s dream for her life.

After Mary’s fourth child was born, Mary said that sending their children to Catholic School was no longer a financial possibility so they looked for a community that had good public schools. In 2001, they traveled to San Diego and purchased a home the following year. Her husband was able to land a wellpaying job but Mary continued to work as a nail tech. She decided that she wanted to do more than work in a salon; she wanted to own one. They sold their home in San Jose, which had continued








In His Element

uniform” of choice included board shorts, flip flops and sand on his feet. In high school, Jon worked various jobs typical of a teenager, at Rubio’s and a local skate shop. At the age of 19 he was working in the San Diego Bay doing repo’s when he saw a Harbor Patrol Boat. That life-changing moment inspired him to pursue a career path that he felt would get him where he wanted to be most: on the water.

Hoover not only describes the ocean as his “office” but also as an amazing playground and never tires of the marine life that he co-exists with on a daily basis.

Officer Jon Hoover by Kristi Hawthorne Jon Hoover emulates the Southern California lifestyle with a casual attitude. His plans to live a laid-back way of life were typical of most teenagers living within reach of the beach. Most teenagers grow up and find themselves wearing a suit and tie to work, however, Jon Hoover found his way around the grind to do what most only dream about. Jon admits he often ditched class to head to the Oceanside Harbor. He learned to surf at an early age and his “school

He enrolled at Westminster College to earn a degree (taking a course in sailing, by the way). At age 20 he enrolled in the police academy and was eventually hired by the Port of San Diego where he worked for two years. In 2005 he talked to Sgt. Joe Spurgeon, a member of Oceanside’s Harbor Patrol. His goal was to return to the community where he grew up, to serve, surf and live. His best and earliest memories are all in Oceanside where he says it still has the “small town feel.” His lifelong goal was achieved when he was hired by the Oceanside Police Department and selected to serve on the coveted Harbor District where he is 1 of 8 officers, with one Sergeant. He had to undergo a rigorous swim test, including scuba diving and rescue techniques but his lifetime experience with the ocean only served to prepare him for what he considers his dream job. With his affable style, Officer Hoover aspires to make connections with people beyond his uniform while on duty. If possible, he prefers education versus enforcement. Despite the long hours and physical demands, including being “on call,” Hoover believes his job

Photo by Kierstin Hill




OSlivingAd'15_OSvisGdHorz 5/28/15 12:25 PM Page 1

is a blast. He prefers to be on or in the ocean every day whether he’s working or not. He travels the world looking for adventure including Hawaii, Mexico and even eastern Canada where he surfed the tidal bore, one of the longest waves in North America.

Fresh Seafood! Oceanside Broiler is the newest waterfront seafood restaurant overlooking beautiful Oceanside Harbor. Featuring fresh seafood, steaks and sushi, in an upscale casual atmosphere.

Hoover not only describes the ocean as his “office” but also as an amazing playground and never tires of the marine life that he co-exists with on a daily basis. In 2014 he witnessed the first documented sighting of a pod of Killer Whales near the Oceanside pier and coastline.

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While his job is one to serve and protect, Officer Hoover also uses his profession to encourage others to enjoy and respect the natural wonder of our sea and beaches.


With a life-long passion realized, summed up by a fitting motto: “It’s not just a job, it’s an adventure” Hoover feels he’s living the dream. 1325 Harbor Drive North, Oceanside, California 92054

When You’ve Got the Right Doctor, Everything Just Feels Better. Scripps makes it easy for you to find the right doctor, by helping you get to know our doctors before your office visit. Just visit to search for a doctor based on your specific needs. We have eight locations in North County that offer primary care, including: Our Scripps Coastal Medical Center, Oceanside location offers: • Care for the entire family, from children to adults • 10 primary care doctors, one physician assistant • Extended hours Monday through Thursday • On-site lab and imaging services • On-site specialty care • Free parking Scripps Coastal Medical Center, Oceanside 4318 Mission Avenue • Oceanside, CA 92057 With more than 2,600 doctors, Scripps offers all the care you need. To find the doctor who is right for you, call 1-800-SCRIPPS (727-4777) or visit




Oceanside Lifeguard Blake Faumuina Lifeguarding in its purest form is the struggle against nature by one human endeavoring to save the life of another. Unknown

by Kristi Hawthorne Blake Faumuina has always been around the water. Growing up in Oceanside, he spent a good portion of his youth at the Marshall Street Pool and learned to swim at an early age. Because he was such a talented swimmer Blake was recruited to join the Oceanside Swim Club when he was just 7 years old. However, as he recalls, he first turned down the invitation. “Hey kid, do you want to join the swim club?” Then came an offer few kids could resist: “Well, we throw candy in the pool every Friday and you dive for it.” To that, Blake responded with: “Free candy? I will swim all you want.” He hasn’t stopped swimming since, and his love of the water has never waned. Growing up in the aquatics community is like being part of a large family, Blake explained. As a young boy and

teenager, he grew up with the kids on the swim team, many of whom also became lifeguards. He has fond memories of his instructor Cheryl Clark and his coach Dave Wilcox. The Marshall Street Pool in South Oceanside was the springboard to his career and indelibly shaped his life. Growing up in the Fire Mountain neighborhood, Blake attended Palmquist Elementary and Lincoln Junior High, as it was then called. He went to El Camino High School and graduated in 1996. Blake broke all but two swim records during his time at El Camino High. The records he broke belonged to the senior lifeguards, which he admits was intimidating, especially when the records were previously held by his boss, Lifeguard Captain Bill Curtis. He began beach lifeguarding part time after he graduated

Photo by Kierstin Hill 34



high school. He still remembers his first rescue at the Harbor Beach from Tower 14: A high school student from Rancho Buena Vista was caught in a rip current. Blake and his lieutenant both spotted the struggling swimmer, when the senior lifeguard said to Blake, “Are you going to go?� Blake immediately jumped in the ocean and swam as hard as he could. Asked if he was afraid, Blake said “the training kicks in and focuses your fear� but he never forgets that his job is to guard life every day.


He received a partial scholarship to UCSB and went to school to pursue a career as a marine biologist. However, Blake found that sitting in the classroom was not where he wanted to be and came back home to Oceanside. He continued lifeguarding and in 2002 was hired full time. In 2013 he was promoted to lieutenant.


Blake’s father Larry Faumuina was from Samoa and came here with his family in the 1950s. Larry had a 20 year career with the Oceanside Police Department and was Oceanside’s first Samoan Police Officer. Blake spent two summers in Samoa as a teenager. He said it was a good experience and in Samoa “no one is depressed or stressed out�; people are happy and their priorities are different. However, he always missed Oceanside. He emphasized that he didn’t miss California, he just missed Oceanside. “It’s the mix, there are so many types of people, different walks of life,� Blake explained. He loves the variety in Oceanside and it’s where he feels most comfortable.


Lifeguarding Oceanside’s beaches is rarely boring. They protect 3.7 miles of beach, from the north jetty to the Buena Vista Lagoon, including St. Malo. Blake says the slow days are the worst days, but the busy days are the best. On a busy day they will do 300 rescues. The “season� typically begins Memorial Day and ends Labor Day, but as Oceanside becomes more popular as a destination spot the season is much longer, nearly year round.


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“I love this job,� Blake said of his lifelong career. He’ll stay “as long as they’ll have me.� Blake loves his job so much when he retires he wants to continue working part time, doing what else: lifeguarding.


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different species of birds have been spotted at Guajome, making it one of the best places to bird watch in North County San Diego. If you like to camp, picnic, run, walk, hike, fish, ride horses, bird watch or simply just enjoy beautiful Oceanside, Guajome Park has something for you.

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On June 22, 2015, members of various groups got together to show their love for Oceanside. The group included Oceanside Chamber staff members, Visit Oceanside, Oceanside Parks and Recreation, MainStreet Oceanside, Event Media and a few of our closest friends. This photo was taken to help promote tourism in February of 2016 for the new “Oceanside Valentine’s Week” campaign. Oceanside kicked this campaign off with an “I Love Oceanside” heart just north of the pier. We hope it will be the first of many such photos and that the crowds will get progressively larger. Oceanside’s Park and Recreation manager Eileen Turk helped to organize the crowd into the heart shape with never-ending enthusiasm and the help of a bullhorn. (Read more about Eileen on page 38) Photographers were staged on the Oceanside Pier and two drones flew overhead to capture the images. The Oceanside Chamber’s photo went viral immediately with an overwhelming response on Facebook and Twitter. The goal is not only to increase pride in Oceanside but to provide a boost to tourism and local businesses by making Oceanside the perfect place for couples looking for a romantic evening, a weekend getaway or a vacation destination during Valentine’s each year. We hope to involve the community in Valentine Themed Promotions/Projects and to identify Oceanside as “America’s Valentine City.” Proposed projects include, a Bike Ride and 5K Run/ Walk, Art displays in museums and schools, romantic plays and movies, lighting the Oceanside Pier in red, and perhaps going for the World’s Record for the biggest heart!

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She’s Got Personality EILEEN TURK by Kristi Hawthorne Endless energy, enthusiastic and fun are just a few words to describe Eileen Lohner-Turk. All of those things are needed for her job as Division Manager of Oceanside’s Parks and Recreation. Eileen is a great ambassador for the City of Oceanside. She’s a cheerleader for Oceanside and a positive force. She’s a unifier and a doer, ready and able to get things done. Her attitude is contagious and she’s able to inspire others around her. When asked how she keeps her sense of humor and a positive outlook, Eileen said she is “fueled by other people’s joy.” Eileen has never met a stranger because she makes friends wherever she goes and wherever she goes, there’s a party.



She’s on the party bandwagon and never seems to get off. Eileen smiles and says Parks and Rec keeps her young. She calls herself the “Queen of Collaboration” and sees the benefit of partnering with organizations throughout the city to provide services for Oceanside’s residents, young and old. Eileen admits she doesn’t come up with every great idea, but she’s there to help implement and make them a reality. Where does this seemingly eternal energy come from? Perhaps it’s in her blood. Her father was the director of Parks and Recreation of her hometown in Pleasantville, New York. Eileen inherited his sense of fun and community service. At the age of 14 she started volunteering at summer camp. She participated in sports and worked for the parks


Eileen celebrating her birthday “50’s style” Photo by John Daley

and recreation department through high school and college. She attended Springfield College in Massachusetts and in 1989 moved to Pacific Beach. In 1996 she married her husband Steve Turk and moved to North County. In 2005 she was hired as Oceanside’s Youth Services Supervisor for Parks and Recreation and just five months later promoted to Division Manager. Her budget was cut in half soon after, so she had to get creative to continue providing services for the community she serves.

When asked how she keeps her sense of humor and a positive outlook, Eileen said she is “fueled by other’s people’s joy.” Eileen formed “Friends of Oceanside Parks”, a charitable foundation to support and help fund events. Along with organizing community events such as concerts in the parks, she promotes health and wellness, family activities, and has served or serves on a variety of committees, including the Oceanside Bicycle Committee and the Oceanside Tourism Council. Providing entertaining, enjoyable activities for all ages is challenging and Eileen says she must be super creative. She prefers quality versus quantity. She especially loves working with volunteers and mentoring students.

Photo by Kristi Hawthorne

In addition to her responsibilities as Manager of Parks and Recreation, Eileen enjoys scrapbooking, windsurfing, kayaking and traveling. Her favorite Oceanside events include the fireworks celebrating the city’s incorporation (July 3rd), and her favorite park is Buddy Todd. She won a CPRS Award for Best Public Service Announcement with the motto “Parks Make Life Better” and Eileen Turk is doing her part to make Oceanside a better place to live.

She recently organized “Oceanside Day” at the San Diego Padres game, with over 300 Oceanside residents sporting “Oceanside” t-shirts and riding the Coaster to Petco Park. So many people attended last year they added another car to the Coaster! Serving the “BeSt Prime riB in town!”

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Eileen, her husband Steve, and friends




A Stop in Oceanside Leads to a Lifetime NELS “JAKE” JAKOBSEN by Kierstin Hill Nels “Jake” Jakobsen first arrived in Oceanside in 1946, after being honorably discharged from the United States Army, serving overseas in WWII. Jake was headed to Mexico with two friends when they stopped for a week in Oceanside to vacation. The trip to Mexico fell through, but Jake knew he had found his new home in a sleepy little beach town. Jake recalls Oceanside was “a little old town back then, two blocks off of Hill Street and you were in the country.” After a few weeks of job hunting, he found a job at one of the local bridgo parlors in downtown Oceanside. Bridgo is a game similar to bingo, but with more skill involved. Bridgo was a form of legalized gambling, but due to political pressure and even favoritism, one parlor was always closing and another one was opening, yet Jake found a way to keep himself employed, making $35 a week. He claimed that to be “starvation wages,” even back then. During the bridgo days, Jake was a regular at a popular

restaurant called The Owl Lunch, located on Mission Ave, where he met a particularly beautiful woman, Esther, who was also a frequent customer at the café. Esther was working as a bookkeeper for an amusement park on The Strand at the time. Esther invited Jake to join her in a baseball pool and told Jake if he won the pool, she would buy him a drink. As luck would have it, Jake won the pool (however, there is a conspiracy theory that Esther rigged the pool so Jake would win). Esther bought him a drink and after that night, they were inseparable. Jake and Esther got married on May 16, 1951 in Carlsbad. The happy couple then found jobs at Mom’s Leatherneck Shop, located at present day Harney Sushi on Mission Ave. Esther ran the storefront and Jake would press the uniforms for the local Marines. In 1961, Jake and Esther traveled to Michigan for a summer with a new addition to the family: their daughter Diane. In a

Jake, “Mom”, and friends on Mission Ave. circa 1950




loving tone, Jake reflected that he had “eight fun years of marriage and then my daughter had to come along and ruin it.” The Michigan summer turned into a Michigan winter, which was too cold for the family that had grown used to Southern California. Jake sent Esther and Diane back to Oceanside ahead of him so he could finish his construction job. Unbeknownst to Jake, when he arrived back in Oceanside to rejoin his family, Esther had already purchased a house on Nevada Street!

Present day Jake and Kona

After the move back to Oceanside, Jake realized he would need a job that provided a retirement fund, so he found a job as a custodian at the Oceanside Unified School District, working at both Ditmar Elementary and North Oceanside Elementary Schools, this time earning $300 a month.

Jake recalls Oceanside was “a little old town back then, two blocks off of Hill Street and you were in the country.” Esther expressed an interest in jewelry, especially rock jewelry, so Jake bought her cabochon lessons for Christmas at a local rock shop, Griegor’s in Carlsbad. Jake recalls, “That was the best Christmas present she ever got in her whole life.” She immediately developed a passion for cutting and shaping rocks, and eventually was hired at Griegor’s because she learned the techniques so quickly. Jake remembers coming home one day and Esther had dumped out 15 boxes of rocks onto the kitchen floor. When Jake asked what was going on, Esther told him “We’re going to start sorting rocks.” He responded with, “Hell, I don’t know how to sort rocks.” Esther shrugged and said, “Well, we’re going to learn.” Jake worked for OUSD for four years before winning a bid to be a private mail carrier through the United States Post Office in 1966. The first day on the job, Jake had a meeting at 4:00 am with the manager who was going to show him how to carry and deliver the mail. As Jake sat in his truck waiting for the manager, he thought “What did I just get into? I’m going to do this for the next four years at 4:00 am? I must be crazy to accept this contract.” However, the mail route worked out well for him because Jake ended up running a private mail carrier business for the next 49 years serving the rural areas of Oceanside, Vista, Bonsall and Fallbrook. Jakobsen Trucking was one of the first private mail carriers for the United States Post Office and distributed mail all over North County for almost fifty years. Unfortunately, due to regulations associated with the Clean Air Act, Jakobsen Trucking was forced to close its doors in December of 2014, after 49 years. Jake loved every minute of it. When asked

Jake and Esther on their Wedding Day

what his favorite job was, without hesitation he said “the mail run.” At 90, Jake is finally retired (or as he calls it, unemployed) and lives with his brown Labrador, Kona, in Oceanside. Jake passed his love for Oceanside onto his family. Jake’s daughter, Diane, married her high school sweetheart, Tim Rielly, at the historic Mission San Luis Rey in 1981. Both of Diane and Tim’s two children were born and raised in Oceanside, where they each have made their home as adults.

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OUSD Success Story Dr. Duane Coleman by Kierstin Hill Dr. Duane Coleman is an Oceanside success story; educated in the Oceanside Unified School District, he now serves as the OUSD Superintendent. Born in Hawaii, he moved to Oceanside when he was just one year old. His mom was a missionary in Hawaii where she met his dad, serving as a Marine. He subsequently was transferred to Camp Pendleton when Duane was a baby. Duane was a talented athlete during his time at Oceanside High School. A Varsity letter winner in football, basketball and track, he received a fullride football scholarship to the University of Hawaii when he graduated high school in 1979. After a successful college football career as a wide receiver, Duane was drafted by the Denver Broncos and played for one year before blowing his knee out and being waived from the NFL team.

job at El Camino High School where he taught for the next eight years as well as coached football, girls basketball and boys and girls track and field.

Fortunately he earned a teaching credential while still at the University of Hawaii and moved back to Oceanside to coach high school football at his alma mater. Proving to be a successful coach, Duane was offered a full-time teaching


In 1992, Duane was working on Coleman with student his administrative credential Lennon Campos while at El Camino High School and received a phone call from a friend saying the San Dieguito School District was hiring an Assistant Principal. Duane • REAL LIEGE WAFFLES applied for the job and was granted • MADE WITH THE FRESHEST an interview, even though he did not INGREDIENTS yet have his administrative credential. • BELGIAN TRADITION WITH AN He was not keen on leaving Oceanside AMERICAN TWIST and felt he was a long shot for the job he was still working toward the Call us today for your exclusive events! because qualification. However, the San Dieguito District felt he was the right fit for the Bijou Piscaer job and offered him the position. He accepted and worked there for 10 years. 760-237-4008

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Dr. Coleman always felt strong ties to his hometown and eventually wanted to end up back in Oceanside. When the Principal position at Jefferson Middle School (another alma mater) opened up, Dr. Coleman applied and was again, offered the job. After five years at Jefferson, he was offered a job at the district where he excelled and was eventually offered the position of Associate Superintendent of Education Services. He knew that path led to a Superintendent position, but was reluctant to pursue anything outside of OUSD. When the former Superintendent, Larry Perondi, retired, Dr. Coleman was again offered a promotion, even though becoming a Superintendent was


never on his radar. Many first year Superintendents use their current district to get a job at a larger district, but he wants the Oceanside School District to be his first and last Superintendent position. Wanting to serve Oceanside to the best of his ability, he accepted the position and introduced the “Oceanside Promise.” The Oceanside Promise is that every OUSD high school graduate will be college and career ready on graduation day. OUSD has a lot of work ahead of them to prepare for this type of commitment. This plan needs to start in the families, to create the expectation that every graduating student be eligible to attend college, and be prepared to enter a career, not just a job, but a life-long career.

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MISSION AVENUE through the years

A HISTORY OF 2ND STREET by Kristi Hawthorne Mission Avenue serves as a major artery for the City of Oceanside. The iconic palm-lined street brings traffic from the inland valley and the Interstate to the downtown business district and coastal Oceanside. In its earliest days this road was little more than a dirt path used by ranchers from the San Luis Rey Valley and was named Second Street. In 1885, when the original Oceanside townsite map was filed, Second Street began 200 feet east of Horne Street and extended west, ending abruptly at Cleveland Street where the Oceanside train depot was located. There was also a small section of Second Street which continued between Myers and Pacific Streets. In the 1880’s Cleveland Street was actually a more prominently developed street because of its location to the depot. But as Oceanside grew and the business district expanded, Hill and Second Streets both became the focal points of downtown, especially after the regional establishment of Highway 101 along Oceanside’s Hill Street. Early businesses along Second Street included Irwin’s Farm and Implement Store near Freeman Street, Exton and Nichol’s Drug Store, Martin’s Market and the Elysium Theater near Tremont Street. In 1919 the first “gas station” was established on Second Street in front of the Oceanside Garage, located on the south side of the 500 block. That same year the city council approved “a crossing signal” for the intersection of Second and Hill Streets “not to exceed thirty dollars”.

In 1921 the city engineer was instructed to prepare plans for the paving of Second Street from Cleveland Street “to the east city line at the top of Amick grade” (near the Rosicrucian Fellowship). The pavement was to be just twenty feet wide, except from Cleveland to Freeman, where it was considerably wider to accommodate the busier downtown traffic. By the 1940’s, Second Street was widened to four lanes to accommodate the increased traffic due to the establishment of Camp Pendleton. For years Mission Avenue or Second Street was the road less traveled except by residents of the inland valley. Just east of Horne Street, the name changed from Second Street to Mission Avenue because it led directly to the historic Mission San Luis Rey. Second Street was also known by other names, including the San Luis Rey Road and State Route 76. Prior to the freeway, nearly all vehicle traffic came from the north and south along Hill Street. After the interstate was built in 1953, traffic was largely funneled to downtown and the beaches via Mission Avenue. However, the dual names of Second Street and Mission Avenue created confusion because highway maps and freeway signs referred to the thoroughfare as “Mission Avenue” and street signs read “Second Street”. In 1955, city planners proposed to eliminate the dual name confusion by renaming Second Street to the more widely accepted name of Mission Avenue. Although long resisted by businesses and locals, the change was adopted and the only portion of road that remained named “Second Street” was one block west of the railroad tracks from Myers to Pacific.

A view of Second Street looking west from Horne. Circa 1890. Photos courtesy Oceanside Historical Society 44



For nearly 100 years the train depot and switching yards were located just west of Cleveland Street creating a “road block” which prohibited through traffic to the beach via Mission Avenue. By 1987 the Santa Fe Depot was demolished and the switching yards moved to Camp Pendleton, which allowed traffic to travel all the way to Pacific Street without having to be diverted. The elimination of the name Second Street caused its own confusion. Downtown streets had numerical names streets including First, and then Third through Ninth with Second Street conspicuously missing. This anomaly was rectified in 1996 by changing the numerical street names, to more descriptive names which included Pier View Way and Surfrider. In 2013 plans were accepted to change Mission Avenue into a one-way thoroughfare. The plans implemented included: narrow four lanes to two, widen the sidewalks, enhance landscape and reverse parking to become more bike and pedestrian friendly. Although these currents changes were controversial and objections were many, the project was completed in the Summer of 2014. In its 130 year history, Downtown’s Mission Avenue has gone from a dirt path to a busy thoroughfare to an attractive avenue and has survived many changes and more than one bump in the road.

620 Mission Avenue, Oceanside • 760-722-7030

Mission Avenue Circa 1957




Photo courtesy Oceanside Historical Society

in the Center of Crown Heights by Kristi Hawthorne Situated behind the Oceanside High School, on a corner at Division and Center Streets, sits a unique domed building. Built by renowned architect Irving J. Gill, the Americanization School in the Crown Heights neighborhood is a true gem. Gill designed a total of 5 buildings in Oceanside, 4 of which remain. The Americanization School is the most distinctive with both Art Deco and Islamic influences.

Photo by Kristi Hawthorne 46


Along with its architectural significance, it is also important historically and culturally. It represents a period of a time when immigrants who did not speak English were being “Americanized.” The school was almost entirely made up of Mexican children who were immersed in the English language. In the late 1920’s, the Oceanside School District began to segregate non-English speaking students into “Americanization classes.” They were enrolled and sent to school in an old telephone building on North Tremont Street between what is now Mission and Pier View Way. As the number of nonEnglish speaking students increased, a larger building was needed to accommodate them. Most of these students lived in the Eastside neighborhood and the downtown location was a long distance for younger students to walk. It was determined that a new school should be built closer to the school grounds on Horne Street. Land was purchased, and


Photo by Kristi Hawthorne

grammar school Principal J. R. Tenney hired Gill to design a new school building. The Americanization School was built in 1931 by local contractor Omer Nelson at a cost of $4,400. Teacher Beth Harris French, who spoke no Spanish, taught the students in English. Years ago Pete Magana, former student of the Americanization School, recalled that Mrs. French would often use a student who was bilingual to help her in class. Magana said of French, “The students used to love that teacher.” Class sizes were large compared to today’s standards and ranged from a low of about 40 and a high of 55 students.

Built by renowned architect Irving J. Gill, the Americanization School in the Crown Heights neighborhood is a true gem. The Americanization School closed in the 1940’s with the building being used as a regular elementary school and renamed the Division Street School. In the 1950’s the building was declared unfit for use and was eventually boarded up. After years of neglect and abuse by vandals,

the Americanization School had become an eyesore and was in jeopardy of being demolished. In 1992, with an eye toward preservation and redevelopment, the City of Oceanside began a $316,000 restoration project. The Americanization School building was saved from the scrap heap and restored and renovated. It is now known as the Crown Heights Resource Center and operated by the Housing and Neighborhood Services Department of the City of Oceanside.

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Preserving the Natural History of North County Buena Vista Audubon

Preserving the Natural BEAUTY

Buena Vista Lagoon and Audubon

Separating the Oceanside and Carlsbad border lies the Buena Vista Audubon, an area dedicated to preserving the natural wetland wildlife. Visitors can walk the trails around the lagoon, bird watch, eat a picnic lunch, tour the garden of native plants and enjoy the beautiful outdoors. The Nature Center and Audubon has something to offer to all ages and interests. The Nature Center, open Tuesday through Saturday 10:00 am – 4:00 and Sunday 1:00 – 4:00, offers nature tours and hosts an annual nature camp every summer. There is also a native plant club that meets once a week. All plants surrounding the building are examples of local, native plants.

by Kierstin Hill Separating the Oceanside and Carlsbad border lies the Buena Vista Lagoon, an area dedicated to preserving the natural wetland wildlife. Visitors can walk the trails around the lagoon, bird watch, eat a picnic lunch, tour the garden of native plants and enjoy the beautiful outdoors. The Nature Center and Audubon has something to offer to all ages and interests. The Nature Center, open Tuesday through Saturday 10:00 am – 4:00 and Sunday 1:00 – 4:00, offers nature tours and hosts an annual nature camp every summer. There is also a native plant club that meets once a week. All plants surrounding the building are examples of local, native plants. 50



Photos by Kierstin Hill

Full list of locations available at

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Creating Quality Publications for our Community

Scott, Kierstin, Kristi, and Tim Photo by Laci O’Brien

by Scott Ashton Print is still alive! Over the past 20 years, I have had the opportunity to help produce dozens of publications including visitor guides, maps, directories, magazines and special anniversary publications like Oceanside’s 125th Anniversary Magazine and MiraCosta College’s 80th Anniversary Magazine. Producing quality publications for our residents, business owners and visitors is one of the most rewarding aspects of my job at the Chamber. It’s great to get frequent calls from our distribution partners asking for more directories, magazines or maps because they have run out. My role in publishing is to take each project from concept to completion. I have the privilege of working with some great people on our publications. Here’s a quick look at who they are…

Kierstin Hill

Kierstin majored in Journalism at San Diego State University and is currently studying for her MBA at Cal State University San Marcos. Kierstin writes many of our articles and is also becoming an accomplished photographer. You’ll see her name attached to many of the best photos in this magazine.

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Kristi Hawthorne

Kristi is an amazing resource for historical information on Oceanside. She was instrumental in writing the majority of the content for Oceanside’s 125th Anniversary Magazine and is also an accomplished journalist, interviewing and writing articles on many of our Oceanside Living magazine subjects.

Tim Gilkey

Tim is the newest member of our publishing team. Tim and I are working together to create the Chamber’s first Spanish language magazine, Vida Latina en Oceanside. Tim has been instrumental in gathering content and working with our freelance writers to make sure we will have interesting original stories. Other key contributors include our Administrative Assistant, Laci O’Brien, an incredible proofreader who has frequently caught misteaks (Laci, you missed one!) that the rest of us had missed. Peter Turner, owner of Magic Lantern Paper Products has been the Art Director on Chamber publications for over a decade and has consistently helped us to stay on time and on budget. Tiffany Smith is an incredibly talented graphic designer who handles all of the layout, design and prepress work for the magazine. Tiffany and I now work together year-round as we have three annual publications and other special projects. Our printing is done by San Dieguito Printers in San Marcos. They have been extremely consistent in making sure our finished products looks great. Most importantly, I want to say a huge “Thank You!” to the businesses that entrust their advertising dollars to us. We appreciate your support and will continue to produce high quality publications that will make you proud to have advertised with us.


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2015 Oceanside Living Magazine | Oceanside's Unique People and Places  

The City of Oceanside, CA has much to offer to locals, visitors, tourists, and travelers who visit, work and live in our community. Oceansid...

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