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OCTOBER 2019

Fighting Cancer with

Gratitude

E D U C AT I O N A D V O C AT E : D O N D U M A S


IN THIS ISSUE 04 BRAVO Announcements

06 NEWS On your Doorstep

16 FEATURE Fighting Cancer with Gratitude

21 SCHOOL NEWS 25 CALENDAR Out & About

26 EDUCATION ADVOCATE Don Dumas

EDITOR'S LETTER Gratitude. Attitude. Multitude. Fortitude. Real cool dude. Normally my husband is the rhymer in our family. But today, after reading John Carroll’s story, I couldn’t help rhyming. They’re not just any rhymes, though. They are words that fit into John’s story.

OCTOBER 2019

Gratitude: Cancer attacked his body, but the word that comes to John’s mind is gratitude. Attitude: Attitudes are chosen, not assigned. John had every right to choose a negative one, but he didn’t. Multitude: John not only chose to make himself feel better, but he choose to make others—a multitude—feel better. And his family and friends, his multitude, stood beside him. Fortitude: “Courage in pain or adversity.” Check. Real cool dude: Anyone who is brave enough to wear costumes in public, creative enough to come up with new characters, and caring enough to help others going through a similar difficulty is absolutely a real cool dude! We all face trials and tribulations, whether they are related to health, family, work or other areas of life. I hope John’s story causes you to consider, even if just for a moment, both what you are grateful for and how you can show it to others. “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues but the parent of all others.”— Cicero

—AMBER WEBER, Editor O U R H O M E TO W NM AG.CO M 3


BRAVO

/ Great things happening in our community

Send us your good news!

Email editor@ourhometownmag.com prior to the 15th of the month and we will do our best to put the good news in an upcoming issue.

PUBLISHED BY

Hope and Healing… Hope opens the door to healing  and a brighter day. MICHAEL MONACO Publisher

Dealing with health, financial, relationship  issues, etc.?  Come find out about hope  and healing at the Christian Science Church. Located  at 41 “I” Street in Chula Vista. Christian— about the life, love, healing,  and vision of Christ Jesus.

AMBER WEBER Editor

Science— the spiritual fact that you are  the loved child of God… God’s healing love and care  are always with you.

MELISSA MONROY Design

ARIANNA PINTADO Contributor

ADVERTISING INQUIRIES: Michael Monaco at Sales@OurHometownMag.com. EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTIONS: Amber Weber at Editor@OurHometownMag.com. VISIT US ONLINE AT: www.OurHometownMag.com. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved. Reproduction in any form, in whole or part, without written permission is prohibited. OHTM Inc. is not responsible for the views of contributing writers and assumes no responsibility for errors appearing within. Opinions expressed are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the Publisher or advertisers. OHTM Inc has the right to refuse advertising. Contact OHTM Inc. at (619) 840−7722.

Come discover God’s healing power. › To Chick-fil-A employee TAUYA NENGUKE, who was hailed as a hero for springing into action to help save a life. The 22-year-old said he was working at the drive-thru around 8:30 p.m. on Sept. 11 when he noticed someone unconscious next to a car in the parking lot. Tauya, who wants to go to nursing school, had taken some pre-nursing classes, so he ran over to help. He performed CPR and then taught the man's friend how to do chest compressions so that the other could take over when the other person needed a break every few minutes. Together they took turns giving the man chest compressions until emergency crews arrived. Tauya said he later found out from a co-worker that paramedics said he helped save the man's life. "There wasn't any hesitation on my part. I knew that was where God placed me at that time," he said. "This was honestly a really big calling to be in health care because it was like instinct took over."

Sunday Church

10:00 a.m.

Sunday School

10:00 a.m.

Wednesday Testimony Meeting

7:00 p.m.

Thursday Sermon on the Mount Reading  6:15 p.m. (Via Conference Call) Step 1: Call 1-646-5588665; Step 2: Press Mtg. ID No: 255 942 377#; Step 3: Just press # Tuesday - Saturday Reading Room 10:00 a.m. -2 p.m. (bookstore/library) at 300 Third Ave. at “F” Street 619-422-6400 Explore: prayerthatheals.org


O U R H O M E TO W NM AG.CO M 5


NEWS

/ On your Doorstep

Chula Vista Opens California’s First Hydro Station By Susana Villegas

Doctor. Policeman. Teacher. Soccer player. Fireman. This is the list of careers that local elementary school children are likely to say when asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” The Chula Vista Hydro Station, the first of its kind in California, wants to add water professional to that list. The Hydro Station is an interactive educational space housed at Sweetwater Authority’s Richard A. Reynolds Groundwater Desalination Facility in Chula Vista. The Hydro

GOU R M E T D O N U T S

CO FFEE

Station hosts learning exhibits and hands-on activities dedicated to introducing local students to the ecological cycle of water, water conservation, water quality and careers in the water industry. A joint project of the Sweetwater Authority, the Chula Vista Elementary School District (CVESD), and the Otay Water District, the Hydro Station opened this year and will provide hands-on, experiential learning on the water industry to more than 4,000 CVESD fifth-grade students annually.

ES PR ES SO

For the school district’s more than 29,600 students in kindergarten through sixth grade, the Hydro Station is an important part of CVESD’s rigorous 21st-century learning environment designed to nurture every child's imagination, intellect and sense of inquiry, and to prepare them for future careers. “The Hydro Station introduces our students to the world of work in the water industry and inspires them at an early age to consider careers in science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics,” said Superintendent

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E A STL A KE N OW O PE N

Eastlake Pkwy #412 in Chula Vista, CA 91914

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NOW TA KIN G ON LIN E + PH ON E OR DE RS

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On your Doorstep

Medicare Myths By Chayo Moreno, M.A. Insurance Broker - Medicare Options

of CVESD, Dr. Francisco Escobedo. “With this station, we introduce students to jobs that can change the trajectory of entire families, opening the door to high-wage careers that our students might not have thought were possible. The students also explore ways to make the world a better place through clean water and water conservation.” The Hydro Station also helps Chula Vista’s local water agencies to prepare a new generation of local workers to fill expected jobs in local water agencies like Sweetwater and Otay. Baby boomer and future expected retirements challenge the ability of local water agencies to maintain an estimated regional workforce of 2,800 people who work in the water and wastewater industry at the San Diego County Water Authority and its 24 member agencies. “It’s an opportunity for a new generation to join us in our mission to deliver safe and reliable water to hundreds and thousands of people in communities that rely on us as water professionals,” said Sweetwater Authority General Manager Tish Berge. Sweetwater Authority has approximately 130 employees who provide water to 190,000 people in the communities of National City, Bonita and communities adjacent to and west of interstate 805 in Chula Vista.

1. Myth: Medicare is free.

Fact: Medicare has a fixed premium that is paid monthly for Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). Medicare requires costsharing, deductibles, copayments and premiums.

2. Myth: Individuals can enroll in Medicare at any time.

Fact: Enrollment periods in Medicare are limited to certain times, as listed by the Center of Medicare and Medicaid (CMS). These include the Initial Enrollment Period (turning 65), Annual Enrollment Period (Oct. 15 - Dec. 7), Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period and Special Election Period. Each period has specific guidelines per CMS.

3. Myth: Medicare and Medi-Cal (Medicaid in states other than California) are the same program.

Fact: Medicare and Medi-Cal/Medicaid are very different programs. Medicare provides health coverage for people age 65 and over as well as those with end-stage renal disease and other conditions, while Medi-Cal/Medicaid provides health coverage for people with low incomes and few resources. Some people are eligible for both Medicare and Medi-Cal/Medicaid, but they must apply for each program separately.

4. Myth: There are no options with Original Medicare.

Fact: After enrolling, a beneficiary has two options: 1) Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medi-gap) and a Part D Prescription Drug Plan or 2) a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plan.

5. Myth: Everyone pays the same for Medicare.

“The high level of retirements, new technologies, and increased demand for safe drinking water all contribute to the availability of good, stable careers and employment,” said Otay General Manager Mark Watton. “We want to make sure that a rewarding career in the water and wastewater industry is within reach for as many local students as possible who are vocational school or college bound, and the Hydro Station helps us do that.”

Fact: Medicare may offer the same benefits to everyone, but that doesn't mean everyone pays the same premium. Earning and work history can determine how much an individual will pay for Medicare.

With the help of the Hydro Station, a Chula Vista elementary school student could be delivering reliable and safe water to you and the communities in the South Bay in the very near future.

Fact: Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) covers care and limited drugs under Part B. Part D plans are offered through private insurance companies as standalone plans, or they can be purchased as part of a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan. Not all plans have the same formulary, so be sure the plan you choose covers all the prescription drugs you are taking. Consult with a Medicare options expert for help choosing the right plan.

Photo by Bob Hoffman Photography

For example, if you haven't earned 40 work credits over your lifetime, Part A isn't free. If you have 39 or fewer work credits you could owe up to $411 per month for Part A. For what it's worth, the vast majority of retirees receive Part A without paying a premium.

6. Myth: Medicare covers prescription drugs (Part D plans).

O U R H O M E TO W NM AG.CO M 7


On your Doorstep

Trick or Treat Both Sides of the Street at Village Walk at Eastlake and Eastlake Village Marketplace Looking for a fun, free trick-ortreat event? Then visit Village Walk at EastLake and EastLake Village Marketplace on Thursday, October 31 from 3 to 5 p.m. Children ages 12 and under, who are dressed in costume and accompanied by an adult, are invited to pick up a free treat bag at the registration tables at each shopping center. The children can then stop by the participating businesses within each center to pick up their free treats. Poki One N Half at EastLake Marketplace will set up a decorated photo wall as a backdrop for parents to take photos of their children in costume. And Premier Dental Care will have a clown on hand for free face painting. The free registration table at Village Walk will be set up near Mission Federal, and two free registration tables will be set up at EastLake Village Marketplace— one just outside of Target and the other by U.S. Bank. The two shopping centers are situated next to one another. EastLake Village Marketplace is located on the corner of Otay Lakes Road and EastLake Parkway in Chula Vista, and Village Walk at EastLake is located on EastLake Parkway and Miller Drive. For additional information, call (858) 695-2700. 8 OUR H O METOWN / OCTOB ER 2 0 1 9

WCKD Village Creates Downtown San Diego’s Premier Halloween Festival 21+ event on Saturday, October 26 from 6 p.m. to midnight

On Saturday, October 26, prepare to enter an extravagant festival of nightmares as the streets of Downtown evolve into San Diego’s premier Halloween festival, WCKD Village. Enter this distorted realm and come face to face with terrorizing creatures and twisted adventures. Discover your darkest desire, summon your chosen crew and take a journey into this elevated WCKD delusion. WCKD Village has become a luxuriously twisted ritual unto itself, returning each year to coerce those brave enough to play within three mind-bending dimensions: WCKD Graveyard, WCKD Garden and WCKD Fate. Each dimension is set to deliver hypnotic sounds across three stages of live entertainment. WCKD Village has seen performances from Juicy J, Cheat Codes, Stafford Brothers, Too Short, E40, Flosstradamus and more, so get ready to dance into the depths of the night with a diverse lineup of nonstop music illuminating Downtown San Diego across every dimension. Mysterious night stalkers will greet you as you enter the Village and through the WCKD Graveyard. The nightmare only begins there, as you make your way through the graveyard maze and past the faceless crawling creatures of the night. Each step deeper and deeper into this transcendent Village will lead you to encounter the devious souls that prowl within the WCKD Garden, feigning for their next victim. Interactive experiences

loom within the garden such as photo opportunities on creepy swings and towering four-legged stilt walkers lurking behind you. Let the Village decide your future…or lack of one. Join the evil festivities with the freaks that taunt all who enter the realm of the WCKD Fate. Included in your WCKD entry are exclusive interactive elements such as a Spirit Circle of tarot card readers, fortune tellers and palm readers. Also included in your entry is the Haunted Hookah Hideaway. Unwind, immerse yourself into your fate and enjoy the alluring belly dancer show! Festival goers will unlock all of the most exclusive WCKD offerings and access to the WCKD Wonka VIP dimension for $100. Within this realm, taunting sweet tooth monsters lurk to offer guests mysterious candy and take you on a journey through the life-size game board, multiple Instagram-able moments and the grotesque candy station. All new to the amusements are general admission (GA) Plus tickets, $50 through October 8. Regular, general admission tickets are available for $40 through October 8 and include entry. Prices increase as the event date nears. Transform your ghastly looks and party with the sinister past as the WCKD Village comes to life, bringing with it the most ruthless and seductive demons. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit WCKDvillage.com.


On your Doorstep

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O U R H O M E TO W NM AG.CO M 9


On your Doorstep

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On your Doorstep

Bonita Holidays Supports Community Organizations with Annual Craft Show The Sweetwater Woman’s Club (SWC) presents its 52nd annual Bonita Holidays on Thursday, Oct. 24 and Friday, October 25 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, October 26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The craft show will take place at the historic clubhouse located at 3855 Sweetwater Road in Bonita. It is free to attend and features items for sale such as SWC’s famous holiday cheese balls in five flavors; homemade baked goods; handcrafted fall, Halloween and Christmas items; jams; chocolates; jewelry; home décor; garden plants; etc. Crafters are from all over San Diego County. A variety of raffles will be available, such as themed baskets, a golf package, quilts, gift cards and gift certificates. Raffle tickets are 25 for $20. Grab bags will also be available for $20 with a value of $25 and above.

A variety of

The Sweetwater Woman’s Club promotes charitable, educational, cultural and community entities. be available, It also supports philanthropic such as projects throughout our community. The 2018 fundraising monies themed were donated to many South Bay baskets, a community organizations including golf package, Voices for Children (CASA), Chula Vista Adult School, one scholarship quilts, gift at each of the Sweetwater Union cards and gift high schools, San Diego Humane certificates. Society (PAWS), Chula Vista Friends of the Library, Bonita Museum and Cultural Center, Bonita Friends of the Library, Nine Girls Ask (ovarian cancer research), Next Step Service Dogs (for military veterans), Living Coast Discovery Center (classes for children), MACC (Casa De Milagros) and the Burn Institute (Camp Beyond Scars). Other monies went to the Chula Vista Welfare Council, Chula Vista Community Collaborative (Beacon Center), Community through Hope, Bilateral Safety Corridor Coalition (Human Trafficking of Women and Children) and South Bay Community Service’s Domestic Violence Program. The 2019 monies will fund even more entities.

raffles will

Participating in Bonita Holidays is a great way to support our community and have fun at the same time! This is the 107th year of the Sweetwater Woman’s Club’s community service.

Real Estate Update: Home Appraisals Courtesy of Minnie Rzeslawski, ReMax 24k

A home appraisal is an unbiased professional opinion of a home’s value in the current market. Appraisals take place during a home sale when a buyer and seller have agreed to a price and have entered into a contract or in a refinance transaction. Essentially, an appraisal assures the lender that they aren't giving a borrower more money than what the home is worth. A property’s appraisal value is influenced by recent sales of similar properties in the immediate surrounding area and by current market trends as well as a home’s amenities, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, floor plan functionality, lot size and square footage. An appraiser completes a visual inspection of the interior and exterior and notes any conditions that adversely affect the property’s value, such as damages and needed repairs. While appraisals protect buyers from overpaying for homes, a low appraisal could also be an issue for a seller who feels his home is worth more. Minnie Rzeslawski, a realtor at RE/MAX 24K, recommends getting a second opinion if you are not happy with the results. “If a bad appraisal is standing between you and your home purchase or sale, look into getting a second opinion via another appraisal by a different person,” she advises. Appraisers can make mistakes or have imperfect information. In many cases in a sales transaction, your listing agent should be present at the appraisal and be ready with comparable sales in hand to pass on to the appraiser so they know where you got your sales price. As a seller, if the appraisal comes back below contract price, there are options. A seller can lower his asking price to that of the appraisal, ask the buyer to pay more out of pocket or cancel the transaction altogether. An appraisal is a necessary step in the home buying, selling and refinancing process. If you have any questions, contact Minnie at (619) 702-2400. O U R H O M E TO W NM AG.CO M 11


On your Doorstep

Juried Art Show Accepting Submissions for October Exhibition

The Chula Vista Art Guild (CVAG) is holding its 19th annual community art show Oct. 12 to Nov. 2 and is accepting submissions for the juried exhibition. The competition is open to all San Diego County artists who are 18 years of age or older and members or non-members. For artwork entry requirements, deadlines and fees, please visit www.chulavistaartguild.com. Up to 60 accepted entries will be displayed at the Bonita Museum, 4355 Bonita Road in Bonita from Oct. 12 through Nov. 2. The art show will be open to the public Wednesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and all artwork will be for sale. An award reception will be held Saturday, Oct. 19 from 5:30 until 7:30 p.m. at the Bonita Museum. Artists are encouraged to bring guests and their friends. During the reception, awards will be presented. First place will win $300, second place $200, third place $100, and honorable mentions will be awarded ribbons. For more information about the Chula Vista Art Guild, call (619) 421-0547, email chulavistaartguild@yahoo.com or visit www.chulavistaartguild.com.

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Filipino-American History Celebration Returns to Otay Ranch Town Center Afternoon of music, community partners, karaoke competition, food and fun for the whole family

After a successful introduction in 2018, Otay Ranch Town Center is bringing back a celebration of Filipino-American history on Saturday, October 19 from 12 to 4 p.m., honoring the events, experiences and lives of Filipino people in America and their impact on society. The free, annual commemoration will feature music, food, kids' activities and fun for the whole family. Cash prizes of $200, $150 and $100 will be awarded in a karaoke contest for kids and teens, several Filipino food vendors such as Seafood City, Coated Cafe and Red Ribbon Bakeshop will sell traditional dishes, Rising Star Band will provide live music, and a kids’ zone and presentations from local community partners will entertain visitors all afternoon. New for 2019 is the addition of a Filipiniana Fashion Show with great styles and looks for the entire family. Groups such as Philippine folk dancers Samahan Dance Company, the Otay Ranch High School dance exhibition team and Melija Talent Development Center featuring ballet, hip hop and Hawaiian performers will get everyone's toes tapping. Various Otay Ranch Town Center merchants and community partners will distribute free food samples and coupons, and host other activations all afternoon. To learn more about the event or to sign up in advance for the karaoke competition, visit www. otayranchtowncenter.com/events or check out the center's Facebook page.

The full entertainment schedule includes the following: 12 - 1 p.m. Rising Star Band 1 p.m. ATI-ATIhan Parade 1:15 p.m. Deseo Dance Studios 1:30 p.m. Samahan Dance Company 1:50 p.m. Otay Ranch High School Dance Exhibition 2 p.m. Melija Talent Development Center 2:30 p.m. Filipiniana Fashion Show 3 - 4 p.m. Karaoke Contest

About Otay Ranch Town Center: With nearly 100 of the country's top specialty stores, Otay Ranch Town Center is one of San Diego's most exciting outdoor shopping and entertainment destinations. This urbane, bustling, open-air center also features a wide variety of amenities including outdoor cafes, grand fountains, a pet-friendly setting and adjacent dog park, branch of the Chula Vista Library, food pavilion, party space, a fireplace and a popper fountain for children. Otay Ranch Town Center is conveniently located at 2015 Birch Road, 4 ½ miles east of the I-805 or just off the South Bay Expressway SR-125 in Chula Vista at Eastlake Parkway and Olympic Parkway. Otay Ranch Town Center is open Monday – Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call (619) 656-9100.


On your Doorstep

Honor Loved Ones at the Dia de los Muertos Celebration

The Greenwood Memorial Park & Mortuary is teaming up with VITAS Healthcare to host a community event in October to celebrate the old Mexican tradition, Dia de los Muertos. Dia de los Muertos dates back over 2,000 years to the pre-Hispanic era. Celebrations for the holiday begin Oct. 31 and last until Nov. 2. During these three days, family members visit the graves of loved ones and decorate their grave sites. The decorations usually involve private altars and a setup known as an ofrenda. An ofrenda is a table where family place offerings to their ancestors, usually containing their favorite foods and drinks as well as photos of their loved ones who have passed. Greenwood Memorial Park & Mortuary’s celebration for the holiday will be held on Oct. 27 from 12 until 3 p.m. An appearance from the San Diego Lowrider Council car exhibition will last until the end of the event. Also from 12 to 1:30 p.m. there will be an opportunity for altar making. All participants are encouraged to bring photos and memorabilia of their loved ones who have passed. They will have the opportunity to make their own ofrendas to display at the celebration. After the altar making, from 1:30 to 2:15 p.m., a remembrance ceremony to honor all past loved ones and ancestors will take place. Finally, from 2:15 to 3 p.m. there will be refreshments, a mariachi and a baile folklorico performance. Refreshments will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis and will include tamales and hot chocolate. The celebration will take place at the Greenwood Memorial Park & Mortuary Garden Chapel located at 4300 Imperial Avenue in San Diego. This event does have limited space. If you plan on attending, RSVP by Oct. 25 by contacting Ben Janzen at (858) 503-5560. For more information about the event, please visit greenwoodsd.com O U R H O M E TO W NM AG.CO M 13


On your Doorstep

Stop Annoying Phone Calls By District Attorney Summer Stephan

As your District Attorney, I’m committed to increasing communication and accessibility between the DA’s Office and you, the community. One way I have been doing that is through this column, where I provide consumer tips on public safety matters. Have you ever wondered why your mobile phone suddenly started receiving intrusive phone calls from phone numbers you don’t recognize? Maybe you think you fixed the problem with your iPhone by using the block caller feature, but the next day a nearly identical phone number is calling – just one digit off from the phone number calling the day before.

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Before you stop answering calls altogether, let me explain what’s going on. As annoying as they are, not all of these calls are the same. From the phony sweepstakes, to the utility company threatening to shut off your electricity unless you pay now, to the caller asking you to take a political survey, there is a reason you can get some calls to stop but not others. The simple answer is that some are legal and adhere to checks and balances such as the National Do Not Call Registry. Others fly under the radar because they are illegal and use technology to attempt to scam victims. Inexpensive technology such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) allows scammers to pick the area code and country that will display on the victim’s caller ID. Calls can

originate from anywhere in the world, yet appear as though they are a local caller. Scam calls come in two general forms: pre-recorded calls and non-recorded calls. Pre-recorded calls are typically referred to as robocalls and are considered illegal unless the caller has prior consent from you or the call is purely informational. Unfortunately, the Do Not Call Registry does not block robocalls from accessing and calling your number. The Federal Communications Commission recently began working with mobile carriers and app developers to put an end to scam calls. They may not stop these annoying calls for good, but there are ways you can help prevent scammers from reaching you.

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On your Doorstep If you receive a call from an automated caller,

hang up immediately and report the number to www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov.

Quarry Crusher Run Returns Race organizers aim to contribute $100,000 to the Chula Vista Firefighter’s Foundation

Do not answer calls from numbers you do not recognize.

If you receive a call from an automated caller, hang up immediately and report the number to www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/.

If you answer a scam call, never give out personal information, regardless of how urgent the scammer may try to make the situation feel.

If someone calls saying he is from a legitimate company or organization, don’t trust the caller. Instead, contact the organization on your own to confirm someone is trying to reach you.

Talk with your service provider about tools they offer to identify and/or block unwanted calls for little to no cost such as AT&T’s Call Protect app, Verizon’s Caller Filter and T-Mobile’s Scam ID.

The National Do Not Call Registry removes your number from lists of sale solicitors, but it does not stop calls from legitimate political, survey or charity organizations. To add your name to the National Do Not Call Registry, follow the steps below:

Visit www.donotcall.gov to access the official registration page for the Federal Trade Commission’s Do Not Call Registry.

Click on the “Register Your Phone” link in the blue circle.

Click on the “Register Here” link in orange.

Follow the three steps on screen and click submit.

If you follow the steps listed above, you should stop receiving any type of sales calls after 31 days. With these tools, you can feel more assured that the next call you pick up will be your friend asking about lunch on Tuesday rather than a bogus caller informing you that a free trip to Cancun is yours pending the confirmation of your bank account information. District Attorney Summer Stephan has dedicated more than 29 years to serving justice and victims of crime as prosecutor. She is a national leader in fighting sex crimes and human trafficking and in creating smart and fair criminal justice solutions and restorative justice practices that treat the underlying causes of addiction and mental illness and that keep young people from being incarcerated.

Offering up-close views inside a working quarry and a running challenge like no other, Vulcan Materials Company is bringing its national race series, the Vulcan Quarry Crusher Run, back to Chula Vista on Saturday, November 2 in support of the Chula Vista Firefighter’s Foundation. Presented by Hawthorne CAT, the Quarry Crusher Run offers two race categories, Single Crusher (~3.5 miles) and Double Crusher (running the course twice). Both races start at 8 a.m. at the Vulcan Chula Vista Quarry, which is located at 2275 Hard Rock Road near the Mattress Firm Amphitheatre. This year there will be a yoga stretch series before and after the race, a selfie booth, a variety of local vendors to visit and shop with as well as a post-race breakfast put on by the Chula Vista firefighters. The breakfast is free for participants and by donation for all others. All proceeds generated from the race go directly to the Chula Vista Firefighter’s Foundation, an organization dedicated to providing disaster relief, safety, education and community needs to the citizens of Chula Vista and surrounding areas. Last year the Quarry Crusher Run was the most successful single event fundraiser in the history of the Foundation, and race organizers aim to surpass last year’s numbers. “The community partnership between Vulcan and the Chula Vista Firefighter’s Foundation runs deep--deeper than any quarry and definitely deeper than a Quarry Crusher runner will have to dig to finish this year’s Chula Vista Quarry Crusher Run,” said Sean Lowry, President of the Chula Vista Firefighter’s Foundation. Registration is online at www.quarrycrusherrun.com. Race prices range from $40 to $50 and include an official T-shirt and custom finisher’s medal. Discounts are available for military, first responders, teachers, students and teams. Prizes are awarded to overall winners and age group placers.

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Fighting Cancer with

Gratitude

By Michael Minjares* “Gratitude.� The word landed with impact because it was so unexpected. Here is someone in the throes of a serious fight against Stage 3 rectal cancer saying he felt a sense of gratitude for all he had endured and fought.

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—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— The Chula Vista Bayfront is Coming!

"I knew I needed to wear something... to make me happy and make other people laugh.” Yet, gratitude was precisely the word that longtime EastLake resident John Carroll meant when he shared that he feels gratitude for his situation and the impact it’s had on him and others. What is truly remarkable is that if you know John, his approach to his cancer fight is not surprising in the least.

The next stage of John’s cancer treatment started in January when his PICC line was inserted. A PICC line is a long, thin, hollow, flexible tube called a catheter. It is used to deliver chemotherapy and other medicines. The PICC line is typically put into a vein above the bend of the elbow, as was the case with John. From January to his final treatment on May 3, John received chemotherapy every other week.

So, how does someone battling this horrific disease arrive at a state of gratitude for all that has occurred? The answer requires some background and understanding of the road John has walked over the last 10 months.

Before his first chemotherapy visit, John had received a guidebook on what to bring to keep himself busy during the three to four hours he would be there. But that information did little to relieve the stress and anxiety of the unknown.

On September 22, 2018, while participating in a golf tournament on the Riverwalk Golf Course in Mission Valley, John received a call from his doctor. He picked up immediately, aware that this call would likely change his life in profound ways. The voice on the other end relayed the news: “I found a tumor and I believe it is cancerous,” his doctor told him. The next day, John met with his oncologist to learn the details of his diagnosis and the treatment plan moving forward. His recent colonoscopy had revealed a tumor, and doctors determined it was Stage 3 rectal cancer. The plan was chemotherapy and radiation beginning in November. A 28 cycle, three-doses-a-day treatment plan was put into place. The treatments would occur Monday through Thursday for seven to eight weeks lasting until December 17. On most days, John rode his bike to his treatments – two miles each way – and went to sleep as soon as he returned home. “It beat the hell out of me,” John said about the experience.

“The first time I went in I was so scared,” John shared. “I didn’t know what to expect. Heck, I didn’t even know what color chemo was. About half-way through your treatment you crash. I mean you literally just fall apart and it’s so obvious. “That first time I went in for chemo I was wearing a Hawaiian-print shirt,” he continued. “It’s my happy place and I wanted to feel good. Sitting there and seeing the other patients and the nurses, the place felt like a morgue to me. A sense of misery and despair filled the air. That’s when I realized I had to do something to make people smile. I knew I needed to wear something to each of my appointments to make me happy and make other people laugh.” John landed on a tennis theme for his next visit, and then it got really creative. “For my next appointment I ordered a bunch of stuff online, and my daughter and I went as lifeguards,” John said. “This is when I realized the impact I was having. Several nurses came over to me once I arrived, insisting that they had been assigned to be my nurse for the day. It was like they were fighting over who got to work with me. My daughter made sure to

point this out and my response was, ‘Katie, do you see any other lifeguards in here?’ “After my first treatment I constructed a letter, and I took it with me every time after that. The letter explained who I was, that I was being treated for cancer, and that I was wishing the other patients the best on their treatments. The letters were given to first timers only. For a total of nine cycles, every two weeks on a Friday, from January to May, I went to my treatments in a themed outfit, with my letter and some candy to try and better the experience of my fellow patients.” Over the course of treatments, John and his family or friends went dressed as rock stars, bowlers, barista brothers, mad scientists and cowboys. A boxing theme was the last one, as that was when John got to ring the bell signifying his last treatment. “It made me proud and put me in a very good place,” John said of his different themed attire. “No one had seen it before. All of the nurses there cried when I left for the final time.” John has used the connectivity of social media to communicate with his friends and family about his cancer fight. “Facebook is my outlet to convey to people what I’m going through,” the real estate professional shared. “This has sucked. It’s been hard. I lost 28 pounds in three weeks. But the response to my posts has meant the world to me. It has spurred phone calls, emails and messages from people. Some of the messages have been asking about symptoms. I wanted people to know what the symptoms are and not hide from them. And, the great thing is people are getting screened. That’s everything to me. It makes me feel like a champ because I wanted to be an advocate and to make sure people know what to look for. My goal from the start has been to pass the love and information to people and to spread the word about cancer and rectal cancer specifically.” O U R H O M E TO W NM AG.CO M 17


Fighting cancer with gratitude

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Gratitude.

John’s journey has not been without setbacks. Post chemo, he had an operation to remove the cancer that was left. Doctors removed the tumor and the affected lymph nodes. In reviewing CAT scans afterward, the doctors said they got everything. John has endured complications from this surgery and had another surgery to address some issues. And, while his recovery continues, John continues to maintain a positive attitude, one that includes a sense of gratitude.

“The last day I was at the treatment center, I laid down on the concrete outside after my treatment,” John explained. “An Oingo Boingo song came on the online music app I was playing. It was the song ‘Gratitude.’ I started to cry hearing that song. It’s who I am. It’s how people look at me. I’m grateful to have had this opportunity to make a difference for other people going through the same thing. I have gratitude that I’m still here and have a chance to keep giving to others.” John plans to meet with his medical team in October for a key check point in his recovery. “Right now, I’m not really worried,” he confided. With an attitude of gratitude, there’s no doubt John will tackle any additional medical challenges head on. *In lieu of compensation for his work on this story, Michael Minjares has requested that a donation be made in John's name to San Ysidro Health Services. Our Hometown Magazine is happy to make this donation.

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Saturday, October 12, 2019 8:30 am—2:30 pm Vista Square Elementary 540 G. St, Chula Vista, CA, 91910

Fill Your Cup! A day of inspiration, reflection, connection, and opportunities. FREE EVENT ° Resource Fair ° Flu Shots ° Healthcare & Food Application Assistance (Medi-Cal and CalFresh) ° CalWORKs ° Health Screenings ° Dental Varnish ° Food Pantry Onsite ° Opportunity Drawings Lunch and childcare provided with pre-registration. Spanish interpretation available. Registration is now open! Dial 2-1-1 or register online at:

www.211sandiego.org/Grandparents To apply for Medi-Cal, CalFresh, & CalWORKs, you will need to bring specific documents. For a list of required documents, please call 1-866-262-9881.


School News

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SCHOOL 5th Annual Parent Academy Offers Powerful Learning Opportunities

Registration is now open for the 5th Annual CVESD Parent Academy, which takes place Saturday, October 19. The Parent Academy is a parent-centered conference dedicated to deepening parents’ learning to support their children’s emotional and academic development. The event draws hundreds of parents annually. This year’s keynote speaker is Superintendent Francisco Escobedo, Ed.D., who is also the current “Superintendent of the Year” for a region that includes San Diego and Imperial counties. Through parental support and grit, Dr. Escobedo overcame challenges that resonate with today's students and families. Dr. Escobedo will share his personal journey and the influence of his parents as he grew from a child in New York City, to an Ivy League university student, to a San Diego police officer. Dr. Escobedo left law enforcement to become an elementary school teacher because he wanted to make a difference earlier in children’s lives, before they became known to police.

session, parents will learn about the behavior escalation cycle and what they can do at home to help support their children. • Melissa Moreno, a former San Diego County Teacher of the Year, Understanding Your Child's Behavior and What You can do to Help. In this workshop, Ms. Moreno will explain why children engage in positive as well as negative types of behaviors. • Morgan Appel, Assistant Dean, Education and Community Outreach, UC San Diego Extension,

Brave New Worlds: Impacts of Gaming and Social Media in School and at Home. This will be a robust synopsis of the dynamic roles played by social media in the lives of students, educators and families, including cognitive and socioemotional development, creativity and critical thinking, perfectionism/impostor syndrome and cultivating resilience. To view the full list of workshop sessions and to register, visit www. cvesdparentacademy.org/.

The CVESD Parent Academy is presented by North Island Credit Union. The event is hosted at Vista Square Elementary School, which is located at 540 G Street in Chula Vista. Check-in and breakfast begin at 7:30 a.m., and the event ends at 12:30 p.m. The Parent Academy is free to attend. “We developed an event where parents and educators experience and explore ideas around learning and socialemotional intelligence,” Dr. Escobedo said. “Participants’ feedback has been tremendously positive. Make sure to register early for this year’s Parent Academy.”

Workshop presenters and sessions include: • Chelsea Gould, Early Childhood PIP program, Breaking the Cycle of Challenging Behavior with Your Child. During this O U R H O M E TO W NM AG.CO M 21


School News

Sweetwater District Student Sworn in by California State Board of Education as Board Representative

Brenna Pangelinan, a senior at Eastlake High School, was appointed as the student board representative to the California State Board of Education in Sacramento for the 2019-20 school year. She will assume responsibility as the board’s lone sitting student representative as she did in her role as the 2018-19 student board representative for the Sweetwater District Board of Trustees. In her role, Brenna will now represent all students in the state of California. “During her term as student board representative for the Sweetwater District, Brenna provided a solid way to share student voice at each board meeting,” said Dr. Karen Janney, Superintendent of Sweetwater Union High School District. “Brenna’s passion is to now represent student voices, not only those enrolled in Advanced Placement classes, but those who may be invisible at the local and state level. That responsibility is no small task, but we believe she is more than qualified.” Last year, Brenna served as student board representative for the Sweetwater District, served as the athletics commissioner on the Eastlake High School Associated Student Body, and was also a swim and water polo star. Brenna is the founder of Eastlake High School’s Mental Health Task Force and currently serves as Eastlake High School’s ASB President. Prior to earning her current position at the state level, Brenna was among 12 finalists who attended the Student Advisory Board of Education Conference in early November 2018 in Sacramento to be interviewed by students and other panels at the state level. According to Superintendent Janney, “Brenna has always been persistent. Every step along the way, she represented Sweetwater students and the district with poised confidence as an articulate advocate for student voice. We have observed when she sets her mind to something, she approaches it methodically and passionately.” “I believe our education system is only as strong as our weakest link,” said Brenna during an interview back in March. “My goal is to represent students from all different backgrounds who don’t often have a voice.” In her new role, Brenna is expected to attend selected advisory group meetings, student meetings, workshops and conferences. 2 2 OUR HOME TOWN / OCTO B ER 2 0 1 9


School News

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October ——COMMUNITY ART SHOW @ Bonita Museum and Cultural Center. Show runs from October 12 through November 2. Exhibit will be open Wednesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Visit chulavistaartguild.com for more info.

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BOOK SALE @ 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. @ Bonita Museum and Cultural Center, 4355 Bonita Road in Bonita. Shop over 10,000 hard and paperback books in various categories. All proceeds go directly to youth in our community. For more info, visit bonitaoptimist.org.

HIGH HOLY DAYS SERVICES @ Temple Beth Shalom, 208 Madrona Street in Chula Vista. For more info, visit bethshalomtemple.com.

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CHAMBER MIXER 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Hosted by Westmont at San Miguel Ranch, 2325 Proctor Valley Road in Chula Vista. Mix, mingle and meet future business partners. $10 for members and $20 for nonmembers. For more info, visit chulavistachamber.org.

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PINGO @ 4:30 – 8:30 p.m. @ Montevalle Community Center, 840 Duncan Ranch Road in Chula Vista. Play bingo-like games with designer purses. All proceeds go to support the CV Police Activities League. Must be 21+ to attend. Purchase tickets at https:// squareup.com/store/cvpal or from any CV PAL board member.

OUT & ABOUT

HALLOWEEN MOVIE NIGHT @ Chula Vista Golf Course, 4475 Bonita Road in Bonita. Free, family fun with a special movie screening of A Nightmare Before Christmas (Rated PG). The Empower Hour will lead kids’ activities at 5:30 p.m., and the movie begins at dusk. Snack bar available.

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BEAUTIFY CHULA VISTA @ 8:30 a.m. – noon. This event is hosted by Mayor Mary Casillas Salas and the Chula Vista City Council in collaboration with I Love a Clean San Diego. All volunteers must register prior to the event. For more details, visit beautifychulavista.org.

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EASTLAKE TECHNOLOGY & INNOVATION FAIR AND EASTLAKE CYCLE & RUN @ Eastlake Middle School, 900 Duncan Road in Chula Vista. Students will meet STEM and STEAM professionals and learn about future careers at the fair. Cycle and run events include the 5K Run, Roll & Stroll, 18-Mile Mountain Bike and Poker Ride and 25-Mile Cycling Road Ride. Learn more at www.eefkids.org. FILIPINO-AMERICAN HISTORY CELEBRATION @ 12 – 4 p.m. @ Otay Ranch Town Center, 2015 Birch Road in Chula Vista. Honor the events, experiences and lives of Filipino people in America and their impact on society at this free festival.

CVESD PARENT ACADEMY @ 7:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. @ Vista Square Elementary School in Chula Vista. An amazing opportunity to learn and network with other parents. Free registration is at CVESDParentAcademy.org.

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HALLOWEEN GLOW RUN 5K @ Chula Vista Golf Course, 4475 Bonita Road in Bonita. Check-in is at 5 p.m. and race begins at 6 p.m. Enjoy the pre- and post-race vendor fair with kids’ activities. Registration is $20 per person and includes T-shirt, swag bag and great glow stuff! Chulavistaca.gov/rec.

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PETSMART ADOPTION DAY EVENT @11 a.m. – 3 p.m. @ 1840 Main Court in Chula Vista. Help find furr-ever homes for dogs, cats and rabbits.

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FREE TRICK OR TREAT @ 3 – 5 p.m. @ Eastlake Village Marketplace, 2225 Otay Lakes Road in Chula Vista. Children 12 and under, dressed in costume and accompanied by an adult, are invited to pick up free treats at participating businesses. Visit www. ShopVillageWalk. com for more info.

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SAVE THE DATE 11/02 VETERANS WALK @ California Veterans Home, 700 E. Naples Court. Walk to give over 300 local veterans a holiday dinner party in December. Register at TheVeteransWalk.org and contact Hank at (916) 2212709 or hendrik.schanstra@ calvet.ca.gov with questions. 11/02 QUARRY CRUSHER RUN @ Vulcan Materials Chula Vista Quarry, 2275 Hard Rock Road in Chula Vista. Proceeds benefit the Chula Vista Firefighter’s Foundation. For more info and registration, visit www. quarrycrusherrun.com. 11/02 SOUTH BAY PUMPKIN SMASH GAME OF THROWS @ 9 a.m. @ Eastlake Mid-dle School, 900 Duncan Ranch Road in Chula Vista. The entire community is invited to attend. Students in grades 3 - 12 are encouraged to participate and build Medieval-style devices, smash pumpkins and win prizes. Admission is free for spectators. For details, rules and regis-tration, visit bit.ly/ sbps-gameofthrows. 11/03 CHULAFEST @ 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. @ Chula Vista Community Park, 1600 Eastlake Parkway in Chula Vista. This is a free, family, friendly multi-cultural, community festi-val. Enjoy food, cultural dance, live music, art, lifestyle vendor, and an urban dance showcase. For vendor information, email info@chulafest.com or cvarts@ chulavistaca.gov.

O U R H O M E TO W N M AG.CO M 25


Don Dumas

EDUCATIO N ADVO CATE

One of Five Educators Named 2019-20 San Diego County Teachers of the Year:

Teaching is an art. On a daily basis, teachers all across the country and in the Sweetwater Union High School District (SUHSD) prepare lessons to strive to bring out the best in their students and achieve academic and personal success. Meet Don Dumas, advanced placement U.S. history teacher and boys varsity basketball coach at Bonita Vista High School in the Sweetwater District. Dumas was recently named among the five San Diego County Teachers of the Year at the 2019 Salute to Teachers Gala held at Balboa Theatre in September. “I feel very fortunate to be named Teacher of the Year,” Dumas said. “All 42 of the nominees were exceptional teachers, and I am completely humbled by the idea that so many other educators consider my classroom practices to be on par with theirs.” Dumas has been teaching history and economics for nine years and has also served as the boys varsity basketball coach since 2014. Dumas excels at making personal connections with his students as a way of establishing trust and further reinforcing a safe learning environment. “There is nothing more rewarding than when a student tells me that I have given them confidence to pursue some goal, whether it be in academia or elsewhere,” said Dumas. “That is my ultimate goal--to use my history curriculum

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and my ability to connect in order to empower students.” After his own challenging experiences in life and school, Dumas was drawn to teaching so that he could help students who face familiar challenges. To help students succeed, he creates an environment where students can be “their authentic self,” express their views, and have their individual experiences valued, not dismissed. As an education advocate, Dumas believes in equitable education so much that he is the Culture, Climate and Safety Committee Co-Chair for SUHSD. “I have always designed my classroom practices around what the students in front of me need, not what the standards said they needed,” said Dumas. “Sometimes those things align, but sometimes they don’t. I would discuss these things with my students, and tell them that I want to empower them to succeed in life in whatever they want to attempt. Now more than ever I am even more confident that I am doing the right thing in my classroom.” One of Dumas’s former students said it best. “He falls nothing short of an amazing life coach with the ability to incorporate real-life conflicts with each history lesson in a way that speaks to each student individually.” “I believe in all children that enter my classroom,” said Dumas. “Whether they are troubled or privileged, I strive to seek the potential in each and every student.”

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—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— The Chula Vista Bayfront is Coming!

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Profile for OurHometownMag

Our Hometown Chula Vista - October 2019  

Community news and events for Chula Vista

Our Hometown Chula Vista - October 2019  

Community news and events for Chula Vista

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