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Savor the Season THE WINE & BEER ISSUE

october 2013


OC TOBER 2 0 13

From the Editor...


ello again! It is so nice to be back and back bringing you a very special community magazine. All of us with Our Hometown Magazine are excited for the opportunity to share with you on a monthly basis much of what makes Chula Vista a great place to live, work, play and raise a family. Personally, I am thrilled to have been asked to continue in my role as Editor of this publication. I look forward to working with many of you to once again fill these pages with interesting and engaging content focused on the best this community has to offer. Each month we hope you will consider sharing news about the people, businesses and organizations giving back and making a difference throughout the local neighborhood. Feel free to send me notices about community events, suggestions for individuals to feature and businesses to highlight and other potential story ideas. We will strive to act on as many submissions as possible as we want to see lots of community participation in Our Hometown. This month’s issue centers on getting out and enjoying the local dining scene. Chula Vista offers a wide variety of excellent locales for savoring a delicious meal and a well-crafted beverage. No matter what part of our city you find yourself in, terrific eateries await nearby. Romesco’s, a Mexican-flavored restaurant, represents a hidden gem just off of Bonita Road while Savoie will call Otay Ranch Town Center home once it opens later this year. Both local establishments add to the myriad offerings in our community. October’s issue also features our standard fare of great community events and stories on community members doing meaningful work to enhance the quality of life for all of us. Now is a wonderful time to take a break from the rushing around that consumes much of our time and which is only likely to intensify once the holidays arrive. Yes, we all can benefit from stopping to savor some of the tasty dining options now available. Perhaps we will see you around town and we can share in a hearty toast – to our hometown!

Mike Minjares Editor of Our Hometown





NEWS On your doorstep


In Case of Emergency Staying Green

22 CALENDAR Out & About

23 SCHOOL NEWS Discovering Living Coast

24 BUSINESS HIGHLIGHTS Angelica Wallace Origami Owl


Valdez Family


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

To the WHOLE CHULA VISTA COMMUNITY (and San Diego County) for coming out to support the Eastlake Little League team and their successful run to the U.S. Championship and a runner-up finish in the Little League World Series Championship game. Large crowds regularly cheered on the local youth baseball team at viewing parties and special events around town capped by an incredible welcome home event at Sleep Train Amphitheatre on August 29. It’s great to see this diverse community come together to support an outstanding group of players, coaches, parents and fans. To DANIEL RAMOS on his efforts to start an after-school program at EastLake Elementary School that features free piano lessons for students. Ramos, a senior at Eastlake High, has been pursuing his musical interest for years. With this new venture he now is able to share that passion with future musicians. To JACOB MEDRANO, an EastLake resident, on his third-place finish at the Junior Olympic Games in the 3,000meter run. The track and field portion of the Games took place in Detroit, Michigan and Medrano finished on the podium for his age group. Medrano, 11, has been running for two years with the San Diego Cheetahs Youth Track Club. Medrano is used to being in the spotlight as off the track he serves as the voice of “Diego” on the new Dora The

Explorer show and has lent his talent to episodes of Special Agent Oso and Family Guy in addition to commercial and print ads. To DIVINO PLASTIC SURGERY on its grand opening of its second San Diego location held on September 6. Divino Plastic Surgery CEO and Plastic Surgeon Dr. Carlos Chacón started the company in 2012 in Encinitas. Divino Plastic Surgery – specializing in high-end, fashion-forward plastic surgery and medical spa treatments – has experienced rapid growth and the Bonita Professional Plaza location, 180 Otay Lakes Road, Suite 110, will serve as the corporate headquarters for business operations. “Our new space promises to be just as creative, stylish and innovative as our company,” Dr. Chacón said. “We love what we do and can’t wait to share our expertise with the community.” To TONY JEFFERSON, former Eastlake High football standout, for making the opening day roster of the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League. After a successful career at the University of Oklahoma, Jefferson was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Cardinals and worked hard to make the 53-man roster as a backup safety. The Associated Press named Jefferson a second team All-American after his junior season in college when he led the team in tackles with 119.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO CONTRIBUTE TO BRAVO, send a quick note to Our Hometown’s editor at and we’ll do our best to put your good news announcement in an upcoming issue. Submissions should be sent by the 10th of the month.

PUBLISHED BY Standout Media Group, Inc

PUBLISHER Michael Monaco


EDITORIAL Mike Minjares

DESIGNER Elsa Flores

DESIGNER Melissa Monroy

Copyright 2013. All rights reserved. Reproduction in any form, in whole or part, without written permission is prohibited. Standout Media, 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. StandOut Media has the right to refuse advertising. Contact Standout Media Group, Inc at (619) 840 7722

On your doorstep



TO RAISE FUNDS FOR BREAST CANCER RESEARCH Join local Zumba instructor Donna Labra for a dance-fitness party for a cause at the 4th Annual “Party in Pink” on Friday, October 18. Proceeds of this hour-and-ahalf Zumbathon at New Hope Community Church, 2720 Olympic Parkway, benefit breast cancer prevention in partnership with Susan G. Komen.




The suggested $10 donation per person supports breast cancer research. Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among women worldwide with approximately 1.4 million cases diagnosed each year.

CV CHAMBER OF COMMERCE GOLF TOURNAMENT OCT 17 The annual Chula Vista Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament tees off on Thursday, October 17 at Salt Creek Golf Club. The golf portion of the event begins with the 11:00 a.m. shotgun start, but the valuable networking and mingling is sure to last all day long. Registration fees for a foursome run $400, while individual player can participate for $125. Fees include green fee, cart, range balls, boxed lunch and an awards banquet. For more information or to register, email the kind folks at the Chamber at or call (619) 420-6603

NEISHA’S CELEBRATES HALLOWEEN KIDS NIGHT OUT OCT 12 Neisha’s October Kids Night Out is set for Saturday, October 12, from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. This month’s theme is, of course, “Happy Halloween!” Come dressed in costume to participate in the costume contest and parade. Special treats will be given to the “cutest”, “scariest”, “most unique” and “best overall” according to age categories. Kids will also enjoy pizza dinner, create awesome Halloween crafts, dance to the most “spooktacular” party music, hear kid-friendly spooky stories and end the evening with a movie and snacks. Reservations begin October 1. The events costs $25 per child ages 3-12 if pre-registered, $35 the day of the event, on first-come first-served basis. This is one of the local dance and music academy’s most popular events, so register early! For more information, go online to

LOCAL SHOPPING SITES TO HOST SAFE “I am inspired to be able to do what I love and share my passion for fitness with others while raising funds and awareness for such a great cause,” said Labra. “I am a native of Chula Vista and to feel I am able to give back in some small way means a lot to me. This year, I hope to have the biggest turnout yet. I am hoping for close to 200 people in attendance and I would like to raise more than $2,000.” Childcare is available and runs $5 for the first child and $3 each additional child. Check-in begins at 6:00 p.m. with the party kicking off at 6:30 and going until 8:00. Tickets for “Party in Pink” are available online at

Trick-or-Treating Events Calling all ghosts and goblins! Children ages 12 and under are invited to pick up free treats at participating merchants at Village Walk at EastLake and EastLake Village Marketplace on Wednesday, October 31 from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. Children should dress in costume and be accompanied by an adult. Families are welcomed to come out and enjoy the costumed characters, mascots and other specials planned by merchants at both centers at this free annual event. Village Walk at EastLake is located on EastLake Parkway and Miller Driver in Chula Vista and features 30 stores and services including Trader Joe’s, Sprouts Farmers Market, Pier 1 Imports and T.J. Maxx. EastLake Village Marketplace is located on the corner of Otay Lakes Road & EastLake Parkway in Chula Vista and features 30 shops and services including Target, Lowe’s and Office Depot. For additional information, call (858) 695-2700.

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On your doorstep...


On your doorstep


On your doorstep

Going Green IN THE CITY OF CHULA VISTA Did you know that on September 1, your SDG&E energy rates increased? While this increase was small for residents who use less energy (probably about 2% – 5%), it could be an up to 30% increase for high energy users, who are regularly in rate tiers 3 or 4. If you are not sure what rate tier you typically are in, you can find an easy-to-read graph on your SDG&E bill. If you are affected by the rate increase, the best plan of action is to reduce your energy consumption now! By minimizing your energy use (especially in rate tiers 3 or 4), you will be reducing the effects of the rate increase on your bill. There are many resources available to help you save energy, such as:



Did you know that you can capture more than 600 gallons of water from 1 inch of rain if you have a 1,000 square foot roof?

-Visiting SDG&E’s website (www.sdge. com) to take an online energy survey.

That water can be used by you to water your landscaping and reduce your water bills. To learn how you can start harvesting rain water from your home, attend the hands-on Rain Water Harvesting workshop sponsored by the City of Chula Vista at the Salt Creek Community Center (2710 Otay Lakes Rd.) on October 26 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. You will learn the basics of how to plan for and install rain barrels as well as see examples of multiple different types of barrels. Space is limited so please RSVP by calling the City of Chula Vista Conservation Section at (619) 409-3893 or by emailing

Throughout the month, the City and SANDAG are working to increase the community’s awareness and adoption of sustainable transportation choices. Residents and visitors are encouraged to try alternative transportation – such as carpooling, vanpooling, public transit, teleworking, walking, and bicycling – to commute to work, school, or around the neighborhood. These transportation options can help save money for commuters and improve Chula Vista’s air quality.

-Contacting the City of Chula Vista’s Conservation Section (619-409-3893 or and) to request a FREE Home Energy & Water Check-Up. This basic evaluation can help identify energy saving opportunities by using a thermal infrared camera to find hidden energy-wasting areas in your home. -Participating in Energy Upgrade California program ( to receive incentives of up to $4,500 for making energy efficiency improvements. Go to the Chula Vista Home Upgrade, Carbon Downgrade homepage ( hucd) to hear what homeowners, who have already gone through the Energy Upgrade CA program, have to say about their upgrades. If energy efficiency alone will not help you save enough, you can also look into adding solar to your home. By acting now you can take advantage of solar tax credits that can help cover up to 30% of your project costs. If you are not sure where to start when considering solar energy, you can participate in one of the “Solar for Homeowners, Getting Started” workshops hosted by the California Center for Sustainable Energy. Visit the event section of their website ( to find more information and register.


Learn more about alternative transportation options through the iCommute website at www., which provides free carpool ride matching services, vanpool incentives, bikeway maps, and teleworking information.

On your doorstep PREVENT POLLUTION EVERYDAY Did you know that there are over 10,000 storm drain inlets and over 200 miles of storm drain pipe in the City of Chula Vista? All storm drain structures in the City are directly connected to nearby rivers and streams, which eventually lead to San

Diego Bay. Unlike wastewater in the sanitary sewage system, water in storm drains does not receive treatment. Rain or landscaping irrigation runoff can flush pollutants such as trash, bacteria and fertilizers from our neighborhoods into nearby creeks, rivers and the ocean. These pollutants can harm fish and plants that live downstream and can make people sick. We can positively impact water quality by implementing pollution prevention measures during

everyday activities such as properly disposing of trash and recyclables, picking up after our pets and adjusting our sprinklers to prevent over watering. Making better choices for the environment not only benefits us, but it also helps to protect the ecosystem within our City. For more information on how you can prevent pollution, visit




Founded with the goal of helping players of all ages to learn and enjoy the beautiful and internationally loved game of “futbol,” also known in the United States as “soccer,” The Futbol Factory opened on Tuesday, September 3.

The new 28,000-square-foot indoor futbol/ soccer training facility is the first of its kind in California, with a unique approach that focuses on helping kids, teens and adults master futbol/soccer fundamentals and technical skills that will lead to better performance on the field. Located at 2390 Boswell Road, Suite 400, in the eastern Chula Vista community of Eastlake, The Futbol Factory was started by four successful business professionals from San Diego and Mexico who are also futbol enthusiasts. They recognized a need in the community to work with players individually to help them learn the basic fundamentals and technical skills of the game, training often missing from regular team practices due to time constraints, differing player skill levels or personal coaching styles. More information about The Futbol Factory, including memberships, class schedules, open-play and pick-up game hours, can be found at or by calling (619) 271-3246. OCTOBER 2013 · OUR HOMETOWN 9

On your doorstep


By Mike Minjares

If you want to be a writer, take writing classes. If you want to be an artist, take art classes. Over the years, the death of the comic book industry has been predicted numerous times. With the arrival of the digital age, it was thought folks would move away from buying comic books and turn to reading their favorite character’s exploits on laptops, tablets and smartphones. But from the looks of things at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, the visually appealing world of comic books continues to thrive in the creative arts’ arena. One Chula Vista native remains happy to ride out the inevitable ups and downs of working in the comic book industry. Jeromy Cox self-published his very first comic book – Zombie Love – more than 20 years ago. Today, Cox is recognized as one of the top comic book colorists around having received several Eisner award nominations for his outstanding work. He lends his professional experience and artistic talent to two to three titles a month for publishing giant DC after having previously worked at Marvel and for Jim Lee’s La Jolla-based Homage Studios when it started. Despite working on current titles such as Trinity War and Justice League of America, Cox still maintains the desire to see his own independent titles grow and expand to even wider audiences. It’s this passion for connecting personally to his fans who know his work on their favorite titles that drives the former Chula Vista High School and Southwestern Community College student to exhibit at San Diego Comic-Con and this month’s San Diego Comic Fest. “The first time I had a table at Comic-Con was in 1992 when Zombie Love came out,” said Cox. “I attended my first Con in 1985. Now, I’m there often to promote my own titles. Being there I get to interact with the fandom of people who enjoy my work. Some of the books I have worked on are 10 OUR HOMETOWN · OCTOBER 2013

you learn. If you want to be a writer, take writing classes. If you want to be an artist, take art classes. Work on this every day so you can get better at your craft.” critically acclaimed and attendees bring stacks of them for me to sign. The biggest kick for me is when young kids come by the table. I remember being really young when I found comic books.”

Cox looks forward to talking with long-time and new fans at the San Diego Comic Fest to be held October 4-6 at the Town and Country Resort and Convention Center.

Cox, who now lives locally in Clairemont, recalls his first introduction to comic books came about long before his creation of Zombie Love. The third generation Chula Vistan lived for a short while in Mazatlan, Mexico when he was 2 or 3 years old and had a stack of Marvel comics – all in Spanish – that was as tall as he was. Later on, Cox found G.I. Joe – action figures and comics – and that’s when he became hooked on this illustrated art form of storytelling.

Information for the event is available at, while anyone interested in Cox’s work should check out his website –

“I was on vacation with my family and I had some money that was supposed to last me the whole trip,” Cox said. “I went into this comic book store and I blew all my money on back issues of G.I. Joe comics from 1982-1984.” Since breaking into the industry, Cox has worked on some of the most wellknown and popular titles including recent titles Avenger Academy and X-Factor and drawn nearly all of his favorite characters such as Spider-Man, Batman, Green Lantern and tons more. Keeping with the times, Cox is working on the digital releases of his own titles Vampyrates and Zombie Love. “My advice to anyone looking to get into this field is to make and print your own comic books,” Cox shared. “That’s how


On your doorstep


Parade Band Foundation, Inc., in partnership with the Chula Vista Chamber of Commerce and the South Bay Family YMCA, is proud to present its annual Parade, Marching Band Review and Community Festival on Saturday, November 9 at the Otay Ranch Town Center. The Parade Band Review & Community Festival, A Salute to Our Veterans features over 30 awardwinning high school marching bands from all of San Diego as well as Diamond Bar, Pomona, El Monte, Placentia, Burbank, Pico Rivera, Lancaster, and Downey. The bands compete for scholarships, grants and prizes sponsored by Chula Vista’s leading businesses, along with Chula Vista alumni groups and special donors. The Parade and Marching Band review begins the annual event at 10:00 a.m. with the Community Festival taking place from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. “We couldn’t be more proud and thankful of how the Chula Vista community, together with local businesses and community service organizations have come together to embrace and grow this event which showcases the arts publicly while honoring our Veterans,” said Jason Paguio, President

Walk, Ride, Chula Vista schools have the chance to win $500, $750, or even $1,000 when students participate in the Walk, Ride, and Roll to School Challenge. The campaign’s goals are to increase the number of children carpooling, walking, biking and taking public transit to school; to raise awareness of the benefits of more active forms of transportation; and to promote pedestrian and bicycle safety. The challenge is organized by the SANDAG iCommute program. Locally, the Chula Vista Elementary School District, Sweetwater Union High School District and the City of Chula Vista Recreation Department are up for the challenge of being a pilot program for integrating year-round school schedules with SchoolPool activities and the WRR event. SchoolPool offers a free, secure ridematching service for parents at the same school. When an administrator enrolls

and CEO, Parade Band Foundation, Inc. “It’s extremely humbling to know that this event has grown to become the largest of its kind in San Diego and among the top five largest in Southern California in just three years.” The Community Parade, in partnership with the South Bay Family YMCA, showcases the community’s service organizations, scholastic athletic teams, school clubs, cheerleaders, classic cars, team mascots, dance teams, ROTC groups, local businesses, celebrities, veteran organizations, and community leaders, in addition to the competitive marching bands from all over California. After the Parade and Marching Band Review, the Community Festival provides an exciting and day-filled event full of family games, activities and food. Thousands come to enjoy this free event that has two performance stages featuring local rock bands, show choirs, drum lines, ballet folklorico, and various local talents. Vendors, from every type of ethnic food, desserts, businesses of all kinds, to carnival-like game booths,



surround the festival. Children of all ages can enjoy bounce houses, laser tag, pony rides, crafts, and an assortment of family-filled games. During the festival, the marching bands from throughout California take part in the awards ceremony as the winners and scholarship recipients are announced. Parade Band Foundation is a 100 percent volunteer organization that helps to support scholastic music programs by annually awarding thousands of dollars in grants and scholarships, travel relief/assistance, awards, incentives, while providing educational opportunities and resources to students and educators in challenging times for the arts. For more information on the Parade Band Review visit


their school, parents can search for other families who are interested in sharing the driving responsibilities or would like to have their kids bike or walk to school with other students and a parent leader. Schools could win a cash prize for school supplies when students participate in the weeklong Walk, Ride, and Roll to School Challenge, October 14 through 18. The schools with the largest percentage of parents logging their children’s carpool, transit, walk, and/or bike to school trips in the online iCommute system win! Parents also are eligible to win prizes for logging their children’s trips throughout the school year. To learn more about the SchoolPool program and sign up to participate in the Walk, Ride, and Roll to School Chula Vista Challenge, visit or call 511 and say “SchoolPool.”



Recently, the American Red Cross San Diego/ Imperial Counties Chapter, along with key partners, announced Prepare San Diego, a fouryear regional resiliency initiative driven by the Red Cross to help prepare the San Diego region for human emergencies and disasters.


CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. “We must work together to ensure successful long-term recovery and reduce economic impact. I applaud the American Red Cross and all other partners who are behind Prepare San Diego.”

PREPARED FOR A pivotal component of the initiative is the Through Prepare San Diego, the Red Cross Steering Committee, comprised primarily of brings together key business and community members of the Senior Red Cross Business leaders from the region to create a sustainable Council. This committee will review and network that encourages preparedness, carries evaluate the progress of the initiative, inform out response and recovery plans, and strives for resiliency in the future directions and disseminate findings and progress to face of disaster. A key goal with the initiative is to facilitate a key stakeholders within the region to ensure Prepare San cultural shift to increase individual, organizational, and business Diego is responsive to the needs of the entire region. preparedness, and with that, one million people in San Diego County will make an emergency plan, build a disaster kit or get Native San Diegan and philanthropist Malin Burnham trained to effectively respond. is also a supporter of the initiative. “Prepare San Diego is the kind of forward and collaborative thinking our region “Based on research we know that only 7 percent of households needs,” said Burnham. “The importance of teamwork is key in San Diego County are prepared for a disaster – that’s not good to meeting a large goal like preparing one million people. I enough,” said Tony Young, CEO of the local Red Cross. “Prepare believe San Diego can do it.” San Diego is a single integrated program that brings the entire community together, shoulder-to-shoulder, to make preparedness September was National Preparedness Month and that a priority. We must look at everything through a preparedness makes fall a perfect time for individuals, families, businesses lens and it’s yet to happen as a collective effort until now.” and organizations to take action. For more information about Prepare San Diego and how to get involved, visit Several key community and business leaders are behind Prepare San Diego, including names like Interim Mayor Todd Gloria, Councilmembers Mark Kersey and Marti Emerald, Supervisors Ron Roberts and Dave Roberts, Jerry Sanders and the Chamber, and entities like County Office of Emergency Services, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), San Diego State University, KPBS, Economic Development Corporation, among others.


In addition to a preparedness goal, Prepare San Diego rounds out the full disaster lifecycle with goals for response and recovery. From a recovery standpoint, the goal is to strengthen the region’s post-disaster recovery infrastructure and economic resiliency. Businesses throughout the San Diego region need to be able to return to a pre-disaster state as quickly as possible in order to assist with regional recovery. “With disasters and other emergencies, it’s not ‘if’ but rather ‘when’ it will strike,” said Jerry Sanders, 12 OUR HOMETOWN · OCTOBER 2013

On Topic: Staying Green

IMPORTANCE OF AERATING YOUR LAWN By Charles Ludwick, Chula Vista Lawn

Are you missing your healthy green lawn? There are many reasons why your grass may be unhealthy. Improper watering, seeding, fertilizers and disease can all take the blame. The real culprit is probably compacted soil. Compacted soil deprives grass roots of oxygen and hinders the movement of earthworms and other organisms that decompose thatch – the tightly intermingled layer of living and dead stems, leaves and roots which accumulates between the layer of actively-growing grass and the soil underneath. The solution to this situation is lawn aeration. Lawn aeration has many benefits. If you are trying to conserve water, lawn aeration reduces water runoff and improves your lawn’s drought tolerance. A lawn that has been aerated may only require half of the water of a lawn that has skipped being aerated, and may also prevent puddles being formed from excess runoff. Aeration loosens compacted soil and increases the availability of water and nutrients. Fall aeration will improve the capture of winter rainfall. It also allows the roots and thatch-decomposing organisms to get the oxygen they need to thrive and stimulate the growth of a healthy lawn. Because of the beautiful weather here in San Diego, any time is a great time to aerate your lawn, although fall and spring are the best. Chula Vista Lawn is dedicated to hard work, good service and reasonable prices. Stop by the website to see if aeration is right for your lawn this fall –

accElEratinG innovation throuGh thE intEllEct Students in the Chula Vista Elementary School District experience a rigorous 21st century learning environment that is rooted in effective teaching practices and highquality instruction. We nurture every child’s imagination, intellect, and sense of inquiry. Working with stakeholders, we harness the potential of a collective intelligence rich with the imagination and creativity necessary for students to become difference makers. CVESD is frequently honored for student academic achievement, high performing schools, and quality instruction.

thE district’s nEWEst school Enrique S. Camarena Elementary is the District’s newest campus, and is located at 1650 Exploration Falls Drive in the Windingwalk community of Chula Vista. Learn more about District attendance boundaries and student enrollment by contacting (619) 425-9600, x 1571 • (619) 425-9600 ext. 1570 Each child is an individual of GrEat Worth

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ith the summer heat finally fading




temperate weather here, many around




taking advantage of this opportunity to get out and enjoy a fine wine or tasty beer with a delicious, local meal. Chula Vista offers a bounty of choices for nice dining or a casual outdoor setting and numerous ways to Savor the Season.



The Premier DesTinaTion for DenTisTry in san Diego

Uyen N. Thompson, D.D.S.

688 Old Telegraph Canyon Road Chula Vista, California 91910

(619) 216-2121 OCTOBER 2013 路 OUR HOMETOWN 18

On your doorstep


FEATURE The Irish Bookmaker’s Sandwich his is one of our favorite meals, and I think October is the best time to showcase this particular recipe. I say this because this is the perfect recipe to go with a pint of Guinness, or Harp or any full-bodied beer. The original Bookmaker’s Sandwich was made for the working class man of Ireland who worked away from home for an extended period of time. Legend has it that the length of the sandwich directly correlated with the amount of time that the man spent away from home (1 foot per day). Originally, ham or bacon with a slice of cheese between two slices of soda bread was the treat made for the man coming home, and the wife would put a heavy book on the sandwich to weigh it down as it toasted over the fire. You can almost imagine how delicious a hot sandwich would be to the Irishman who had been out in the fields on a rainy, blustery day. Now, the Bookmaker’s Sandwich is often made with beef, thick slabs of soda bread, cheese, mustard, salt and pepper. And if you would like to make it on soda bread, by all means, do! Soda bread is not difficult to make at all (a Google search reveals many results, Barefoot Contessa’s recipe is probably my favorite), and adds an interesting flavor to the sandwich. In our house, the bread of choice is the baguette. Our family does not eat beef very often, but when the urge strikes, one of our favorite ways to eat beef is in the Bookmaker’s Sandwich. The girls cover one or two of my heavy cookbooks with aluminum foil or newspaper so that they don’t get damaged, and I use my grill pan on the stovetop to toast the huge baguette. My favorite thing about this sandwich is that it is so versatile – use leftover turkey, roast beef or ham or bacon or prime OCTOBER 2013 · OUR HOMETOWN 20

rib or tenderloin. Make it completely vegetarian if you will. In our house, we slice the baguette lengthwise, put honey mustard on one half, regular mustard on the other. We layer on the sliced beef with all saved juices, put grilled, caramelized onions on half the sandwich, leave the other half free of onions. We top the sandwich with cheese and cover. Then, lightly butter both sides of the baguette and place directly on grill pan with one or two heavy books to weigh it down. The children love standing over the stove on chairs, holding the books down until the baguette is toasty on one side, and then another. It truly flattens out, and the juices from the rare beef seep into the baguette, the cheese melts and gets gooey, the onions marry with the

By: Karishma Sinnott

cheese and beef, and you’re essentially left with a flattened, crispy Panini, although we don’t call it that in our house. It’s a Bookmaker’s Sandwich, and we love our version of it because Daddy doesn’t have to be gone for two days for it to be two feet long – for a 9-6 day at the office, he gets a six-inch piece of Bookmaker’s Sandwich – pretty generous, wouldn’t you say? Pair with a delicious salad, fresh fruit and tea and eat it outside this fall. We may not be in the Emerald Isle, but there is no reason why we can’t enjoy this Irish delicacy, along with a pint of your favorite Irish beer, right here in our backyard.

Karishma Sinnott is a writer, editor, mother, wife and fan of Our Hometown Magazine.

Now Open

A New Senior Residential Community Built Exclusively for Alzheimer’s Care 850 Duncan Ranch Rd. Chula Vista, CA 91914 (619) 202-1023


Grand Opening | November 2nd EASTLAKE YMCA We are pleased to announce the opening of our Eastlake YMCA (facility of our South Bay Family YMCA). This YMCA will offer gymnastics, group exercise classes, a fitness center and childwatch services. Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday: 6:00am-8:00pm; Saturday: 7:00am-12:00pm Address: 2311 Boswell Road, Suite 7, Chula Vista 91914 | 619.421.9622


October 2013

Out & About 05

CHULA VISTA FIRE DEPARTMENT’S ANNUAL OPEN HOUSE 10am-2pm @ Fire Station 4, 850 Paseo Ranchero, Chula Vista; Free community event is filled with fun and informative displays and activities.



VISTA 8:30am-12 noon at two cleanup sites in Chula Vista; Volunteers will be removing litter, graffiti, and invasive plants in Rice Canyon at Discovery Park, or can remove litter and graffiti from the surrounding neighborhood at Otay Recreation Center;



6:30-8pm @ New Hope Community Church, 2720 Olympic Parkway, Chula Vista; $10 donation per person; Join local Zumba instructor Donna Labra for a dance-fitness party for a cause as proceeds benefit Zumba Global Research Grant for Breast Cancer Prevention CHULA VISTA in Partnership with Susan CHAMBER OF COMMERCE “HAPPY HALLOWEEN” G. Komen; Tickets available MIXER 5:30-7:30pm; hosted by First Bank, 2314 Proctor Valley 5-9pm – Neisha’s Dance & Music online at donnalabrazumba. Academy; Kids ages 3-12; $25 Road, Suite 101, Chula Vista, per student; $35 day of event; 91914; Member fee $10, nonmember $20; (619) 420-6603 or Come dressed in your costume to participate in the costume contest and parade. Special HILLTOP HIGH treats will be given to the “cut- LANCERS BASEBALL GOLF AMERICAN CENTER est”, “scariest”, “most unique” FUNDRAISER FOR LEARNING PARENT and “best overall” according to FORUM 6-7:30pm @ the Chula age categories.; (619) 585-1133, Chula Vista Golf Course, 4475 Bonita Road; $95 per person for Vista Civic Center Branch 18 holes of golf, dinner at the Library; Joint forum with the awards ceremony and world Chula Vista Public Library & famous “Baum” dogs at lunch; The College Zone; Find out Scramble format with shotgun what new and interesting start at 1pm; Contact Mike resources are available at the McNaughton (619) 247-7438 or CHULA VISTA local library while learning CHAMBER OF COMMERCE about college admissions and GOLF TOURNAMENT at financial aid strategies; Salt Creek Golf Club 11am (619) 656-6026 shotgun start; Registration fees foursome $400, individual LEGOS BOOKS player $125 includes green fee, AND BLOCKS CLUB cart, range balls, boxed lunch, 1pm @ Otay Ranch Branch awards banquet; Email info@ Library at the Otay Ranch or call CHULA VISTA & HILLTOP Town Center, 2015 Birch Road; (619) 420-6603 HIGH SCHOOLS 50-YEAR Free program for childen ages REUNION Classes Of 1963 at 6 and up; Hear a story, then Hyatt Regency Mission Bay; join friends in bringing the story to life through LEGOS; Registration required; Call (619) 397-5740. 22 OUR HOMETOWN ·OCTOBER 2013


Save the Date:


OTAY RANCH PARADE, MARCHING BAND REVIEW & COMMUNITY FESTIVAL 10am-3pm @ Otay Ranch Town Center; Parade and Band Review features more than 30 high school bands competing for grants and prizes;




11 / 12


Tuesday 4-8pm


11:30am-1pm at Oggi’s Eastlake;


Thursday 11:15am at Otay Ranch Branch Library; Interactive storytime program for kids 3 and younger;


SCHOOL NEWS THOUSANDS OF STUDENTS DISCOVER ‘LIVING COAST,’ THANKS TO UNIFIED PORT OF SAN DIEGO ASSISTANCE More than one-quarter of the elementary school-age visitors who studied at the Living Coast Discovery Center over the past four years were funded through a grant from the Unified Port of San Diego Environmental Services Program. At least one class from the then-44 District schools attended the District’s Coastal Education Program over the last four school years, with assistance from the Port’s Environmental Fund. Participating students increased their coastal habitat and science knowledge by 21 percent.

at the Center. The Coastal Education Program comprises 17 hands-on Kindergarten-Grade 8, standards-based programs that enhance the learning of students in the content areas of life science, physical science, environmental science, social studies and earth science. There are several programs per grade level for the teachers to choose from. Students participate in a variety of inquiry-based science learning during the programs. They touch and observe crabs, crayfish, stingrays, tortoises and snakes, and they have up-close encounters with hawks, owls, eagles, fish, seahorses, sea jellies and sea turtles. They hike on the trails with binoculars to discover evidence of animals and view the local beach, mudflat and upland habitats. They collect plankton and water to test in the lab and view under the microscope. Some students plant native plants to restore the upland habitat so that species of plants and animals can return to the Sweetwater Marsh community. Many times students form an emotional attachment with the creatures they observe or touch and become “horrified” to see the beach, their new favorite animal’s habitat, littered with trash, Quiros said.

“The students gain a new respect for the coastal flora and fauna,” Quiros said. “The knowledge these students acquire during their studies at the Center moves them to care, and take part in activities that benefit the health of San Diego Bay. Students become motivated to make personal changes in their lives that make a difference in their community such as no longer using plastic bags or getting involved in a beach clean-up.” In 2009 the Chula Vista Elementary School District’s Coastal Education Program located at the Living Coast Discovery Center, formerly the Chula Vista Nature Center, was awarded $23,250 by the Unified Port of San Diego’ Environmental Services Program to provide transportation for students over a three year period. The funding was extended for an extra school year in order to be able to serve as many students as possible. Overall, the Coastal Education Program is able to serve more than 5,000 CVESD students each school year. During the past four years, over one fourth of this population has been funded by the Port.

“I feel lucky to be able to provide an inquiry-based science program that teaches students a greater respect for their local environment and the animals and plants living in it,” said Karen Quiros, CVESD Science Resource Teacher at the Living Coast Discovery Center. “There are 5,400 students who would not have been able to have this inspirational, hands-on learning experience without the funding from the Port’s Environmental Committee.” From January 2010 to June 2013, funding from the Unified Port of San Diego made it possible for 5,400 students and over 1,000 adults from 220 different classes to attend the District’s Coastal Education Program OCTOBER 2013 · OUR HOMETOWN 23


ANGELICA Wallace Even now, years later, Angelica Wallace vividly remembers the feeling of becoming a homeowner for the first time. It’s this same sense of joy and pride she works hard to ensure that other new homeowners experience through her role as a real estate professional with Realty Executives. “I work with a lot of first-time home buyers,” Wallace said. “It is my joy to give them the keys to their first home or their dream home. That joy I see in them as they receive their keys is what is rewarding for me each and every time.” Wallace has worked in the real estate industry for more than 10 years now. She specializes in new homebuyers and is an expert on VA benefits, having utilized the program to purchase her first home. The New York native lives in EastLake with her husband of 22 years and their three children. Wallace actively gives back to the community through a variety of ways. She volunteers at her youngest daughter’s school, serves as a resource for military families and assists in the coordination of the CYE scholarship program. “My mom instilled in me the importance of giving to others,” Wallace shared. “I try to do that in my work while instilling that concept in my kids. I strive to give back to the community that has helped me grow my business.” Angelica Wallace – Realty Executives, 2240 Otay Lakes Road #306, Chula Vista, 91915; (619) 772-2054; wwwHomesWithWallace; email –


ORIGAMI Owl Rolling Hills Ranch resident Rosalyn Lesa Miller was in the midst of a successful career in the healthcare industry. She enjoyed a challenging job, growing responsibilities and a frequent travel schedule. Her climb up the corporate ladder seemed destined to continue its quick ascent. And then she and her husband Chris Miller – a science and math teacher at Rancho del Rey Middle – had a daughter and those professional priorities needed to be re-examined. “Having a child changes everything,” said Miller. “I made the decision to not work at some point and be more involved in my daughter’s life. When she started school I quit my job to be part of her educational life at Thurgood Marshall Elementary.” Today, Miller is an active school volunteer where her daughter, Taylor Ann, is in the fifth grade. But Miller, who grew up in Bonita, has also found another outlet for getting involved and giving back – one that sees her using her business experience and passion for her community. Origami Owl, the custom jewelry business, features Miller as a successful local Independent Designer of individualized personal lockets. “From the beginning, Origami Owl has focused on mother and daughter teams,” Miller explained. “The company has a passion to help empower women and girls growing up, hence the slogan ‘To Be a Force for Good.’ Origami Owl tries to teach girls what it means to give back. I have been able to teach Taylor a lot through this experience. For me to give up my job and be with Taylor and to see her grew throughout this has been rewarding.” Origami Owl, (619) 495-1426; www.inlove.origamiowl. com; email:

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OR ANYONE WHO ATTENDS COMMUNITY EVENTS in and around Chula Vista, seeing Lourdes Valdez, and very often her family, represents a common occurrence. The EastLake Hills family takes great pride in living in this wonderful community and regularly showcases that by getting involved and giving back. Valdez, who works as the Vice President Branch Manager at First Bank in the Shops at San Miguel Ranch, truly sets the gold standard for community service. It is an important and personal lesson she and husband Saul strive to pass on to their two children Melissa, 17 and Christopher, 15.

Public Library Foundation and the Chula Vista Charitable Foundation.

“We love our community very much,” Valdez shared. “Throughout the years, Saul, Melissa and Christopher have been there to support me and motivate me in everything I do. From helping with the Chula Vista Rotary bike assembly project, or a local fundraising event, or assisting me with hosting an organization dinner, my kids and husband have always been there.”

When not assisting their mother with one of her many community service activities, Melissa and Christopher are happy to pursue their own personal interests. Melissa, a senior at Eastlake High, loves to ride horses and regularly talks with her mother about bringing a horse of her own to the family’s backyard. A sophomore also at Eastlake High, Christopher currently plays on the school’s J.V. football team after getting his start with the Eastlake Panthers youth football team. Saul works for the County of San Diego and gives back as well by annually assisting in a program to help prepare tax returns for people unable to pay for the service. The Valdez family has certainly put in the work to help make the local community a wonderful place to work, live and raise a family.

And with their mother’s busy schedule, the Valdez children have lots of opportunities to pitch in and lend a hand. Lourdes has been a member of Chula Vista Rotary for 12 years and joined the Chula Vista Chamber of Commerce shortly after attending her first mixer in 2001. In 2008, the native of Mexico became the first Hispanic President of the local Chamber of Commerce. She serves as a Board Member for the South Bay Family YMCA, Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center and as the Membership Chair for the Chula Vista Rotary Sunset Club. Not surprisingly, Lourdes also has the distinction of being a Founding Member of both the Chula Vista 26 OUR HOMETOWN · OCTOBER 2013

“I am inspired to get involved and give back by seeing how many people care about doing something to make a difference for our community,” Lourdes said. “Saul and I come from very humble backgrounds and we want our children to count their blessings, give back and care about others. We remind them that it is not always about giving money. Sometimes it is more important to roll up your sleeves and get to work.”

“We have reached our American dream through hard work and giving back,” Lourdes said.

Photo courtesy of: Schafer Photography|/ (619) 261-0471||/

On your doorstep


Our Hometown Chula Vista - October 2013  

Community news and events for Chula Vista