Announcements: October 15th, 3rd Annual Baja Chefs on the Point, 2:00pm at Stone Brewery, Liberty Station; GET TICKETS @ http://bit.ly/Baja-Chefs-on-the-Point-2017-Event-Tickets
December 13th, Annual Holiday Party, watch your email for specifics
March 13th, Oratorical Contest, 7:00am at SDYC
April 28th, Golden OptimisTiki, at the Bali Hai
Presentation: Assistant Fire Marshall, Eddie Villavicencio visited with the Optimist Club this morning to remind us of the merits of being prepared. “Ready. Set. Go! This is more than a catchy phrase. It should be a practice we adopt and utilize,” according to Eddie V. Disaster preparedness could be a life saving tool. “Your home and your goods are insured. If you lose them, they can be replaced. If we lose you … you are gone forever. Make a plan. Share it with your family and those closest to you. Because you never know when a disaster might strike.”
Eddie shared with us some of the strategies the San Diego Fire Department has utilized to help citizens get prepared for disasters. “Wildfires are a factor of living in the dry conditions of Southern California. We have over 500 miles of urban interface with native vegetation lands. Houses next to canyons are common in San Diego. So, we created a set of materials to help neighborhoods get prepared for a wildfire event,” he explained. “Defensible spaces can make all the difference. There are three things that determine the speed and intensity of a wildfire; space, height and density. The spacing between dry, combustible plant material and the height and the density of that material, can make a fire burn hotter and faster, or slow it down and bring it down.” The moral of the story, provide clearing and thinning of dry brush around your property.
Eddie also shared what the department is doing to prepare for disasters. “We all know an earthquake is coming to San Diego. The Carrol Canyon fault is an active fault running north-south through La Jolla and downtown. The San Diego Fire Department has numerous contingency plans, developed in cooperation with other departments and agencies, for quick response. These plans deal with traffic, utilities, search and rescue, and medical response teams. We are ready. We are set. And, we will go, when the disaster hits.”
Eddie answered questions and left us with one simple thought. “Smoke detectors and Carbon Monoxide detectors. They are inexpensive. They are easy to install. And, most importantly, they work! Lives will be saved if you install these devices in your home. They keep you prepared!”
Thank you, Assistant Fire Marshall Eddie V. We all need a little reminder now and then to stay safe and be prepared.
Announcements: Monday, September 18th, 63rd Annual Installation Dinner, 6:00 pm at Bali Hai
Monday, September 18th, Board Meeting and Steak Fry – CANCELLED
Tuesday, September 26th, Breakfast Meeting – CANCELLED
Tuesday, October 3rd, Breakfast Meeting, 7:00 am at SDYC
Sunday, October 15th, 3rd Annual Baja Chefs on the Point, 2:00 pm at Stone Brewery, Liberty Station
Presentation: Mr. Ernie Anderson, the Official Photographer for the San Diego State University Aztecs, stopped by this morning to share some of his recent work and insider information about SDSU athletics. Ernie has been the Official Photographer for Aztec football and basketball for over 50 years. His library of work is quite spectacular. The quality of his work is absolutely stunning! When Ernie started with the Aztecs he was using the traditional 35mm film camera, boasting about the quality of his work using 400 ISO film with a 0.25 second shutter speed. In 2002, Ernie changed to digital photography, and today’s equipment allows him to shoot at an equivalent of 5,000 ISO, with a 0.000125 second shutter speed. Simply mind blowing!
Ernie travels with the Aztec football team. He covers all home, away and bowl games from the sidelines. “We experienced a big win this past weekend. Beating Arizona State 30-20, at Arizona, in 95 degree heat, was a big statement for us. And, Rashad Penny was simply fantastic!” he told us. “I also cover the home games for Aztec basketball and travel with the team for playoff and tournament games. I think there will be good things coming out of Aztec basketball this year.” Ernie is in favor of a 40,000 seat stadium at the Mission Valley site. He believes SDSU has the money to build such a facility and is planning to unveil more specific plans for the property later this year.
Ernie shared a unique piece of Aztec history with the Club. He is the only individual awarded both a 1967 NCAA Small College Champions ring and a 2016 NCAA Mountain West Conference Champions ring. The rings were given to him as a “member” of the staff for the football team.
When Ernie is not working for the Aztecs, he enjoys photographing nature. He shared some amazing photos from his garden and a recent trip to Salem, Oregon to shoot the solar eclipse. Ernie, we appreciate the visit and the glimpse at some of your work. Thank you.
September 18, 2017 – 63rd Annual Installation Dinner, Bali Hai, 6:00 pm
September 18, 2017 – Steak Fry and Board Meeting Cancelled
September 26, 2017 – Breakfast Meeting Cancelled
October 3, 2107 – Breakfast Meeting, San Diego Yacht Club, 7:00 am
October 15, 2017 – 3rd Annual Baja Chefs on the Point, Stone Brewery, Liberty Station, 2:00pm
December 13, 2017 – Holiday Party, Gibbings Home, 6:00 pm
Today: New Member, Douglas Cleary
Doug Cleary joined the Point Loma Optimist Club today. Doug is a 14 year resident of the Point Loma community. He works as a attorney in San Diego. Doug was introduced to the Club by member Bob Bradbury. He likes the youth serving philosophy of the Club and the flags along Rosecrans. Welcome to the PL Optimists, Doug!
Adam Zack, General Manager and Owner of Jensen’s Market was the speaker for today’s breakfast meeting. Jensen’s started in 1940 and was purchased by the Zack family in 1980. Adam is a USD graduate who worked in the family business along with his brother and father. Jensen’s has 9 stores in Southern California, 4 in the Coachella Valley (Palm Springs area), 3 in the Lake Arrowhead area (where the company began), 1 in Wrightwood and 1 in Point Loma.
The Point Loma store opened in 2016 in the Catalina, Canon and Talbot triangle. The store was the previous home for several chain grocery stores. When the Fresh and Easy store was lost, the community rallied to stop the sale of the property to the CVS drug store chain and urged the owners to find a new grocer. Jensen’s took the opportunity and has quickly become a vital part of the community.
“The grocery business is really changing,” Adam told us. “At a recent conference for the industry, experts were telling us there could be 25-35% fewer grocery stores by 2021.” He blamed this decline on the costs of opening a new store from the ground up, the cost of labor and the minimal returns grocery owners are achieving. “To survive in this business, you have to differentiate yourself for the competition. That is not easy. You have to be willing to go above and beyond what is expected.”
So how does Jensen’s differentiate? Have you tried the best tortilla chips in San Diego? How about the fresh tri-tip? The homemade mozzarella cheese? Or the fresh pizza dough? Jensen’s in-store deli is unique and their food is fabulous. Looking for a new wine, old wine, or really good wine, check out the Jensen’s selection. Convenience, selection and quality foods are offered by trained and friendly employees. Put it all together and Adam and his staff have found a delicious way into the Point Loma Community.
Adam is pleased with the Jensen’s introduction into Point Loma. “We are working with PLNU students and faculty, the military employees, the schools and many, many families in the Community,” he said. “The store is #2 in volume for our company and the activity is year-round. Some of our other stores are very seasonal with winter visitors in the desert and summer visitors in the mountains.” Jensen’s is looking forward to its first anniversary at year end and promising more innovation in the coming months.
Thank you Adam Zack for sharing the Jensen’s story. We welcome you to the Point Loma community and wish you a very successful operation!
- President Roger Storer reiterated the slate of 2017-2018 officers, including his relief, Bill Bramley. The date for the Induction Dinner at the Bali Hai is moving up to Monday, September 18th.
- Ticket sales are available online for this year’s Baja Chefs charity (Sunday, October 15th). Members are encouraged to sign up now (click here), as well as to forward the ticket link to friends.
- Thank you Tom and Elvira Gibbings for opening your home for our annual Christmas party, currently planned for December 13th.
At breakfast this morning, we were happy to welcome Alan Aegerter, our Optimist District 41 Governor and member of the Coronado Optimist Club.
Our guest speaker today was Kimie Lochtefeld, the San Diego Unified School District Area 3 Superintendent, responsible for overseeing our public schools in Point Loma. She expressed profound gratitude on behalf of Superintendent Cindy Marten and district educators for all that our Optimist Club of Point Loma does for local students: our investments in time, the resources we provide, and our commitment. She appreciated experiencing this morning’s camaraderie and witnessing our two organizations’ shared focus on supporting our youth. Some overall points about the District that she discussed:
- This year’s focus is “literacy and math.” (Sounds like the good, old-time basics of the 3 R’s: reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic.)
- The District goal is to get into the classrooms daily, observing teachers and students to insure their educational needs are met.
- The District motto “building quality into the schools in our neighborhoods” is done by insuring curricula meet standards.
- They use the local saying, “once a Pointer, always a Pointer” to reinforce the sense of community that has existed here for many generations.
When asked about resource needs, she acknowledged dwindling funding and reduced overall attendance numbers have challenged the District’s emphasis on quality teaching and learning. The strategy of keeping up with technology to counter this has been helpful in striving for the best learning experience, such as providing middle school students their own netbooks to take home. She said the support our Optimist Club has provided in this realm, for Dewey and Cabrillo Elementary schools in particular, has absolutely been very helpful. “Thank you” Kimie for the work you do, and for joining us at breakfast this morning.
Announcements at today’s breakfast meeting:
- The Optimist Club of Point Loma got a specific shout-out at Commodore Brian Davies’ change of command last Thursday, for our support of the sailors and families of Submarine Squadron 11.
- President Roger Storer reiterated the slate of 2017-2018 officers, including his relief Bill Bramley. The date for the Induction Dinner is under discussion.
- This year’s Baja Chefs charity event will be Sunday, October 15th.
- The Board will meet at 5 PM next week (August 14th), followed by the monthly Steak Fry at 6 PM.
Our guest speaker this morning was Denny Knox , Executive Director of the Ocean Beach MainStreet Association. Her business (Cabrillo Art Center on Newport Ave.) was one of the original 5 founding members when the organization was formed as the OB Merchant Association in 1978. It now has 545 members with an annual budget of $875,000 to support its mission of promoting and supporting local businesses and economic vitality in the OB community. This is done through many activities, some of which include:
- The popular OB Farmer’s Market (rain or shine on Wednesdays since 1992)
- $67,000/year for repair and maintenance on Newport Ave. storefronts since the early 1990s
- Support of the OB Business Improvement District (325 members contiguous to Newport Ave.)
- OB Oktoberfest (October 6 & 7 this year)
- Chili Cookoff
- OB Fireworks
- Utility box painting
- Banners on Newport Ave.
- Supporting the OB Restaurant Walk for holiday toy and food drives helping 70-90 families
- Security guard program to supplement police coverage in OB
- Many more activities that can be found on their very informative website: http://OceanBeachSanDiego.com
Denny had a wealth of historical knowledge and answered many good questions. She more details and insights on the proposed Target Express store on Newport Ave., for which the organization remains neutral. We thank her for today’s presentation and for the work she and the OB MainStreet Association do to improve the community.
Announcements: New Member Jesse Sikorski was formally introduced to the Club today.
President Roger Storer officially announced Bert Barclay as the 2017 Golf Champion for the Club
August 14, 2017, 5:00 pm, Board Meeting at the San Diego Yacht Club; 6:00 pm Steak Fry at the San Diego Yacht Club
September 25, 2017, 63rd Annual Installation Dinner
October 15, 2017, Baja Chefs on the Point, Stone Brewery, Liberty Station
Today’s Speaker: Scott Molloy, Senior Project Manager with Newland Communities
Scott Molloy is a Sr. Project Manager for Newland Communities and a Point Loma Optimist Member. Scott presented the latest Master Planned Community (MPC) by Newland, Newland Sierra, to the Club members. Sierra is a 1,985 acre ownership in the northern San Diego County. The property lies along the westerly side of Interstate 15, north of the cities of Escondido and San Marcos. The proposed MPC offers over 1,100 single family homes, 995 attached homes and 81,000 sf of neighborhood serving commercial space. The site plan preserves over 1,200 acres of habitat land and 240 acres of community open space. That is almost 74% of the property! Additional community amenities include an elementary school site, and 36 acres of developed parkland.
Sierra is part of the Highway 76 employment corridor. MarketPoint Realty estimates there are over 124,000 jobs in this corridor , with 63% of those job holders commuting from outside the corridor and 26% commuting from outside of San Diego County! The Sierra MPC is designed to offer housing opportunities for some of those workers, thus reducing overall commute times and congestion. “There is a big need for housing in San Diego County,” Scott commented. “SANDAG estimates a need for 10,700 new homes per year for the period of 2012-2020. MarketPoint estimates we are only averaging 5,400 new homes per year since 2012. The Sierra MPC can help provide much needed home in a job rich area of the county.”
Sierra is also a cutting edge MPC with its integrated energy and water conservation plan. “Every new single family home will be built with a solar photo-voltaic system. The Sierra MPC will offset all GHG emissions for the life of the project. The single family homes will also be built with EV chargers in the garages, to allow instant access for electric car recharging. In addition to the current water saving requirements for new homes, the Sierra single family homes will all come pre-plumbed for greywater systems, allowing homeowners to reuse their own greywater (sink and shower drainage) for outdoor watering needs. We are pushing the limits for conservation and alternative energy use,’ Scott said.
In addition to the developments costs, Newland will be committing over $173 million in public benefits and improvements. A new interchange at Deer Springs Road and I-15, offsite improvements to Deer Springs Road, Twin Oaks Valley Road, Buena Creek Road, Mountain Meadow Road and North Twin Oaks Valley Road will significantly improve the existing traffic conditions. Over $26 million in fees for schools, fire mitigation, sewer and water services will also improve local conditions.
Now comes the hard part, the Draft Environmental Impact Report is in circulation for public comment. The 60 day comment period will complete in August. Then the County and Newland will have to respond to the comments before the public hearings can begin. After finalizing the comment response, the proposal moves on to public hearings. Here the NIMBY’s and YIMBY’s will provide their input to the County Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors. A final vote on the project is still months away. When the project reaches an approval, it will still take many more months to finalize all the other permits needed for construction and to begin “moving the dirt”.
September 25th will be the 63rd Annual Installation Dinner for new Officers and Board Members
October 15th will be the 3rd Annual Baja Chefs on the Point event at Stone Brewery in Liberty Station.
Today’s Guest Speaker: John David (JD) Wicker, Athletic Director for San Diego State University
JD Wicker is the new Athletic Director for SDSU. He started the job at the end of November, 2016. “I have been in this position for about eight months now,” he told us. “On my 45th day on the job, the Chargers announced they were leaving San Diego. On my 100th day on the job, President Elliot Hirshman, the guy that hired me, announced he was leaving. And, my 130th day on the job, Coach Steve Fisher announced he was retiring! Now I ask you … was it something I said?”
JD is not new to SDSU, having served as Deputy Athletic Director from 2011 – 2015. “It feels great to be back on the Mesa,” he said. “I’m excited about the opportunities and possibilities for out student athletes and our programs.” There are about 150 people working in the Athletic Department. They cover 19 sport teams, 6 men and 13 women teams. Since the 2012-13 year, SDSU teams have combined for 32 Mountain West championships including 8 in the last year. SDSU has 329 Scholar Athletes (overall GPA of 3.0 and/or a 3.2 GPA in the most recent semester). That is 60% of the total number of SDSU intercollegiate athletes at the school! 99 members of the Mountain West Conference All-Academic Teams are from SDSU. And, all SDSU teams meet or exceed the APR (Academic Progress Rate) retention/graduation requirements set by the NCAA with scores of 962 -1000 (where a two year score of 930 is required for post season qualification and 1000 is a perfect score).
“We take pride in our students accomplishments, in athletics, academics and life skills. We focus on life skills with our athletes, helping them learn skills to handle time management, leadership, financial affairs, resume preparation, job interviews, grad school applications, internships, media relations and many other life opportunities,” JD shared. “We expect to continue to train young men and women to be successful in life, with or without a professional athletic career.”
JD also shared his thoughts about the Qualcomm Stadium issues. He told us SDSU has 2 years left on its lease with the City and has begun negotiations to extend that lease. “Expansion for SDSU is a must for SDSU. The Mission Valley site is ideal because of its location, transportation facilities and planning opportunities. UCSD sits on over 1,200 acres. SDSU has 238 acres. SDSU has a goal to be a top 50 research institute. We need space for expansion and the Mesa does not allow for continued growth. In 2007, an Economic Impact study for SDSU showed a $2.4 billion benefit for San Diego. An updated study is being prepared now. We expect that number will grow significantly.” SDSU is meeting with other potential partners for the redevelopment of the Qualcomm Stadium site. They expect to have their ideas ready for public review later this year.
The Point Loma Optimists want to thank JD Wicker for sharing his insights on SDSU Athletics and the future of SDSU. With a number of Aztec grads in our club, we are ready to help make SDSU the best it can be!
At our meeting on Tuesday, the Club also introduced a new member to the Point Loma Optimist Club. Brian Harrison of Banner Bank was formally accepted into full membership. We welcome Brian to the Club and look forward to working with him to improve the lives of the children on the Peninsula.
In addition to the membership addition, the Club also announced the results of the Nominating Committee for selection of Officers and Board Members for the 2017/2018 year. The nominations are:
President: Bill Bramley
1st VP: Steve Doyle
2nd VP: Jeff Fischbeck
3rd VP: Chris Jacobs
Sec/Treas: Jim Dennison
2nd Year Board Members: Joe Davis, John Ponder and Gary Correia
1st Year Board Members: Bill Fiedler, Sean Smith and Mike Panissidi
Immediate Past President: Roger Storer, and
Senior Past President: Ron Lauderbach
Thank you gentlemen, for you agreement to serve and your efforts for the betterment of the Club!
Announcements: VP Bill Bramley hosted this morning’s breakfast meeting. Bill announced:
July 17th will be the Annual Golf Tournament at River Walk Golf Club, followed by the next Board Meeting at 5:00 pm and the Steak Fry / Golf Awards Dinner at 6:00 pm.
July 25th will be the next Breakfast Meeting at the SDYC at 7:00 am. The guest speaker will be J.D. Wicker, the Athletic Director for SDSU.
September 25th will be the 63rd Annual Installation Dinner for new Officers and Board Members
October 15th will be the 3rd Annual Baja Chef’s on the Point event at Stone Brewery in Liberty Station.
Today’s Guest Speaker: Peter Comiskey, Executive Director of the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership
Balboa Park is a 1,200 acre island of peace, tranquility and beauty, nestled in the canyons and along the mesas of San Diego. The Park is home for 17 museums, the world famous San Diego Zoo, the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages, the California Tower, the Cabrillo Bridge and many more fascinating sight, sounds and tastes of California.
A big challenge for Balboa Park is how to get 30 arts, science, and cultural institutions, representing over 120 non-profit groups, 500 trustees, 7,000 volunteers and 3,500 staff members to work together for the greatest benefit of the 6.2 million annual visitors? Well, you start with the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership (BPCP) whose focus is to achieve greater effectiveness, innovation and excellence and to contribute to the vitality and sustainability of Balboa Park.
The Executive Director of the BPCP is Peter Cominskey. Peter visited with the Point Loma Optimist Club this morning to give us some insight into the group’s activities and upcoming activities in the Park. “We are focused on outreach to the greater San Diego community. One way we are doing this is with our Explorer Pass,” Peter explained. Starting at $99 for one year, the Explorer gets 12 months of admission to 16 museums and exclusive newsletters, recommendations and invitations to Explorer-only events.
“We are also working with community non-profit groups to provide Community Access Passes to economically disadvantaged, at-risk and traditionally underserved families through-out San Diego. The Community Access Passes provide all the benefits of the Explorer Passes and are made available by special corporate, civic and private donors,” he continued. “And our newest program is the Military Appreciation Pass. This program offers Explorer Passes to active duty military families in San Diego.”
Peter also shared some of the upcoming improvements to the Park. “The Plaza de Panama project will move auto traffic to the perimeter of the park and offer additional parking opportunities. We hope to begin this project in 2018.” Meanwhile, the House of Pacific Relations is adding 9 new cottages. The Museum of Man is going to undergo a seismic retrofit. The Hall of Champions is being converted to the Center for Cultural Experiences in a joint program with Comic-con. All in all, the BPCP is very active and interested in improving every visitor’s experience in Balboa Park. And, with Peter Comiskey at the helm, there will continue to be communication, coordination, collaboration and success! Thank you, Peter.
July 4, 2017: NO breakfast meeting, have a great 4th celebration!
July 17, 2017: Annual Point Loma Optimists Golf Tournament at River Walk CC
Board Meeting at 5:15 pm at SDYC
Steak Fry at 6:00 pm at SDYC
October 17, 2017: 3rd Annual Baja Chef’s on the Point at Stone Brewery in Liberty Station
Peggy Pico, registered nurse, journalist, writer and now Director of Development for the Community Resource Center (CRC). Since 1979, the CRC has been working to end hunger, homelessness and domestic violence in the North County San Diego region. As a provider of integrative services, CRC’s programs include a domestic violence emergency shelter, hotline and prevention/education outreach, a Therapeutic Children’s Center, professional counseling, legal advocacy, food and nutrition distribution center, homelessness prevention and rental and housing assistance.
Ms. Pico visited with the PL Optimists this morning to share some insights into her careers and the paths her life took to reach this new point. “I started my professional career as a registered nurse. I worked as a nurse for 10 years, when I made my first career changing decision,” she told us. “I always enjoyed writing and I decided to do something about it.” A career in journalism came calling. From Tucson, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego, Peggy was a three time Emmy Award winning broadcast journalist, including stints as the nightly host, anchor and reporter at KPBS and NBC 7 News in San Diego. When station changes at KPBS were suggested a couple months back, Peggy decided a new direction was again warranted, and the opportunity at CRC was offered.
“I know it sounds like a great professional life and people assume my success was all prescribed at birth. You know the old adage, born with a silver spoon…? Well, nothing could be further from the truth,” she said. “Let me share some facts about my early years…” Peggy was born to parents of limited mental capacity. “My mom had a 3rd grade level intelligence and my dad had a 6th grade level,” she confided. She grew up with three other siblings and experienced some of the darker sides of life on the streets. Homelessness, hunger, foster care, living with prostitutes, parents trying to stay one step ahead of the law and constant moving were “normal” for Peggy’s early years.
“I didn’t start school until I was 7,” she shared. “Then I got lucky, my aunt and uncle agreed to take me in. I found stability in my life.” This was the opportunity Peggy needed. She went on to get a Bachelor’s Degree from Biola University and then a Journalism Certificate from UCLA. Now she wants to use these experiences with CRC. “I know what it means to grow up poor, in foster care and living in the shadows. I saw the caring and professional people at CRC working with their clients … people and children like I once was … and I knew I needed to join CRC. So here I am, career number three.”
Peggy is writing a book about her experiences. Life and Success by Stepping Stones. Each challenge and each opportunity can be a stepping stone. By following the right stepping stones, you can achieve success and have a good life. So the question is … will you be a stepping stone and help others along their life’s path?
Thanks for sharing Peggy!