Tuesday, January 14th, 2020


Monday, Jan 20th, 5:00 PM, Board of Directors Meeting, Gianni Buonomo Vintners

Monday, Jan 20th, 6:00 PM, Monthly Monday Evening Event & Membership Dinner, Gianni Buonomo Vintners

Tuesday, 28th, 7:00 AM, Breakfast Meeting at SDYC.  Speaker:  Alan Ziter, Executive Director, NTC Foundation

Mark your calendars:

Friday, Feb 28th, 5:00 to 7:00 PM, Annual Jensen’s Winetasting Fundraiser

Tuesday, Mar 10th, 7:00 AM, Annual Optimist Oratorical Contest

Saturday evening, May 2nd, Golden Grand – Tropical Paradise fundraiser at the Bali Hai


This morning’s well-attended breakfast meeting was highlighted by our guest speaker, FBI Special Agent Parker Scott.  He described his background, having been with the San Diego FBI since 2004 and before that a Special Agent with the Secret Service and an Intelligence Officer with the U.S. Army.  In his “spare time” he is trying to learn to play the cello.  He emphasized was how unique San Diego was, with its appeal to business, tourism, and adventurism (good and bad) due to its weather, attractions, and convenient location between Los Angeles and the largest international border crossing in the world.  As a result the FBI is very busy here, with its three highest priorities being countering terrorism, espionage, and cyber/IT issues.  For instance, industrial espionage networks result in technology thefts of $24 billion that reduce US business profits by more than $700 billion annually.  Social media exploitation is another area of great concern. Special Agent Scott brought up how a good way to defeat these threats of networking exploitation is to create a strong counter-network.  One the FBI is promoting in that regard is the InfraGard program, in which any of us over 18 can participate after passing a background check and receiving free training.  It’s a program geared toward addressing security and threats.  If interested, the link is www.InfraGard.org.  Cards with helpful information were provided and are copied below for reference.  Thank you, Special Agent Scott and all your colleagues who keep us safe!

FBI Special Agent Parker Scott addresses the club.



Member Larry B. and President Jeff F. thank Special Agent Parker Scott for his presentation and for his dedicated service on our behalf.










We also had a short public service announcement by Point Loma resident and guest Don Sevrens, who described how funds are being sought for the local Voltaire Bridge aesthetic improvement project.  Since it’s not allowed to be funded by the city, the remaining $12,000 needed is being sought, to add to the $80,000 donations raised so far.  Individuals may contribute through the Point Loma Association at Pointloma.org (scrolling down to Voltaire Street Bridge).

Tuesday, December 10th, 2019

Guest Speaker:  Sean Mahoney, Chief Executive Officer for the American Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties

To be posted.

Tuesday, November 26th, 2019


Tuesday, Dec 3rd, 7:00 AM, Breakfast Meeting at SDYC.  Speaker:  Kayla Wilson, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Saturday, Dec 7th, 6:00 to 8:30 PM, Holiday Party (Mark your calendar!)
Tuesday, Dec 10th, 7:00 AM, Breakfast Meeting at SDYC.  Speaker:  TBD
Tuesday, Dec 17th, 7:00 AM, Special Steak & Eggs Breakfast Meeting at SDYC.  Speaker:  Santa


Optimist Larry Baumann and President Jeff Fischbeck thank member Adam Zack for his terrific presentation.

Our guest speaker today was member Adam Zack, General Manager and co-owner of Jensen’s Food in Point Loma.  He gave us a unique first-hand perspective of the implementation of immigration laws, and how business owners, employees and customers are affected.  There are strong political opinions surrounding the subject.  However Adam’s presentation was a practical, even-handed look at what’s required, how it’s implemented, how it’s skirted in some cases, and how it’s viewed by insiders and outsiders.  The process was a pre-announced, orderly, and straightforward audit of immigration I-9 files, followed up quite politely by ICE officials to resolve technical errors (such as dates and signatures) and to address any suspect documents (e.g., erroneous or duplicate Social Security numbers).  It was definitely not a raid, contrary to the rumors.  The store did nothing wrong, yet there were some employees who had to leave, creating a challenge to keep portions of the store operating without a pause.  It’s a real credit to Adam and his staff that the store continues to do extremely well and is high on the list for possible recognition as the best in the Jensen chain.  Good luck, and thank you for your presentation, Adam!

Instead of breakfast last week, a large contingent of the Optimist Club of Point Loma got together for their first monthly evening event of the season … at the Red Fox Room at the Lafayette Hotel.  Great food, drink and conversations were enjoyed by all.

Enjoying the Red Fox Room one more time, before it closes for good at its current location.


Tuesday, November 12th, 2019


Monday, Nov 18th, 5:00 PM, Board of Directors Meeting, Lafayette Hotel lobby
Monday, Nov 18th, 6:00 PM, Monthly Monday Evening Event, Red Fox Room at the Lafayette Hotel
Tuesday, Nov 25th, 7:00 AM, Breakfast Meeting at SDYC.  Speaker:  Adam Zack, Jensen’s Foods
Tuesday, Dec 3rd, 7:00 AM, Breakfast Meeting at SDYC.  Speaker:  Kayla Wilson, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Saturday, Dec 7th, 6:00 to 8:30 PM, Holiday Party (Mark your calendar!)


It was a real treat listening to our guest speaker today delve into the challenges of protecting endangered species around the world.  Dagmar Midcap, the evening weather anchor for NBC 7, started out by explaining how our local weather is really a product of weather elsewhere in the world, and drew the parallel with worldwide animal populations on the decline affecting us locally.  She has taken up an impassioned quest to bring the story to the public through quarterly half-hour TV specials of her trips all over the globe, the next one airing on Thanksgiving.   Excerpts from her video “The Extinction Crisis” showed how Southeast Asian cartels are killing rhinos for their horns to the point where only 80 Sumatran and 50 Java rhinos remain as of her January trip to Africa.  She has participated in airlifting elephants (not an easy task!) to new eco-environments to save them from poachers and encroaching civilization.  Collar-tagging giraffes might seem easy with their “XLT+” neck size, but becomes a dangerous evolution for both the animal (which doesn’t normally lay down) and the humans sitting on their necks while the giraffe is only semi-sedated.  As Dagmar pointed out, the tags are actually placed in their ossicones (horns) for safety reasons.  And who would have guessed the most endangered predator species, and the hardest to track with tags, is the fascinating wild Painted Dogs of South Africa?  Something Dagmar mentioned, that we might consider sponsoring in our mission of supporting Peninsula Youth, is an educational program being developed where schools can be connected via satellite to specific South African “bore holes” where the students can interact with these endangered species real time and first hand.  These water resources were once used by poachers to attract and exploit wild animals, and are now used to draw animals to protected areas to save them.  We thank Dagmar for making all of us aware of the crisis at hand, and particularly for getting up so early after the 11 PM news to be with us this morning!

Guest RADM(Ret) Fran Holian, speaker Dagmar Midcap, Optimist Barry Scott, and President Jeff Fischbeck

Tuesday, November 5th, 2019


Nov 12th, 7:00 AM, Breakfast Meeting at SDYC.  Speaker:  Dagmar Midcap, NBC 7
Nov 18th, 5:00 PM, Board of Directors Meeting, Lafayette Hotel
Nov 18th, 6:00 PM, Monthly Monday Evening Event, Red Fox Room at the Lafayette Hotel
Nov 25th, 7:00 AM, Breakfast Meeting at SDYC.  Speaker:  Adam Zack, Jensen’s Foods
Dec 3rd, 7:00 AM, Breakfast Meeting at SDYC.  Speaker:  Kayla Wilson, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Dec 7th, Holiday Party (details to be announced)


Dr. Ray Ashley addresses the Optimists

President Jeff Fischbeck thanks Dr. Ashley

President Jeff Fischbeck thanks Dr. Ashley

We were treated at breakfast this morning to a terrific presentation by Dr. Ray Ashley, President/CEO of the Maritime Museum of San Diego.  He shared the details of his extensive research on schooners … what they are, where the name came from, their development over time, uses over their fairly recent history, and the many variations that exist.  Additional information was presented regarding the resounding success of the museum’s replica of explorer Juan Cabrillo’s ship, San Salvador, which in 1542 landed the first Europeans to set foot in what is now the West Coast of the United States, right here in Point Loma at Ballast Point.  We thanked Dr. Ashley and hope he will return for future updates of the Museum’s many achievements.

Tuesday, October 29th


November 5th, 7:00 AM, Breakfast Meeting at SDYC.  Speaker:  Dr. Ray Ashley, President/CEO, Maritime Museum of San Diego

November 12th, 7:00 AM, Breakfast Meeting at SDYC.  Speaker:  TBD

November 18th, 5:00 PM, Board of Directors Meeting, Lafayette Hotel

November 18th, 6:00 PM, Monthly Monday Evening Event, Red Fox Room at the Lafayette Hotel

November 25th, 7:00 AM, Breakfast Meeting at SDYC.  Speaker:  Adam Zack, Jensen’s Foods

December 7th, Holiday Party (details to be announced)


“Welcome Aboard” to Pete Swain, our newest member!  Pete is a longtime yachtsman, now retired from his construction business and is looking forward to participating in our club’s activities.

Member Russ Valone and President Jeff Fischbeck welcome new member, Pete Swain.

CAPT Brien Dickson, assisted by his PAO, Sharon Stephensonpino, address the club at Tuesday’s breakfast.

We were treated to a repeat visit by Captain Brien Dickson, USN, the Commanding Officer of Naval Base Point Loma.  He updated us on his responsibilities, his vision and his team’s accomplishments since his previous engagement with us over a year ago.  What many of us don’t realize is the base commander’s job encompasses not only the Submarine Base (as it was formerly known), but 3 campuses, covering almost 2000 acres, with 60 tennant commands, and over 17,000 employees (only a third of which are active duty military and reservists).  His “look ahead” includes better use of the Old Town campus as a future transportation hub and multi-use urban center, including innovative solutions to local transportation challenges.  We wish him continued success in his stated vision of communicating with our community in positively impacting San Diego.  Thank you, Captain Dickson!

“Thank you, Captain Dickson!”







Members of the Youth Work and Special Projects Committee at work

Now that our 2019-2020 budget has been approved, our Youth Work and Special Projects Committee is hard at work to spend our funds on supporting Peninsula youth under the leadership of its Chair, Randy Rolfe.

Tuesday, October 15th


October 21st, 5:00 pm Board Meeting at SDYC; 6:00 pm Steak Fry at SDYC

October 29th, 7:00 am, Breakfast Meeting at SDYC, speaker:  CAPT Brien Dickson, USN, CO Naval Base Point Loma

November 18th, 6:00 PM, Monthly Evening Event (location to be announced)

December 7th, Holiday Party (details to be announced)

Guest speaker Earl Kight addresses the club




Who could ask for a better program than today’s?  Member Larry Baumann not only arranged a dynamic speaker, but donated samples of the presentation topic to raffle off to breakfast attendees as door prizes.  Thank you, Larry!  We were delighted to listen to Earl Kight, the National Distribution Manager for Cutwater Spirits, as he talked about the history of one of the most successful entrepreneurial enterprises in our area.  Earl worked with Point Loma native Jack White Jr. as the Ballast Point Brewing Company went to unbelievable heights and then with Cutwater Spirits as they opened to nationwide markets.  It was a story of innate business savvy, great products, ups and downs, and in some cases pure luck. 

Earl described the organization’s amazing milestones and successes:

1992 — Expansion of Jack Jr’s home brewed “kick butt” Yellow Tail Pale Ale to the local marketplace as Ballast Point beer and establishment of the Home Brew Mart in Linda Vista.

1996 — Establishment of a commercial brewery for Ballast Point.  Still distributing beer in Jack’s mini-van, though.

2007 — Took the business to the next level, thanks to investors.  Up to 8,000 barrels/year now.  Started Ballast Point Spirits and effectively created the canned cocktails market.

2008 — Earl expanded distribution for Ballast Point, working for free for 2 years.  (But it sure paid off!)

2012 — Hired a CEO from the Harvard Business School.

2015 — Creation of Ballast Point’s Miramar production and restaurant facility.  Sculpin outsells Coors Light in San Diego.

Dec 2015 — Sold the company for over $1 Billion!  (… but wisely kept the Ballast Point Spirits line.)

Aug 2016 — Started Cutwater Spirits, named after the aquatic bird, a ship’s bow and distillery terminology.

Mar 2019 — Sold Cutwater Spirits to Anheuser-Busch, where 400 cans/minute of canned cocktails are produced.

For those so inclined, Earl suggested looking up Ballast Point’s SEC Form S-1 for some amazing history, facts and figures.  We thanked Earl for his history tour and insights, and hope to perhaps one day have an Optimist event at the Miramar facility.

The club listens intently to Earl Kight’s presentation.

Some of the door prizes and presentation’s subject matter

Member Larry, door-prize winner Jason, speaker Earl Kight, and President Jeff

Tuesday, October 8th


October 15th, 7:00 am, Breakfast Meeting at SDYC, speaker to be announced

October 21st, 5:00 pm Board Meeting at SDYC; 6:00 pm Steak Fry at SDYC

Happy Birthdays to  Larry Baumann, John Benya and Gary Correia

December 7th, Holiday Party, details to be announced

Congratulations!  Larry Baumann celebrated his 50th anniversary of his return from Viet Nam today!

Hail:  Jeff Fischbeck, 2019-20 Club President (his 1st official meeting!)

Kevin Hardy and President Jeff Fischbeck

Program:   Today’s guest speaker is Kevin Hardy, retired from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in June 2011 as a senior development engineer after a career than spanned 40 years.  Kevin was involved in a number of fascinating deep ocean adventures, but turns his thoughts these days to those amazing people and events that made San Diego an important spot on the map!

Nestled on the sandy shores of southern California, San Diego is renowned as a laid-back place with easy-going people.  Yet somehow between the margaritas and surfboards, this sleepy little beach town, born in 1769, has been a powerhouse of invention and activity.  From the first European settlement in the state of California, to building famous flying machines that first flew across the Atlantic and first put an American into orbit. Other breakthroughs came in undersea manned habitats,    developing technology to dive the deepest ocean trench, the science to predict surf conditions at Normandy for the WWII’s D-Day landing, advancing basic understanding of the human genome, to designing cameras that presently orbit Mars and the moon. San Diego has made important contributions to the modern world, and continues to do so.

For example:

1769 – San Diego is “discovered” by Juan Cabrillo and becomes the first settlement/town in California.

1893 – John J Montgomery made the man’s first controlled flight in a heavier-than-air craft right here in Sand Diego!  He is known as the father of basic flying.

1903 – San Diego buys a laboratory from the University of California Berkeley, and brings it to Coronado.  The lab relocates to La Jolla and becomes the Scripps Institute of Oceanography.

1908 – Theodore Roosevelt’s Great White Fleet sailed into San Diego Harbor.  Many people cite this arrival as the beginning of the US Navy Base, San Diego.

1908 – Lt. T.G. Ellyson, USN becomes the Naval Aviator #1 here at North Island, San Diego.

1911 – Glen Curtiss became known at the Father of Naval Aviation, training pilots for the Navy at North Island.  He also designed the first float plane for the Navy.

1912 – The Spreckels Theater opens in San Diego, it is the only playhouse west of the Mississippi at this time.

1915 – Balboa Stadium dedicated as a 15,000 seat facility, the biggest in the United States, at the time.

1915 – The Panama California Exposition opens in what is now called Balboa Park.  The Exposition highlighted the completion of the Panama Canal and the fact San Diego was the first US port of call for ships coming out of the canal on the Pacific side.

1916 – The San Diego Zoo is born.  Utilizing animals brought to the Panama California Exposition, Dr. Harry Wegeforth starts a world famous and innovative zoo.

1917 – US Navy builds the Chollas Heights radio antennas, capable of a 3,000 mile range during the day and a 17,000 mile range at night.  The most powerful antennas in the world at that time.

1927 – A new company, Magnovox, develops an outdoor speaker system for President Woodrow Wilson’s speech at the Balboa Stadium.  The first speaker system of its kind.

1927 – Charles Lindbergh designs and flies the Spirit of Saint Louis in San Diego.  Then takes his plane across the country to Newfoundland and flies non-stop to Paris.  He returns to San Diego to find 60,000 people at Balboa Stadium to welcome him home!

1928 – Cal Tech build the Palomar Observatory, the largest telescope ever constructed.

1936 – Ruben H. Fleet designs and builds the still popular PBY Catalina, the American Flying Boat.

1939 – Consolidated Aircraft (founded by Ruben H Fleet) designs and builds the WWII workhorse, B-24 Liberator.

And, he was only getting started!  Kevin went on to discuss the history of rockets and space craft, underwater vehicles, ocean tides, waves and weather charting.  His newest hobbies include working with young people and getting them excited about science, innovation, and the earth we live on.  The PLOC wants to thank Kevin for a wonderful presentation and welcomes him to join us again, anytime!





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