Tuesday, May 7th


May 14th – Speaker – Commodore Chris Cavanaugh, USN, commander of Submarine Squadron 11 at Ballast Point

May 20th – Board Meeting at 5:00 pm, Steak Fry at 6:00 pm

May 28th – Youth Appreciation Day, 7:00 am, SDYC


Bob Lawrence

From his early days at Pasadena City College, to his Bachelor’s degree from CSU Long Beach, to his radio gigs and first job in television news, Bob Lawrence credits his passion for journalism, good timing and good luck for his professional career.  “I was a news writer, news producer, news anchor and news reporter,” he shared with us.  “And then, because of my time in the Air Force Reserves, I got the chance to be the military reporter for Channel 10, here in San Diego.”  Bob created a 41 year career in the news business.  He has reported on some of the biggest and most dangerous news events of those times.  Whether he was following our military in the First Gulf War in Kuwait.  Or, tracking the Marines from Camp Pendleton as they prepared for duty in Afganistan.  And, again, when those Marines returned home with combat wounds and faced the Veterans’ Affairs Hospitals for treatment.  Bob was out front, involved and reporting back for San Diego Channel 10 News.

When Bob wasn’t wearing a helmet, or desert cammo, he was reporting on wildfires, national political conventions and the Northridge earthquake.  “One of my most vivid memories was January 17th, 1994.  I was the morning anchor for Channel 10 News.  I was listening to KNX News Radio on my way to work, when the station suddenly went off the air.  That was unheard of!  About 10 minutes later, they came back on the report a massive earthquake had struck the San Fernando Valley.”  As Bob told the story we were enthralled by his passion for the news and reporting it.  “I arrived at the station and took control of the production from my anchor’s chair.  We set aside all other news items that morning and on live television, I directed the reports from our sister station in LA and brought the news directly to San Diego citizens while it was happening.  This was not something we practiced.  But, it was something that needed to be done that morning.”

Pres. Steve Doyle and Newsman Bob Lawrence

This past weekend, Bob took part in the Honor Flight that took 83 veterans from WWII and the Korean War back to Washington DC to visit the monuments that were constructed in their honor.  “It was an amazing trip.  83 strangers got on the plane Friday morning.  83 best friends got off it Sunday afternoon.  The stories, the memories, the tears and the laughs were non-stop.  As a guardian, my job was to make sure my veteran was cared for throughout the trip.  When we returned on Sunday afternoon, the reception at Lindbergh Field was just over the top.  I will never forget it.” Bob told us.

Bob was an early supporter of the effort to bring the USS Midway from mothball in Bremerton to San Diego tourist attraction.  He shared, “The USS Midway is the fifth most visited museum in the United States.  It is a living, breathing piece of history.  I am so proud to be part of the Board of Directors (Bob is Secretary of the Board).”  Even though Bob retired from the news business, he remains active with the military community of San Diego.  From his Channel 10 Bio during his working days, Bob said…”My greatest accomplishment was that I might make a difference in someone’s life.  It was something I strived to achieve each and every day…”  I think it is clear, Bob made a difference in the lives of many people and we are all better for his work.  Thanks for visiting with us this morning, Bob Lawrence!


Tuesday, April 30th


May 7th, Breakfast Meeting, 7:00 am SDYC, speaker will be Bob Lawrence the former tv journalist and community activist

May 28th, Breakfast Meeting, 7:00 am SDYC, Youth Appreciation Day!


Pres. Steve Doyle with Gail and Bruce Denham

Bruce and Gail Denham started San Diego Bay Adventures eight years ago.  Located at 1880 Harbor Island Drive, near the Marina Cortez Dock, SD Bay Adventures offers jet ski, paddle board, kayak and other marine equipment for rent.  They also offer an amazing 2 hour tour of historic and military sites located along the bay.  Their tour became so popular with the young sailors assigned to the carrier fleet that a formal relationship with the Navy developed.  Bob offered these words about his first adventure on a carrier, “In 2015, the USS Ronald Reagan was in port.  They were offering a ship tour and cruise to a large number of local VIP’s.  I was approached by the Navy and asked if I would like to partake in the cruise and offer my tour observations during the trip.  We were invited up to the flight operations center and I was given the microphone.  I was able to tell the 4,000 guests and the 5,000 crew members all I had learned about the historic and military sites in San Diego Bay.  It was a real thrill for me.”

Bruce has also arranged for a fleet of special designed jet skis (red, white and blue coloring and flag carrying) to act as escorts for the carriers as they return from deployment.  “It is just another way we can salute our servicemen and women.  We even got a chance to be on the evening news with our adventures!”  SD Bay Adventures also offers special bay rides/parade on Memorial Day and the 4th of July to celebrate our service people and to recognize our fallen heroes.  Bruce and Gail are proud to support the active service and veteran military service people in San Diego.

Patriots Half-Marathon

Their newest venture is the Patriots Half-Marathon.  Bruce is seeking City approval of a route to hold the first annual Patriots Half-Marathon.  He is working with the City planners to create a route that would start at the Cabrillo Monument and work its way through Point Loma to Harbor Island and then finish in Liberty Station.  “There are lots of hoops and hurdles to work through, but I am pushing hard to get this done,” he told us.  “I want to support the Warrior Foundation, Freedom Station project.  The first project, a series of apartments for wounded warriors transitioning into civilian lives, has been a great success.  Now it is time for a second facility!”  Bruce has received support from the Boy Scouts to assist with volunteers.  He has a number of local supporters, from the Peninsula Community Planning Board to radio station AM 760.  “I just need to find the right date and the right route to get everyone on board!”  If you are interested in volunteering, supporting or sponsoring part of this venture with Bruce, please contact him at bruce@PatriotsHalf.com.

The Point Loma Optimist Club salutes Bruce and Gail for all their efforts and thanks them for stopping by this morning to share their story!


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Tuesday, April 23rd


April 26th, Friday, the 2nd Annual Golden OptimisTiki Luau will begin at 5:00pm at the Bali Hai restaurant on Shelter Island.  Last chance for tickets and raffle tickets.  Visit:  https://pointlomaoptimist.ejoinme.org/GoldenOptimisTiki2019

April 30th, Tuesday, Breakfast Meeting, 7:00 am, SDYC.  Speaker will be Bruce Denham from San Diego Bay Adventures and the Patriot Half Marathon.

May 28th, Tuesday, Youth Appreciation Day Breakfast, 7:00 am SDYC.  Be there to support and acknowledge the great youth of the Point.


Brandi Cropper is the T-AO Program Manager at General Dynamics NASSCO.  She is responsible for program performance, identifying and managing risks, guiding technical, schedule and cost decisions to resolution and the primary interface with the T-AO Navy Customer at GD NASSCO.

Brandi Cropper, NASSCO P M for the T-AO

Brandi received a BA in Business Management from USD, where she also participated in the NROTC program.  Upon graduating, she enlisted in the US Navy for 2 years, then went to work for Northrup Grumman.   In 2015, she moved to NASSCO and got involved with the T-AO Program.  The T-AO is a Fleet Replenishment Oiler.  It is over 700 feet long and 32 feet wide.  The primary mission of the T-AO is to deliver liquid cargo to ships at sea.  It’s secondary mission is to deliver solid goods.  The service life of the T-AO is 40 years and they are being scheduled to take the place of the Navy’s current Fleet Replenishment Oilers, which have now over 30 years of service.

Pres Steve Doyle and NASSCO PM Brandi Cropper

General Dynamics NASSCO is a San Diego headquartered company, employing over 4,000 people here in town.  Their ship building and ship maintenance facilities service both the US Military and commercial ship owners.  NASSCO has ship building in San Diego, Bath Iron Works (MA) and Electric Boat (CN) and repair facilities in San Diego, Norfolk (VA), Mayport (FA), and Bremerton (WA).

The T-AO project started with a two year design process.  NASSCO has over 300 ship designers and architects here in San Diego.  The NASSCO program completes the ship design, before construction starts.  The construction schedule for the T-AO calls for 18 months in the ship yard, followed by 6 months of sea trials before delivery to the Navy.  There are six T-AO’s contracted for with NASSCO.  Two more are scheduled to be contracted by FY2020.  In total, the Navy has plans for 20 of these ships to be built.

The Point Loma Optimists want to thank Brandi Cropper for visiting with us this morning.  Based on the number of question she answered, our members thoroughly enjoyed her presentation.


Tuesday, April 9th


April 15th, Board Meeting at 5:00 pm at the SDYC, Steak Fry at 6:00 pm, also at SDYC

April 26th, 5:00 pm at the Bali Hai, 2nd Annual OptimisTiki Luau!  Fun, food and tropical drinks.  Silent Auction, Polynesian Entertainment, Market and good times for all.  Get you tickets NOW!  Simply go to: OptimisTiki Luau and order your tickets.

May 28th, Youth Appreciation Breakfast at 7:00 am, at the SDYC.  Get this on your calendar now!


Gary “the Woodworker” Correia

Gary Nelson Correia is the CEO and CCO (Chief Creative Officer) for GNC Woodworks. Gary is a Point Loma native, a graduate of Point Loma High School and SDSU. While more publicly known for his CPA Tax Planning business, Gary is really a closet tree hugger. He has been found hoarding exotic wood species in his yard and work shop. Gary is also a Tree Whisperer. He discovers the inner beauty and strength of his wood selections and brings out their amazing character in his creations. Gary is a member of the Point Loma Optimist Club.  He gave us some insights into his secret passion of woodworking this morning and shared with us his latest creation, an original Correia Ukulele.

Gary spent 12 years with Taylor Guitars as their finance officer.  During this time, he discovered his interest in woodworking and musical instruments.  He would spend all his extra time walking the different departments of Taylor Guitar’s manufacturing facility in El Cajon.  He would talk with the craftsmen about their specific jobs and how, when they all worked together, they created some of the best guitars made in the world.  Gary started collecting Taylor Guitars and after retiring from the daily grind, decided he wanted to do more … he wanted to build an instrument.

Pres. Steve Doyle and Member Gary Correia

“I started taking woodworking classes at Palomar College.  They actually have one of the best woodworking programs in all of Southern California,” he told us.  “The more classes I took, the more interested I got!”  He caught the bug!  He was hooked.  He decided to take the next step and build his own Ukulele.  “It is truly a labor of love.  The work is very time consuming, detailed, and intricate.  It requires a lot of patience and practice, practice, practice.”  When all the jigs were used, and all the sand was worn off the sandpaper, the end result was this beautiful piece of art.

I’m not sure too many others have the time, patience or talent that Gary has exhibited.  But, I can say, we all marveled at his final product and greatly appreciated the time he shared with us this morning to explain the process of building an instrument.  Thanks Gary!

Tuesday, April 2nd


April 9th – 7:00 am Breakfast Meeting at SDYC, speaker to be announced

April 15th – 5:00 pm Board Meeting at SDYC; 6:00 pm Steak Fry at SDYC

April 26th – 2nd Annual Golden OptimisTiki, 5:00 pm at the Bali Hai, Shelter Island, Event includes Polynesian Luau, entertainment, silent auction, market place and a paddle raise to support Point Loma Schools  Get Your Tickets HERE !


Jesse Sikorski

Jesse Sikorski has been a member of the Point Loma Optimist Club since 2017.  He is a financial advisor with the investment firm, Edward Jones.  Jesse graduated from John Hopkins University and enjoys traveling, sports and family time.  As a side bar, and for a bit of entertainment, ask Jesse his opinions on the medical system in third world countries!

As an intro to his discussion on the economy in general, Jesse told us, “I see my job as helping investors filter through all the noise.”  In today’s world of instant information, we are constantly bombarded with new information, new numbers and new “trends”.  Jesse sees emotion as one of the biggest reasons investors make mistakes.  “When the talking heads claim the sky is falling, some people will rush into decisions that ultimately cost them more than if they had waited for more information,” he said.  He gave the following example, if you invested in the S&P 20 years ago, left your dividends and profits in the account, you would have received an average annual return of 7.4%.  The average investor got a return of 2.6% over the last 20 years.  Why?  Because their decisions were guided by emotions and they sold when they should have bought or bought when they should have sold.  If you include inflation factors into these numbers, the average investor made less than 1% annual return, while the S&P investor made almost 5%.

Jesse reviewed the strength and length of the current economic expansion.  He discussed unemployment and wage numbers. He reviewed the history and current state of the P/E ratios.  We looked at charts gauging manufacturing momentum, commodities and inflation.  He spent time discussing the Fed and interest rates, with a focus on yield curves and inverted yield curves.  All of this information was used to come back to investment strategies about diversification and lifestyle planning.  The end result and conclusion by Jesse is “yes, there will be another recession.  The big question is when and what will be the tipping factor that starts it?”

Having a good investment advisor is a smart way to help guide you through the noise.  An investment advisor can help you with your short term and long term investment goals.  They can work with you to keep your portfolio diversified and risk appropriate.  We appreciate the time, information and insights Jesse offered to our club members.  Including, his advice on medical systems in third world countries!

Tuesday, March 26th


April 15th – Board Meeting at 5:00 pm SDYC, Steak Fry at 6:00 pm SDYC

April 26th – 2nd Annual OptimisTiki Luau, 5:00 pm at the Bali Hai restaurant, Shelter Island GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!  JUST CLICK HERE

May 28th – Youth Appreciation Day Breakfast, 7:00 am, SDYC


1910 Albert Spalding businessman


1871 Albert Spalding, pitcher for    the Boston Red Stockings

His name was Albert Goodwill Spalding.  He was a Hall of Fame baseball player, club manager and executive in the early years of professional baseball.  He holds the

all time career winning percentage for pitchers at 79.5%.  He had a career 2.14 ERA and led the league in wins 6 times in 8 years.  He is also credited with starting the trend of wearing a baseball glove in the field.

Mr. Spalding then moved into business world and started a sporting goods store, which led to manufacturing and distributing sporting goods.  He became a publisher and founded the “Baseball Guide”, the most widely read baseball publication of the time.

Eric DuVall, president of the Ocean Beach Historical Society shared this information with us on Tuesday morning.  While much of this part of Albert Spalding’s life is known to baseball fans throughout the world, what Eric shared with us was about the life of Albert Spalding after the baseball … in Point Loma!

In 1900, Albert Spalding moved to Point Loma to continue his membership and support of the Theosophical Society.  Albert’s wife, Elizabeth was good friends with the Theosophical Society president Katherine Tingley.  Albert built a grand home, in the Lomaland area of Point Loma.  He mirrored the architecture of the Theosophical Society campus and became an active supporter and sponsor of the group.

Mr. Spalding also continued his business interests and philanthropical interests in San Diego.  He joined with George Marston to purchase the Presidio of San Diego and developed an historic park around the property, eventually donating it to the City of San Diego.  Mr. Spalding was the driving force behind the development of a paved road, known as Point Loma Boulevard, from downtown San Diego to Point Loma and Ocean Beach.  He also helped organize the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, which brought much attention to San Diego and helped with the creation of Balboa Park.

Albert Goodwill Spalding died in San Diego at the age of 65 years and 51 weeks, after residing here but for 15 years.  His baseball legacy will be known far and wide, but his place in Point Loma and San Diego history are just as important.  Maybe more so for those of us who have the pleasure of living in Point Loma.


Tuesday, March 12, 2019


Monday, March 18th:  5:00 pm Board Meeting; 6:00 pm Evening Event (both at Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern on Harbor Drive)

Tuesday March 26th:  7:00 am Breakfast Meeting at the San Diego Yacht Club

Friday, April 26th:  5:00 – 11:00 pm, 2nd Annual OptimisTiki Luau, Bali Hai restaurant, tickets available HERE


This morning, fellow Optimist Dan Williams and members of his committee treated us to the annual Optimist Oratorical Contest at our breakfast meeting.  Wow!  We saw a ton of talent in the 5 contestants who each spoke for 5 to 6 minutes on this year’s challenging nation-wide theme, “Is there a fine line between optimism and reality?”  The students were extremely poised and well prepared … bringing school, religion, sports, friendships, quotes and a myriad of life experiences into their presentations.  “Well done” to these winners, their families and teachers for such a terrific job this year.

More photos by Rico, Jimmy and Gary are available for viewing at these two links:  Slideshow or Photos (with captions).

2019 Oratorical Contest Winners with Dan Williams

Tuesday, March 5th


March 12th, Oratorical Contest, 7:00 am, San Diego Yacht Club

March 18th. 5:00 pm Board Meeting; 6:00 pm Evening Event

April 26th, 5:00 – 11:00 pm, 2nd Annual OptimisTiki Luau, Bali Hai restaurant, tickets available HERE  

Today:  Barry Scott was inducted into the Point Loma Optimist Club this morning.  Barry is a semi-retired musician and Point Loma resident.  He was sponsored by Bill Fiedler.  Welcome Barry!


The La Playa Trail is the oldest recognized trading trail in the western United States!  From Ballast Point to Mission Bay, the trail’s history goes back thousands of years and was started by our own native American Kumeyaay Tribe.  Today, the La Playa Trail Association is charged with maintenance and education of the trail’s history.  This morning, Kitty McDaniel and Eric DuVall, visited with the PL Optimist Club to educate our members on the history of the trail and its significance in the “recent” development of San Diego.

Eric is a local kid who grew up in Ocean Beach and Point Loma.  He is the current president of the Ocean Beach Historical Society and a member of the La Playa Trails Association.  Eric is also the co-author of the “Images of America, Point Loma” book, a fascinating look at the history and growth of the Point Loma community.  Kitty McDaniel grew up in Pacific Beach taught school for the SD Unified School District for 30 years.  She has 30 years of experience with the Pacific Beach and La Jolla Historical Societies and is currently on the  boards for the Ocean Beach Historical Society and the La Playa Trail Association.  Kitty also contributed to the “Images of America, Point Loma” book.  Together, they presented a brief history of the La Playa Trail and the growth of the Point Loma community.

The recent history of the La Playa Trail begins with Richard Henry Dana, who first set foot in Point Loma in 1834.  Dana spent much of his early days in Point Loma curing and trading in animal hides.  His 1840 book, “Two Years Before the Mast”, became a major source of information about California and the first recorded information about the La Playa Trading Trail.  During the mid to late 1800’s, the La Playa Trail was often used to allow Point Loma residents and visitors to gain access to the many beaches on the eastern side of the peninsula.

In 1866, Louis Rose, a local business man in San Diego’s Old Town, purchased a considerable amount of land in Point Loma and laid out a town he called Roseville.  It was Louis’ goal, that the growth of San Diego would take place in and around Roseville.  However, Alonso Horton was busy laying out a New Town San Diego across the bay.  And, it was this New Town of Horton’s that eventually grew and prospered as the new San Diego downtown.

Other note-able families from the early days of Point Loma include Fran Jennings, a lawyer, businessman and the Sheriff of San Diego in the late 1800’s.  Katherine Tingley, who in 1900 brought the Theosophical Society headquarters from New York to Point Loma.  A widely published author and peace activist, her headquarters facilities are today n the campus of Point Loma Nazarene University.  The Kettenburg family came to Point Loma in 1912 and established a world class boat building business.  In 1915, a 305 mile road race gathered over 50,000 spectators as world class automobile racers took over Point Loma.  In 1923, the Naval Training Center opened in Point Loma.  And, in 1934, the first trail markers for the La Playa trail were erected.  These tidbits about the history of Point Loma and the La Playa Trail and many more, are presented in the “Images of America, Point Loma” book.  Available at fine book stores and the Morena Blvd Costco!

Tuesday, February 26th


March 5th, next breakfast meeting, SDYC, 7:00 am, speaker to be announced

March 12th, Annual Oratorical Contest, SDYC, 7:00 am, Don’t miss this great event!

March 18th, Board Meeting, 5:00 pm and Evening Event, 6:00 pm, location to be announced

April 26th, 2nd Annual OptimisTiki Luau, Bali Hai restaurant, 5:00 – 11:00pm, Tickets available HERE


Pres. Steve Doyle, Director Elyse Lowe and Member John Ponder

Elyse Lowe is a native San Diegan and a Point Loma High Pointer!  She is a 15 year employee of the City of San Diego and currently serves as the Director of Development Services.  She oversees a staff of 500 and a $75 million annual budget.  She told us, “I am an advocate for transit focused development.  I want to see San Diego grow its housing stock.  Yes, I am a pro-growth democrat!”

The State of California Department of Finance has projected a housing deficit in the San Diego Region of 200,000 units by 2035.  According to Elyse, the City needs to find ways to make housing production more cost efficient and easier to process for approval of permits.  “Did you know that the City of San Diego issues almost 55,000 building permits each year.  Granted, a majority of them are for simple things like replacing water heaters or windows.  We also provide over 160,000 inspection visits each year for these permits.  Our goal is to simplify this process!” The City has embarked upon an aggressive, online permit processing program.  By the end of February 2020, the City hope to move the vast majority of these administerial permits to the online process.  “You will be able to get your permits online, from your home or office and schedule your inspections as well.  This will move things along much faster.”

The other focus is to streamline the “Granny Flats” approval process.  The cost of getting a granny flat permit used to be almost $100,000!  The City has reduced that cost down to about $25,000 and that may go even lower when the City of Encinitas uploads their three, free, granny flat architectural plans!  Granny flats, or accessory units are available in most single family residential neighborhoods.  But, they can not be used for short term rental units.  By law, a granny flat, if rented, must be rented for a minimum of 30 days.

“Parking is one of the most misunderstood issues in development today,” Elyse told us.  In high-rise buildings a parking space can come with a 30 year capitalized cost in excess of $100,000!  When you consider a car may be used to park at home, park at work, park at play and park on the street, the City is over-parked.  So for new development, Elyse said, “We are going to get creative about using the existing parking in this City.”  She believes if we can reduce new parking requirements we can ease the cost of development and provide incentives for more housing production.

Thank you, Elyse, for visiting with us this morning.  We are all looking forward to your positive changes for housing!

Tuesday, February 12th


February 15th, 5:00 pm, Jensen’s Market, 2nd Annual Optimists Wine Tasting

February 18th, 5:00 pm Board Meeting and 6:00 pm Dinner Meeting at Dirty Birds in Liberty Station

February 26th, 7:00 am Breakfast Meeting at SDYC, Elyse Lowe, the Director of Development Services for the City of San Diego will be the guest speaker

April 26th, 5:00 pm 2nd Annual OptimisTiki Luau at the Bali Hai restaurant, Shelter Island


Pres. Steve Doyle and Colin Parent, Ex. Dir. of Circulate San Diego

This morning we heard from Colin Parent, the Executive Director and General Counsel for Circulate San Diego, a non-profit organization focused on creating excellent mobility choices and vibrant, healthy neighborhoods.  Their primary focus today is a program called Vision Zero, with a goal to eliminate traffic fatalities by 2030.

Traffic safety includes vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians.  “On average, one person is injured every day in San Diego while driving, walking or bicycling,” Colin told us.  “And, traffic collisions are the leading cause of accidental death of children under the age of 13 in the City.”  He also shared the San Diego rate of death by homicide is 2.9 people/100,000.  While the rate of death by traffic crashes is 4.9 people/100,000, a very scary statistic!

Vision Zero is a traffic safety program started in Sweden.  It has also been adopted by major cities across the United States like New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.  Working with City and community leaders to prevent injuries and eliminate deaths our our local roads in the primary goal foe Vision Zero.  Studies have also shown that making streets safer will lead to economic and sustainability gains.

In 2015, Circulate San Diego was able to encourage the City of San Diego to join the Vision Zero program.  Simple changes to intersection design and facilities have already shown progress in reducing traffic accidents.  Mayor Faulconer has recently announced a goal to fix over 300 intersections in the next 4 years in the City.

According to Colin, that is a good first step.  “Road maintenance is also important.  We are working with Public Works directors to change the mindset of prioritizing road maintenance projects.  Human life and safety need to be the leading indicators of maintenance needs.”  This also works well with efforts of provide education on Safe Routes to and from Schools, regional transportation and Transit planning, and #Plan San Diego, which focuses on smart growth without economic or physical displacement.

Circulate San Diego has a full agenda to help San Diego move forward with safety and economic growth as their goals.  For more information about Circulate San Diego, please visit their website HERE.  Thank you Colin, for visiting with the Point Loma Optimist Club this morning.