Tuesday, September 11th

ANNOUNCEMENTS:  First, a moment of silence in respect for those who lost their lives during and in the rescue efforts for the victims of the 9/11/01 attacks on the United States of America.  Thank you.

September 17, 2018 – 5:00 pm Board Meeting at SDYC, Review of draft 2018/19 Budget, all members welcome; 6:00 pm Steak Fry at SDYC

September 24, 2018 – 6:00 pm 64th Installation Dinner at the Bali Hai, Shelter Island, $20 per person, please RSVP with Bert Barclay

October 20, 2018 – PLNU Fall Festival from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm, volunteers needed to manage the booth, please see Tom Lewis for more info

              Laura Shinn, Director of Facilities Planning for SDSU

PRESENTATION:  Laura Shinn, Director of Facility Planning for San Diego State University, presented the SDSU Mission Valley plan for the stadium property.  This draft plan was created to share the vision SDSU has, should they be given the opportunity to purchase the property.  The plan includes a 50+ acre San Diego River Park, a 1.6 million square foot campus research, innovation and development center, and 4,600 new residential units for upper division students, faculty, staff, affordable and publicly offered, market rate housing.  The plan also includes a 35,000 seat stadium designed for college football, professional soccer and expandable to NFL standards (should an NFL team wish to locate in San Diego).  Two hotels, a conference center, 95,000 square feet of local serving commercial space and 22 acres of public parks compliment the balance of this trolley-centric plan.

“We will present this plan to the public, as a starting point for environmental and community review,” Laura told us.  “The plan must go through a CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) level review and significant impacts will be identified and mitigated.  This open and transparent review process will ensure the community and surrounding neighborhoods, that their concerns will be heard and addressed.”  The plan, as presented, contains over 50% open space and parks.  There are large walking and biking trails, and a critical link in the San Diego River Park trail that will eventually connect Mission Bay with the headwaters of the San Diego River.  The additional campus space will provide SDSU with approximately a 50% increase in the campus space on the mesa.  “We are land-locked on the mesa,” Laura said.  “We look to Mission Valley as the best chance for us to expand in a close, proximate location.  The property is only three trolley stops away!”

                              1st VP Steve Doyle and Laura Shinn

“SDSU provides $5.67 billion per year of economic impact to the San Diego region.  SDSU accounts for 42,000 jobs and pays almost $500 million per year in local and state taxes.  This is all done with the 185 acres on the mesa.  Imagine how much more we could do if we added the 132 acres in Mission Valley!” she added.  There were over 93,000 applications received for the fall of 2018 entering freshman class.  There were 5,700 students accepted.  The average incoming SAT score of the accepted students was over 1,250.  The average GPA was 3.8.  By growing SDSU into the Mission Valley site, campus officials estimate another 15,000 students could added to the total student population, which exceeds 35,000 today!

                        Steve Doyle with Friends of SDSU

Steve Doyle, a member of the Friends of SDSU (and 1st VP of the Point Loma Optimist Club) presented the initiative, SDSU West – Prop G, that will provide SDSU wit the opportunity to expand into Mission Valley.  “Our initiative is very simple.  Our initiative directs the City of San Diego to enter into negotiations with SDSU to sell them the stadium property at Fair Market Value.  And, it requires SDSU, if they purchase the property, to build the River Park, a new stadium, go through a public process for planning and environmentally reviewing their plan, take over the cost of       maintaining the existing stadium and to do all this work without any money from the City General Fund.  Prop G is on the November 6th ballot.  Prop G has garnered the most diverse and significant group of endorsements ever seen in a San Diego local election.  And, Prop G is sponsored by a group called Friends of SDSU, who wrote, qualified, defended and now are campaigning for its adoption.  Friends of SDSU are alumni, business people, environmentalists, community activists, philanthropists, and past presidents of SDSU.  All of our members have agreed to not be financially involved with the future development of the property, if Prop G passes.  Prop G provides the best opportunity to grow SDSU.  The competing Measure, Prop E proposes a new shopping center.  The future of San Diego is in the hands of the voters.  A vision for Mission Valley and San Diego is at stake.  Do you want a new university campus, focused on research and innovation?  Or, do you want another shopping center?  Please vote “YES” on Prop G and “NO” on Prop E!”

Club members asked numerous questions and then thanked both presenters.


Tuesday, September 4th


September 11, 2018 (7:00 AM) – Breakfast Meeting, SDYC.  Topic:  SDSU West presentation.
September 17, 2018 (5:00 PM) – Board Meeting, SDYC (members welcome)
September 17, 2018 (6:00 PM) – Steak Fry
September 24, 2018 (6:00 PM) – Installation Dinner, Bali Hai Restaurant, $20/person, Hawaiian attire.
October 20, 2018 – Annual Fall Festival at Point Loma Nazarene.  Tom Lewis is seeking volunteers for booth.


A recent letter from a UC Berkeley freshman awarded one of our scholarships this spring reads, in part, “I am so grateful that there are really people looking out for kids like me in this community.  A huge weight was lifted from my shoulders.  Because of you, my first year at college will be paid off.  Thank you endlessly.  Hope to make you proud!

The Installation Dinner at the Bali Hai on 9/24/2018 will start at 6:00 PM, buffet dinner at 6:45 PM, with outgoing President Bramley buying the first round.  We wish him a speedy recovery to make good on this promise, and to see him up and running at full speed again!  Please pay Bert Barclay ($20 per person) by the next breakfast meeting, so we have a good head count for this event.

Optimist SoCal Region Governor-Elect Diana Drummey addresses the attentive breakfast audience.

We welcomed the Governor-Elect for the Optimist’s Southern California District, Diana Drummey, who spoke briefly about upcoming conventions and activities. We were also pleased to welcome Bonita Chapter’s John Reid and Elaine Lucca, who are assisting in creating a PLHS Junior Optimist Club associated with ours.


Buck Buchanan of SD MOM, Gov-Elect Diana Drummey, acting President Jeff Fischbeck and SD MOM Operations Director Barbara Chavez

As our guest speaker this morning, we were delighted to host Barbara Chavez, Operations Director for the SD Military Outreach Ministries (SD MOM), accompanied by our Point Loma neighbor and friend, Buck Buchanan.  In their work with SD MOM, a non-denominational faith based charity, they provide much needed basic assistance to young military families in the SD County area. We are talking food, clothing and household items that would not otherwise be affordable for military families ranking E-5 and below, with this region’s high cost of living. They are connected to Dewey Elementary and Dana Middle Schools and make their available services known to other schools such as Cabrillo and OB Elementary which also have high military family populations. If you have used furniture, clothing or other household goods to donate that might otherwise be difficult to get to Goodwill, SDMOM will pick them up and get them directly to the military families in need! Barbara and her team may be contacted at the SDMOM website (sandiegomom.org) or via email at office@sandiegomom.org. We thank Barbara, Buck and the folks at SD MOM for their excellent support.


Tuesday, August 28th

Announcements:  September 4, 2018 – Breakfast Meeting, SDYC at 7:00 am

September 24, 2018 – Installation Dinner, Bali Hai Restaurant, particulars to come

October 20, 2018 – Annual Fall Festival at Point Loma Nazarene, volunteers being sought to manage booth

        Rico Garcia, Tom Lewis, Bill Fiedler and Art Curran

   1st VP Steve Doyle and Scott Hedencamp

Today the Point Loma Optimist Club introduced its newest member!  Scott Hedencamp, an architect and developer, stepped up to join the Club.

Scott is a native San Diegan, long time peninsula resident and second generation Optimist.  Welcome Scott!

This past Saturday, Rico, Tom, Bill and Art took part in the quarterly review of the Optimist truck and flag supply.  These gents gave the Flag Truck a healthy “once over” and then removed, inspected, repaired or replaced each of the flags and their poles, about 160 in total!  A nice bit of work to keep our equipment and inventory in good shape.  Thanks guys!

Presentation:   Today we welcomed back a friend and previous guest, Katrina Pescador, the Director of Library & Archives and the Director of Volunteer Services at the San Diego Air and Space Museum (SDASM).  Katrina had made a presentation to our Club approximately 10 year previous and remembered our group as a welcoming, fun-loving Club, always looking to learn something new … sounds like an Optimist Club to me!  Since her last presentation, Katrina has collected the title of Director of Volunteer Services to go along with her training and experience in the Library and Archives world for museums.  Katrina brings over 20 years of experience in museum management and we are lucky to have her here in San Diego.

          Katrina Pescador, SDASM and 1st VP Steve Doyle

“San Diego has a rich and extensive history in aviation and aviation manufacturing,” she told us.  “That history goes back to 1910 and is dotted with names like, Fleet, Ryan, Jessop, Lindberg, Convair and many others.  To honor this history and share it with generations to come, the San Diego Aerospace Museum was established in October of 1961.”  The museum opened in February of 1963 and quickly outgrew its original home.   By 1965, it had moved into the Electric Building, but that too had it’s size challenges.  Through the early 70’s the City looked for a new home for the Aerospace collection, and in 1977 a grant was received that would help upgrade and retrofit the Ford Building as its new home.  However, before the Ford Building rehab could be completed, a devastating fire consumed the Electric building on February 22, 1978.  Most of the museum’s contents were destroyed by the fire, including over 50 aircraft, and the museum’s extensive collection of artifacts and archival collections.

Two years later, February 22, 1980, the new Aerospace Museum opened to the public.  The growth in its collections has been unprecedented.  An annex facility at Gillespie Field was added to house the ever increasing collection of aircraft.  In 2006, the Aerospace Museum officially changed its name to the San Diego Air and Space Museum to better reflect its growing collections and mission.  “We now have the second largest collection of Air and Space material, trailing only the collection housed at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C.” said Katrina.  “And, we are trying to get our photographs, documents and artwork all digitized and made available on the web.  We want people to learn about aviation and space exploration.  We want scholars doing research.  We want young minds to be opened to the thrill and wonder of space travel.  It is part of our mission to make this information available.”

“If you want a tour of the SDASM, just stop by and look for one of our Docents in a red jacket.  If you have a group of more than 10, call us and reserve a time for our Docents to give you a tour.  The Air and Space Museum is open for business.  Please come see us.”

Thank you, Katrina.  With such a great presentation and such real enthusiasm, you can count on us all stopping by real soon!

Tuesday, August 14th


August 2o:  Board Meeting at 5:00 pm at SDYC

Steak Fry at 6:00 pm at SDYC

August 28:  Breakfast Meeting at 7:00 am at SDYC

1st VP Steve Doyle and Council Member Lorie Zapf

Program:  More powerful than a locomotive! Faster than a speeding bullet!  Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound!  She is Superwoman!

Okay, maybe not.  Especially when she has to rely on four other councilmembers to vote for her motions!  Council Member Lorie Zapf is the representative for District 2 of San Diego.  This District includes Point Loma, Ocean Beach, Mission Beach, Pacific Beach and Downtown.  Councilmember Zapf visited with the Optimist Club this morning to give us an update on activities and actions in our community.

“Get it done! is live and available for your phone and home computer,” she told us.  “It is the quickest way to get an issue in front of the City.  Do you have a dreaded pothole?  A cracked sidewalk?  A missing traffic sign?  Or a street light that doesn’t work?  Let us know by using the Get It Done San Diego app.  It is available in the App Store.  And, it will bring your concern front and center to San Diego staff!  I use it all the time!”

Lorie also brought us up to speed on road improvements, median improvements and other infrastructure work going on in Point Loma and Ocean Beach.  She answered questions about the Short Term vacation rentals ordinance, the rent-a-bike and rent-a-scooter problems, and a myriad of other issues before the City Council.  As always, Lorie was straight-forward and honest in her appraisal of the issues and how she would like to see them handled.

Lorie shared her passion for helping children and told us of her special appreciation for our mission and the work of the Optimist Club in supporting the children of Point Loma and Ocean Beach.  “When we can help a child learn to read at an early age, then the child can learn for the rest of their lives.  It sounds so simple, but getting started in life with a good education and an enjoyment in reading can make all the difference for a child growing up.  Thank you for all you do for the children of this community” she told us.

Lorie is in the middle of her re-election campaign to continue her service for District 2 for another 4 years.  Lorie also recently endorsed Prop G for the November Ballot.  Prop G is the SDSU West Campus Research Center, Stadium and River Park Initiative.  The Point Loma Optimist appreciate all the fine work of Council Member Zapf and wish her the best in the coming election

Tuesday, August 7th


August 14, 2018, 7:00 am: Breakfast Meeting at SDYC

August 20, 2018, 5:00 pm: Board Meeting at SDYC

August 20, 2018, 6:00 pm: Steak Fry at SDYC


Acting President Chris Jacobs welcomes Commodore Brett Hershman.

We were honored to have Captain Brett Hershman, USN, Commodore of the Military Sealift Command (MSC) Pacific, as our guest speaker this morning.  He is a Point Loma resident, with his headquarters on Naval Base Point Loma (formerly known as the Submarine Base).  The MSC’s 125 ships are manned by 8,300 relatively senior merchant marines averaging 43 years of age, and by embarked US Navy support.  The ships are varied, including hospital ships (such as USNS Mercy), shallow draft fast boats, Army pre-positioning ships (such as the USNS John Wayne), oilers and other special mission ships.  The new design fleet tugs are the MSC’s “Swiss Army knives,” which have multiple missions including such things as submarine rescue and salvage capabilities.  He briefed us on his wide ranging responsibilities in keeping fuel, food and other logistic support flowing to the fleet.  Even though our nuclear powered aircraft carriers and submarines can go decades between refueling, there is still the need for jet fuel, food, and spare parts that the MSC provides at sea.  Our nation’s ability to do underway replenishments all around the globe is unique, and distinguishes us from all other navies.  The Commodore described the recent 3-week RIMPAC exercises in which his ships worked with 45 allied navy ships to practice this replenishment capability.  He dazzled us with technological advances such as at-sea transfer “pills” that are pulled from a supply ship to a submarine.  They are large enough for big parts yet small enough to pass down a 21″ hatch.  Even drones are being used to do transfers at sea now!  Amazon must be envious.  We are very grateful for Captain Hershman’s 30+ years of arduous duty as a Surface Warfare Officer and in numerous conflicts supporting our national defense.  We also thank him for taking some of his very valuable time to talk with us.  Details of his impressive service are available at this link.

Commodore Hershman in follow-up Q&A with interested members after the meeting

Tuesday, July 31st


July 31, 2018: 7:00 am, Breakfast Meeting at SDYC

August 7, 2018: 7:00 am. Breakfast Meeting at SDYC


VP Chris Jacobs welcomes Art Curran as our newest member.

Acting President Chris Jacobs presided as we inducted new member Art Curran into the club at this morning’s breakfast.  He’s a 4th generation Californian originally from Bakersfield, and now residing in Point Loma with his wife Mari.  He is a former prosecutor and retired private practice attorney … and golfer.  Welcome aboard (and happy birthday), Art! 

What did all the following have in common (Air Force One, tongue-tied cherry stem knots, #HunterKillerSub, VW vans, Walt Disney, the Boston Braves, AUV competitions, “11” on the telephone dial, St Andrews, the White House, and Da Nang)?  These were just portions of personal factoids that members presented in lieu of a guest speaker at this morning’s breakfast.  Very entertaining and enlightening.

Scott Hedenkamp and his high school freshman daughter Jadyn were our guests at today’s breakfast.  Afterwards, she presented her very enterprising proposal to create a Junior Optimist club at PLHS that would be affiliated with the Pt Loma Optimists.  Member (and former teacher) Paula Perretta volunteered to be the initial point of contact as we put this to the Board for approval and assemble a committee to assist her in this endeavor.

Tuesday, July 24th


July 24, 2018: 7:00 am, Breakfast Meeting at SDYC

July 31, 2018: 7:00 am. Breakfast Meeting at SDYC


Bert Barclay presents the coveted Pt Loma Optimist Club Golf Tournament trophy to this year’s champion — member Jesse Sikorski.

President Bill Bramley opened the meeting with a resounding “thank you” to Bert Barclay and all those who made the annual Optimist Club of Point Loma Golf Tournament such a success … raising over $3500 which will go to supporting Peninsula youth.  Optimist Jesse Sikorski, the tournament winner and now the reining club champion, was presented the “Stanley Cup” of our club’s golf tournaments.  His name is inscribed on the trophy for posterity, thus joining the legions of those who went before him.  Particularly notable was that Jesse did this with a sprained ankle.  Next year we are expecting even better from him!
Next Tuesday’s breakfast meeting will be followed by a few members meeting with Scott Hedenkamp and his high school freshman daughter Jadyn, who is proposing the creation of a Junior Point Loma Optimist Club.
In lieu of a guest speaker this morning, there were some particularly good jokes, as well a sincere discussion of the benefits in donating to the Optimist Club of Point Loma as a part of estate planning.

Tuesday, July 10th


July 16, 2018:  Annual Optimist Club of Point Loma Golf Tournament, Noon at River Walk Golf Club

5:00 pm – Board Meeting:  CANCELED

6:00 pm – Steak Fry and presentation of Golf Tournament Awards, SDYC

July 24, 2018: 7:00 am, Breakfast Meeting at SDYC

July 31, 2018: 7:00 am. Breakfast Meeting at SDYC


                                 Ryan Blalack, Member Mark Koonin and Frank Schifano

What can Brown do for you?  Well, on Tuesday, July 10th, Brown delivered Ryan Blalack and Frank Schifano to the Point Loma Optimist Breakfast Meeting at the San Diego Yacht Club!  Ryan is a 23 year veteran, who began his delivery career with a bases loaded curve ball from his living room couch.  He now serves as a Regional Manager for UPS Capital.  Frank is a native San Diegan who has been with UPS for the past 10 years and serves as the Area Sales Manager.

“UPS is an engineering company the seeks perfection in efficient package delivery,” according to Frank.  “FedEx is a marketing company that delivers packages.  That is the major difference between the two biggest commercial package delivery companies!”  Whether you are talking about clients like Amazon, Target, Wal*Mart or the Law Offices of William Bramley, APC, every package gets the same Brown treatment.  It starts when you hand off the parcel to a UPS employee and ends with the personal delivery by a Brown clad employee at its final destination.  “We know where it is and where it will be, every step of the delivery cycle.”

UPS is engineered for delivery success.  At their “World Port” in Louisville, Kentucky, a Brown plane lands every 90 seconds.  In a massive building, covering 5.2 million square feet, Brown sorts over 416,000 packages per hour!  Then through their air force of 244 cargo planes and ground force of 119,000 vehicles, over 20 million packages are successfully delivered every day world wide.  Not too bad for a little company started by Jim Casey in Seattle, Washington on August 28, 1907 with a couple of bicycles!

Today, UPS is so much more than just a package delivery company.  Ryan highlighted some of the community involvement efforts and philanthropic philosophies of the UPS company.  “As a company, we want to be invested in the communities we serve.  And to do that, we want to invest our people as well as our money.”  UPS is the biggest corporate giver to the United Way.  In 2017, UPS employees donated over $66 million to United Way!  In addition, UPS employees gave over $5.9 million to emergency relief funds last year.  These dollars went to hurricane, flood and fire victims.  UPS also supports Boys & Girls Clubs, the Salvation Army and Toys for Tots with financial donations and personal time and effort by employees.  “Philanthropy is not just word written on our Mission Statement.  Philanthropy is an engrained philosophy for our company and our employees.  UPS recognizes and celebrates the philanthropic efforts of its employees!”  In fact, Ryan was recognized ad the 2008 Volunteer of the Year by Brown!

So the next time someone asks you, “What has Brown done for you?”  Ask them to check out Carson’s Story.  Because UPS also Delivers Wishes!



Tuesday, June 26th


President Bill Bramley opened this morning’s meeting with a wonderful announcement.  “The Point Loma Optimist Club has been selected for the prestigious Lighthouse Award from the Point Loma Association.  This is the highest award of recognition given by the PLA and recognizes our Club for all the good works we do in the community.”  Congrats to the Optimist Club of Point Loma!

July 10th:  Next Breakfast Meeting, 7:00 am, San Diego Yacht Club

July 16th:  Annual Optimists Golf Tournament, River Walk Gol Club, Noon registration and lunch, 1:00 pm Shot Gun start.  Contact Bert Barkley for info and reservations. Board Meeting, 5:00 pm, SDYC. Steak Fry and Golf Tournament Awards, 6:00 pm SDYC

July 24th:  Breakfast Meeting, 7:00 am, SDYC


Principal Irene Hightower, Member Steve Doyle and President Bill Bramley

The Point Loma Optimist Club welcomed Principal Irene Hightower, from Cabrillo Elementary School to our breakfast meeting.  During the Golden OptimisTiki Event on April 28th, a Paddle Raise generated $8,400 for the Cabrillo Elementary School.  Today, we presented Principal Hightower with a Big Check to recognize that gift (and a legal sized check she could take to the bank!).  “I want to thank the Point Loma Optimists for this wonderful donation,” she told us.  “This money will go to complete our tablet computer cart we bought with last year’s donation.  We will now have 32 tablet computers, in a charging cart, for all our students to use.  We are very grateful for your generosity.”

Lilli-Mari Andresen, the Associate Director overseeing Major Gifts for The San Diego Museum of Art, visited with the Optimist Club this morning.  “Do you know what is going on at The San Diego Museum of Art this summer?  This month we opened a new exhibit, “Epic Tales from Ancient India”!  This exhibit will feature more than 90 works of art from the Museum’s world renowned Edwin Binney 3rd Collection!”  This collection spans the 16th thru 19th century.  It’s works contain adventure, battles and romance.  But, it only begins to tell the story of ancient India.  The Museum will offer symposiums, dance productions, films, music and many other educational opportunities to help complete the experience.

President Bill Bramley and Lilli-Mari Andresen SDMA

“We also have an exhibition of Nancy Lorenz’s work, entitled “Moon Gold”.  This program will run through August and offers an inside look at the traditional lacquering and gilding techniques of Japanese decorative arts,” according to Lilli.  Using cascades of gold, silver and platinum, Ms. Lorenz creates beguiling and decadently adorned boxes.

“And, of course, we have our 2018 Summer Youth Art Programs.  These programs are for children from 1st thru 5th grades and then we have our teen programs for children in 6th thru 12th grades.  In each of these programs, we are helping children learn and explore art in many different formats,” Lilli told us.  You can learn more about the details of these programs at SDMArt.org.

The San Diego Museum of Art is in Balboa Park.  They operate on a budget of mare than $10 million per year.  They work to raise about $5.5 million a year from Members and the public to cover their costs for operating the museum, preserving, and protecting their art collections.  Thank you, Lillie, for sharing this valuable insight into the SDMA and opening our eyes to some of the great opportunities and experiences the SDMA has to offer.





Tuesday, June 12th


June 18, 2018 – Board Meeting, 5:00 pm, SDYC
– Steak Fry, 6:00 pm, SDYC

July 16, 2018 – Annual Golf Tournament, River Walk Golf Club, noon registration, 1:00 pm start


We inducted J. C. Agajanian as a new member at today’s meeting.  He expressed his appreciation for what the Optimists do, including the club’s recent support in providing the new flagpole at Silver Gate Elementary where some of his 3 children go to school.  Welcome aboard, J. C.!

New member J. C. Agajanian is congratulated by acting President Chris Jacobs and membership coordinator, Tom Lewis.








J. C. with his sponsor, Sean

Member Jesse Sikorski introduced us to his colleague, Craig Lambourne, who was our guest speaker at this morning’s breakfast meeting.  Craig is an attorney and certified specialist in trust and probate law as well as estate planning.  He provided some excellent advice to a “target rich” audience regarding the what, why, who, when and where of estate planning.  Of particular interest were the implications of recent tax law changes to existing and future trusts.  For instance, even though the tax exemption for the size of estates was recently increased to $22 million for couples, it may create significant income tax issues for some previously established trusts.  We appreciated Craig’s presentation (and knowing how to reach him through Jesse if needed!).

Member Jesse Sikorski, Acting President Chris Jacobs, and guest speaker Craig Lambourne