November 12th – Board Meeting (rescheduled from calendar); 5:30 pm, San Diego Yacht Club
November 13th – Breakfast Meeting, 7:00 am, SDYC. Speaker – Captain Joseph Buzzella, Sector Commander, Coast Guard San Diego
November 19th – Dinner Meeting, 6:00 pm, location – to be announced
November 22nd – HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
November 27th – Breakfast Meeting, 7:00 am, SDYC. Speaker – to be announced
Program: He was born and raised in San Diego. He graduated University High School and San Diego State University. He has worked in education for the past 24 years, starting as a special education teacher. And, he has worked as a professional musician around San Diego for the past 30 years! Today, Hans Becker is the Principal of Point Loma High School, a job he has held for the last 5 years. “I believe PLHS is the finest high school in San Diego. And, I am dedicated to making sure PLHS students have the best high school experience, while preparing them for their future!” he told us. “And, I want to thank the Point Loma Optimist Club for being one of our biggest supporters. The scholarship program you run, is greatly appreciated and highly sought after. Our students look forward to the opportunity each year to apply and compete for your scholarships.”
PLHS started serving students in 1925. In the early 1970’s much of the campus was torn down and remodeled. A new remodel plan is coming later this year. “The round building, just off Chatsworth, will be torn down and replaced with a more functional and upgraded facility. This is a much needed improvement and will be a welcome addition to the campus,” according to Principal Becker. “We will also be adding some security fencing along Chatsworth to better protect our students and campus facilities.” While these are welcome changes, some of the things we love most about PLHS are in great shape!
“We have 1,912 students enrolled today. We also have a waiting list of 400+ students wanting to attend PLHS. We have a graduation rate over 97%. More than 85% of our students go on to a 2 year or 4 year college. 65% of our students live in the Point Loma service area (PL, OB and the Midway areas). 35% come from other neighborhoods. Our curriculum uses an ‘A-G compliant course plan’. That means these are courses approved by the UC and CSU system. This is an amazing place to work and get educated.” PLHS also has 80 full time teachers and teaching staff, 20 classified staff members and 20+ classroom assistants. Add to that, sports coaches, security, and volunteers, the total of which is almost 200 adults working at PLHS.
Vocational classes, like auto or wood shop, are distributed throughout the district, not every school has every vocational program. At PLHS, a focus on Arts & Entertainment courses prepare students to leave high school and immediately start work in the entertainment business. The computer classes focus on cutting edge work being done in Hollywood’s special effects, editing and production companies. Graduating students can move into good paying jobs in these fields with the skills they can learn at PLHS. Hans told us, “we offer an exceptional high school experience at PLHS. We have college professors teaching some our best and brightest students. We have a system in place through our counseling department to work with our students to ensure they get the education they need and want. It is a great place to work and get an education!”
Keep up the great work Principal Becker. We are very proud of PLHS, you and your team for the jobs you are doing and the students you are preparing.
November 3rd – Breakfast Meeting, San Diego Yacht Club, 7:00 am, Hans Becker, Principal for PLHS
November 12th – 5:30 pm, rescheduled Board Meeting, SDYC
November 13th – Breakfast Meeting, San Diego Yacht Club, 7:00 am
November 19th – Special Evening Meeting, time and location to be announced
Program: This morning the Club welcomed SDPD Officer David Surwilo. Officer Surwilo is somewhat of a regular at our meetings, keeping us apprised of law enforcement activities in the Point Loma, Ocean Beach and Midway areas. Officer Surwilo is attached to the Western Division of the San Diego Police Department and is an 18 year veteran of the force.
After the discussions of the homeless issues, residential burglaries and parking challenges, Officer Surwilo reminded us of the new “Get it Done San Diego” app. He told us the quickest way to report concerns or non-emergency issues is to email him (email@example.com) or to take a picture and submit the question/issue through the Get it Done app. It is simple … first open the app store on your phone. Then search for “Get it Done San Diego”. The press “GET”. Now you are ready to go! Open the app, select “New Report”, select your issue, take a picture, describe your problem and send it in.
We appreciate all the fine work done by our San Diego Police Department and we especially appreciate Officer Surwilo for joining us on a regular basis to keep us informed!
In other news, as reported earlier, the Optimist Club of Point Loma was the recipient of the Lighthouse Award, presented by the Point Loma Association. The award is to recognize the many years of service by the Club to the youth and community of Point Loma.
Our City Councilmember presented the PLA Lighthouse Award to the Point Loma Optimist Club. Accepting is Club President, Steve Doyle
Special Post: On Tuesday evening, October 16th, at the Point Loma Association (PLA) Annual Dinner, our very own, Optimist Club of Point Loma (PLO) was awarded the 2018 Lighthouse Award. This is the top award given by the PLA to recognize people who have made significant contributions to the Point Loma Community. Council Member Lorie Zapf, representing District 2 of the City of San Diego, introduced the award and announced the winner as the Optimist Club of Point Loma!
“There is just so much to tell you about the Optimist Club of Point Loma,” she began. “Here is just a sampling of what this group has done and is doing: Scholarships to PLHS seniors as they go off to college. Computers for Ocean Beach and Cabrillo Elementary Schools. A science and math lab for their STEAM Program at Dewey Elementary. Musical instruments for Correia Middle School. Annual Oratorical contests for middle school students. Annual Student Appreciation Awards for elementary school students. Improvements at the Peninsula YMCA. Support for all sorts of local children’s sports teams. And then, the flags! Over 150 flags displayed every Sunday and Holiday on Rosecrans Street from Talbot to Lytton. And, on those special days when a submarine is returning from deployment to Ballast Point. And, that’s just the beginning!”
Club President, Steve Doyle accepted the award from Council Member Zapf and PLA Chair Dave Martin. “I want to thank the Point Loma Association for this marvelous award and recognition of the Club’s efforts to support the youth of Point Loma and Ocean Beach. For 64 years the Optimist Club of Point Loma has been serving the peninsula communities. From our work with local schools, the YMCA, other youth organizations and our flag work, we are proud of our community and the services we can provide. For 54 years we have been placing the flags along Rosecrans Street. As Council Member Zapf said, it is a matter of patriotism, pride and recognition for the military’s role in the development and growth of the peninsula. Thank you, to each of you that wave and honk at our flag truck as we put up the flags in the morning and then take them down again in the late afternoon. I also want to point out the Optimist Club Members who are with us tonight and ask them to stand. I think we have 4 tables here this evening. Thank you again to the Point Loma Association for this award and if you want to learn more about our Club, please stop by for breakfast. Just about every Tuesday morning at 7:00 am at the San Diego Yacht Club. We welcome all guests to attend.”
October 22nd; Board Meeting, 5:00 pm at SDYC, 6:00 pm Last Steak Fry for 2018
October 30th; Breakfast Meeting. 7:00 am at SDYC
December 8th; Holiday Party, location to be announced
Program: Ron Lee has made a career out of falling down … lots of times. 5,440 times to be exact and 5,439 of those times were really great! According to Ron, the keys to happiness in life are simple. First, Find something you like to do. Second, Get really, really good at it. And third, Find someone (or lots of someones) who will pay you to do it. Sound simple? Well, maybe not that last one. But, if you are really, really, really good chances are someone will pay you!
Ron Lee is the co-owner of Skydiving Innovations and a 32-year professional demonstration skydiver. “There are two types of skydiving shows,” he explained to us. “The first is what we call a “Jump, Wave and Gone” style show. That lasts about 5 minutes. Then there are the Demonstration Skydiving shows, an aerial entertainment program, customized to the client’s wishes. This is our specialty.”
In the words of Medal of Honor winner, Eddie Rickenbacker, “Courage is doing what you are afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you are scared.” And, according to Ron, every jump comes with some element of fear. Ron and Todd Lee started Skydiving Innovations in 1986. In 1988, they were approached by some members of the Leap Frogs, the US Navy Parachute Team, about joining their operations. The Leap Frogs are recognized as some of the best demonstration skydivers in the world. This enabled Ron to significantly increase the offerings of his company and to create the most sought-after group of professional aerialists. Skydiving Innovations has developed, managed and performed nearly 500 aerial demonstrations since 1986 for companies such as Wells Fargo, Callaway Golf, The NFL, Nationwide Insurance, Delta Airlines, Disney Enterprises and many more.
Ron has also taken his experiences to the world of motivational speakers, bringing his perspective about the value of risk, fear, struggle and failure as necessary precursors to personal and professional success. In addition, Skydiving Innovations supports organizations that support military families like the Seal Family Foundation. The Optimists thank Ron for sharing his words of wisdom and for agreeing to take David Gee on their next wing-suit high altitude dive. We wish you both continued success!
- Next Breakfast Meeting, Tuesday, October 16th, 7:00am, SDYC
- Fall Festival at PLNU, Saturday, October 20th, 10:00am – 2:00pm, volunteers needed
- Next Board Meeting, Monday, October 22nd, 5:00pm, SDYC, with the last Steak Fry of the year to follow at 6:00pm
- Holiday Party, Saturday, December 8th, 6:00pm, location to be announced
There once was an Optimist poet,
His work great, but he didn’t show it.
He bared his soul and opened his heart.
He enlightened us with the images of art.
Now grasp that spark and grow it!
Sometimes, when you run out of easy choices, when the simple solutions are not available, you just have to believe in yourself and throw that “Hail Mary” pass. Quarterback Doug Flutie had a knack for that sort of last second heroics. I never thought I could make such a similar pass…
Monday afternoon, preparing for our Tuesday morning breakfast meeting, I learned we were running out of options for the weekly guest speaker. Half heartedly planning for a sorry “song and dance” routine, I lofted one of those “Hail Mary” passes and, low and behold, our All-Star historian, Poet Laureate and Optimist for Life, Ron Lauderbach made the catch, won the game and made me look good in my official Breakfast Meeting debut as this year’s Club President! What can I say, sometimes the stars align for you!
Ron took up my jokingly “throwing him under the bus” comment and delivered an amazing presentation. Ron’s fascination with poetry began at a young age. While some adolescents took to crude words on a restroom wall, Ron fostered his words into stories about his life and the people around him. As an English teacher, Ron noticed that “great poets of year’s past” had a difficult time capturing the attention of teenage students. He turned to more recent scribes of story telling poets to bring life and mystery into this writing format. “If you can’t capture the readers’ attention, you can’t tell your story,” he shared with us. “I try to open the minds of my readers by painting a picture with words. Something they can relate to and understand.”
We are very proud to call Ron our brother in Optimism. We are also encouraged by his determination to follow his heart and explore his love of poetry. Ron is looking forward to completing his degree next year. We know he will achieve this goal and we hope he will continue to catch those “Hail Mary” passes to the delight of all his fans. Thank you and well done, Ron Lauderbach!
Congratulations to all our new board members and leadership inducted at the club’s 64th Installation Dinner at the Bali Hai on Monday, September 24th! We thank our most recent Past President Bill Bramley for leading our club through all of its successes last year, and look forward to supporting our new President Steve Doyle as he takes the reins. Click here for photos from the Installation Dinner.
October 1, 2018 (post facto) – Funds generated at our 2018 OptimisTiki charity event were awarded to Cabrillo Elementary School at a school assembly. This money will go toward completing the computer purchases necessary to support use by the students. Photos from the event are posted here.
October 9, 2018 (7:00 AM) – Breakfast Meeting, SDYC.
October 16, 2018 (7:00 AM) – Breakfast Meeting, SDYC.
October 20, 2018 – Annual Fall Festival at Point Loma Nazarene. Tom Lewis is seeking volunteers for booth.
October 22, 2018 (5:00 PM) – Board Meeting, SDYC (members welcome)
October 22, 2018 (6:00 PM) – Steak Fry (last one for 2018)
October 30, 2018 (7:00 AM) – Breakfast Meeting, SDYC.
December 8, 2018 (for your planning calendars) – Annual Holiday Party
We were honored to have Bonnie Dumanis, the former San Diego County District Attorney, as our guest speaker today. She discussed her impressive background, as well as her vision for the future as a candidate for the San Diego County Board of Supervisors for District 4 in the upcoming November elections. Her full biography and positions on current issues may be viewed on her website. She was accompanied by her campaign manager, Cameron Celeste, whose uncle was a stalwart member of the Point Loma Optimist Club in past years. We wish her well as she aspires to continue her public service.
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
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!”
“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, 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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. We thank Barbara, Buck and the folks at SD MOM for their excellent support.
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
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.
“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!
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
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