Saturday, December 8th, 6:00 pm, PLO Holiday Party, at the home of Russ and Sandy Valone
Tuesday, December 11th, 7:00 am, Breakfast Meeting at SDYC, Speaker will be Greg Geisen, Facilities Planner at SPAWAR.
Monday, December 17th, 5:00 pm, Board Meeting at SDYC
Tuesday, December 18th, 7:00 am, Breakfast Meeting at SDYC, Holiday Steak and Eggs Fare
Do you remember Seaport Village? That waterfront shopping center with a few restaurants and of course the carousel? When was the last time you visited Seaport Village? Do you know there are big changes planned for this aging San Diego icon?
Enter Gafcon et al. In 2016, the Port of San Diego awarded Protea Waterfront Development a $1.6 billion redevelopment opportunity on 70 acres of prime waterfront property in downtown San Diego. The Managing Partner of Protea is Yehudi “Gaf” Gaffen, the CEO of Gafcon, Inc. Gaf brings over 35 years of construction and program management experience to this venture.
According to Gaf, “this new waterfront development will include about 2,000 hotel rooms in five different classifications, from Hostel to 5 Star luxury. We are also planning commercial opportunities, to allow existing tenants to remain in Seaport Village and bring in new tenants to the mix. The 500′ tower will act as the focal point for the property. The top 8 floors will include an observation deck, restaurant, meeting facility and other uses.” Also included in the plan is a Blue Tech Hub. Blue Tech is exciting new research, science and innovation of the oceans of the world. The Hub, will bring together Scripps Institute researchers with ocean focused industry to foster the development of new technologies and innovation. The combination of education, research and industry, all focused on the ocean environs, will be unique to San Diego.
“We will also be enhancing the waterfront access and usage for all San Diegans,” he told us. “Tuna Harbor will be upgraded and we hope to bring in a true fish market, so our local fishermen will have a place to auction off their fresh catch to restaurants and grocers.” Improved access to the water will also be provided by a new “beach area” and enhanced marina access for visiting vessels. A new aquarium for San Diego is also planned to be integrated into the project. “You might even get to sleep with the fish,” Gaf joked.
Seaport Village is also looking to keep the carousel as part of the historic linkage for the property development. And, is investigating the possibility of a new Medal of Honor Museum as a way to link the Military History of San Diego and the Midway Museum, into a contiguous waterfront experience. But all these new and unique waterfront amenities do come with a cost. The project must deal with the active Rose Canyon fault line, a major sewer line from Coronado, a large fiber optic communication cable and a very large storm drain from the city of San Diego. Nothing is ever easy in the redevelopment business!
“We are projecting 4 years of entitlement work to process the project through the Port District, Army Corps of Engineers and California Coastal Commission. Then, we are looking at a 4 year construction timeline,” Gaf shared with us. “We are very upbeat about the plan and the process. There is a lot of work in front of us, but also a lot of potential!”
Thanks for sharing your new Seaport Village plans with us, Gaf. We are excited to see this new waterfront project come to fruition.
December 4, 11, and 18 (new), 2018 – Breakfast Meetings, 7:00 am, SDYC.
December 8, 2018 – Annual Optimist Holiday Party (6 PM at the Valone home)
Thank you, Tom Lewis, for arranging a fun and tasty evening event at Miguels last Monday! Hopefully, all had a wonderful Thanksgiving this past Thursday.
We inducted long-time Point Loma resident, Max Senescall, as our newest member at this morning’s breakfast meeting. Welcome aboard, Max! And thank you Vernon Lee for introducing Max to our club.
Today’s guest speaker was Mr. Greg Sterner, licensed physical therapist and owner of Fitness Together Point Loma, located at Liberty Station for the last 9 years. He enlightened all in attendance on what’s important on reaching and maintaining better health and fitness as we age. We were all very grateful to hear his detailed brief, which including a short demonstration and an excellent handout with a sample exercise program for “50-Something’s” to maintain physical fitness. (A modified version for our Under-50’s or Over-70’s is available on request!) For further information, his Fitness Together website is located at this link. Thank you very much, Greg.
November 19, 2018 – Evening Event, 6:00 pm, location to be announced
November 22, 2018 – Happy Thanksgiving!
November 27, 2018 – Breakfast Meeting, 7:00 am, SDYC. Speaker – Greg Sterner, Physical Therapist
Question: Name the fourth branch of the United States Armed Services?
Question: Name the oldest branch of the United States Armed Services that operates in the air and on the seas?
Question: Name the only branch of the United States Armed Services with less than 50,000 active personnel?
Question: Name the only branch of the United States Armed Services with policing power?
The answer to all four questions is …. The United States Coast Guard!
San Diego is a COAST GUARD CITY. A Coast Guard City is a municipality designated by the Commandant of the Coast Guard on application of the local civilian government. It is an honorary designation intended to recognize communities of special importance to the Coast Guard. There are currently 21 cities designated “Coast Guard Cities”
Captain Joseph Buzzella is the Sector Commander and Captain of the Port of San Diego, California. He is a qualified pilot (both fixed wing and helicopters) and has served as the Deck Watch Officer for two Coast Guard cutters. He has worked in the Department of Homeland Security and the Pentagon. Captain Buzzella holds multiple Master Degrees and is commonly referred to as the Sheriff of the Port. The San Diego Sector for the Coast Guard service area includes not only the San Diego Port area and surrounding ocean waters, but inland navigable waters like the Colorado River, Lake Powell, and Lake Mead. The Coast Guard is charged with the safety and defense of our navigable waters.
“There are three branches of the Armed Services, Army, Navy and Air Force, that operate under the Department of Defense,” according to Captain Buzzella. “The Coast Guard operates under the Department of Homeland Security, as our principal mission is the defense of the navigable waterways of the United States. The Coast Guard was permanently established August 4, 1790 and has remained in continuous service since that date. The US Navy began earlier(1775), but was disbanded after the Revolutionary War (1783) and not revived until 1794. Today the Coast Guard has 40,075 active service men and women. And, we are the only Armed Service authorized by congress to use policing powers with the public. These things make us unique!”
“And, just so there is no confusion about our abilities … The Coast Guard was at Kitty Hawk, when the Wright Brothers took their first flight… The Coast Guard has provided NASA with astronauts… and the Navy with SEALs!” The primary responsibility of the Coast Guard is the safety of our navigable waterways. This means rivers, bays and ocean waterways. The Coast Guard is responsible for the safety of human life (over 300 lives have been saved so far, in 2018 by the San Diego Sector). The Coast Guard is responsible for safety of our borders (illegal entrance has been sought by Chinese, Middle Eastern and Central American countries this year). And, the Coast Guard is responsible for the safety of our ports. This mean knowing who, what, when, where and why visitors and commercial vessels are entering and leaving our ports.
And then, there was the 9-11 Boat Lift. With the Twin Towers disaster in lower Manhattan, millions of people were looking for a path to safety. Many of them went south, to the waterfront, but then found themselves trapped between the tumbling buildings and the East River. A small flotilla of private boats starting taking people off the piers. Watching the crowds grow and the ships being overwhelmed, the Coast Guard sent out a general plea for boat owners to bring aide and assistance to the waterfront. The story is told by Tom Hanks in this amazing video. Almost 500,000 people were rescued in a 9 hour period on 9-11 by the Coast Guard and hundred of volunteer boat owners. It is one of those miraculous stories from 9-11 and it needs to be remembered.
The Optimist Club of Point Loma thanks Captain Buzzella for stopping by and sharing this amazing story with us.
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.