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Mission Trails Regional Park Foundation

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Coming To See Me by Deanna Ditzler Garden Jewel by Loretta DeczynskiThe Mission Trails Regional Park Foundation (MTRP) is pleased to present a Fine Art Exhibition featuring five award winning artists: Loretta Deczynski, Deanna Ditzler, Joan Hansen, Don Stouder and Jami Wright.


” Five Creative Perspectives”


This exhibit will be on display in the Mission Trails Regional Park Visitor Center Art Gallery September 9 – October 6 , 2017. The public is cordially invited to a reception in honor of the artists on Sunday, September 10, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.


About the Artists:


Loretta Deczynski – Acrylic, Pastel and Colored Pencil

Loretta is a self taught multi-media artist, proficient in a variety of media. Her favorite medium is whatever she is using at the time. She loves the softness of pastel, the immediacy of watercolor and acrylic, the texture of oils and the realism of colored pencil. Primarily a floral artist, Loretta also loves to paint animals and people. She is fascinated by the beauty of nature with its’ exquisite colors, lines, forms and abstract shapes. Her paintings have won awards in juried art shows and are in collections across the country.


Deanna Ditzler –Acrylic

Deanna Ditzler grew up in Eastern Kansas in the Flint Hills. Watching color change across the sky and land inspired her to follow a career in art. Graduating from university, Deanna worked as an illustrator at Hallmark cards. Then moved to St. Louis, Missouri taking more classes at night and doing freelance work.

Evenutally settling in San DIego, doing freelance art and teaching a class in acrylic painting in North Park at the Art Academy of San Diego. Deanna is an award winning artist winning the San Diego Award 2017 at the SD County Fair.


Joan Hansen – Oil, Acrylic and Watercolor

Whether using watercolor, oil or acrylics, Joan Hansen paints with passion and an eye for color. She paints landscapes, water scenes, wildlife, floral and wine themes.

“As artists, we have the opportunity to express our unique thoughts and passions through the medium of choice. Interwoven through my work are threads of organic line and luminous color. The organic line symbolizes my love for nature, and the luminous color expresses my continuing passion for the vibrancy of life. It intrigues me to capture and paint the illusive choreography in nature’s eternal dance of light and shadow.”


Don Stouder – Photography

Don Stouder is a chaplain, crisis counselor, and educator. With over 30 years experience in health care, Don was a paramedic before becoming ordained as a Unitarian Minister and board certified as a Health Care Chaplain. In addition to a fill professional life, Don has been a landscape and nature photographer since a very young age. He also enjoys being a recreational pilot and sailor, and is the author of three books and numerous articles. His work in this exhibition explores his love of southwestern landscapes.


Jami Wright – Watercolor

Since graduating from Oregon State University in Art Education, Jami Wright has maintained her love for watercolor. From Bend, Oregon, but raised as a Navy dependent who later marries her marine husband, she had a unique opportunity to travel and appreciate the landscapes of America and foreign countries. Although retired from public school teaching, Jami now teaches adults at home and through the San Diego Watercolor Society (SDWS). She has won numerous awards and published her own e book for Amazon, How To Paint A Lighthouse In Watercolor. As a current member of SDWS, she volunteers on the Education Outreach Committee.


The MTRP Visitor and Interpretive Center is located at One Father Junipero Serra Trail, San Diego, CA 92119, and it is open daily from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Admission is free.


The MTRP Foundation was formed in 1988 as a 501(c) (3) non-profit public benefit corporation. For more information about the MTRP Art Program, please contact Vicky DeLong, Art Coordinator, at 619-286-1361 or Maggie Holloway, MTRP Foundation, at 619-668-3280.


Images Attached:

“Garden Jewel” by Loretta Deczynski

“Coming To See Me” by Deanna Ditzler

“Autumn Splendor” by Joan Hansen

“Canyon Wall” by Don Stouder

“Red Sky in the Morning” by Jami Wright

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Grossmont Healthcare supports new clinic in Campo with largest grant in District history

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By Rick GriffinMtnHealthFamilyMedicineCampoRendering

Grossmont Healthcare District supporting new Campo health clinic with $1 million grant, largest community grant in GHD history

A new backcountry healthcare clinic currently under construction in Campo will have $1 million for new medical equipment thanks to the Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD), an East County regional public agency that supports various health-related community programs and services in San Diego’s East County region.

GHD’s board of directors recently approved a $1 million grant to Mountain Health & Community Services, Inc.  for its new health center in Campo to be called Mountain Health Family Medicine.

The award, the largest single community grant in GHD’s history, is planned to cover the purchase of equipment for primary care exams, surgical procedures, dental examinations, X-rays and on-site lab testing, along with other patient care support functions.

“When we hope to start seeing patients in June 2017, our new clinic in Campo will provide comprehensive primary care services to the most medically vulnerable population in rural East County,” said Judith Shaplin, president and CEO of Mountain Health. “This grant from the Grossmont Healthcare District will greatly help us serve low-income and medically underserved residents in the 950-square-mile Mountain Empire region.”

Founded in 1975, Mountain Health operates six federally qualified health centers in Campo, Alpine, Escondido, Santee and San Diego. It also provides health services at several public schools in rural East County communities. In 2016, Mountain Health said it served more than 8,000 patients, many who live at, or below, the federal poverty level, it said.

Mountain Health officials said the new 23,500-square-foot clinic at 1388 Buckman Springs Road in Campo will replace Mountain Health’s existing Campo clinic a mile and a half away on Highway 94. The current 2,800-square-foot clinic has long served as the town’s main healthcare facility for decades, but over time has become insufficient in meeting the healthcare needs of the community, according to Shaplin.

The new clinic will have 12 primary care exam rooms, two medical procedure rooms and telemedicine technology allowing patients increased access to specialists outside the area. Also available will be dental, pharmacy and X-ray facilities, as well as behavioral health treatment services. Construction began in February 2016.

“Our support of Mountain Health aligns with our mission and purpose to address the unmet healthcare needs in the East County,” said Michael Emerson, GHD 2017 board president. “We are proud of Mountain Health and their staff’s dedication and passion to improving and maintaining the health and well-being of the whole person by providing access to high quality healthcare and community services.”

Since GHD began its community grants program in 1996, it has awarded nearly $50 million in grants and sponsorships to community-based non-profit organizations, government agencies and Grossmont Hospital

Formed in 1952 to build Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa, GHD serves as landlord for the hospital property and buildings on behalf of East County taxpayers. The District is governed by a five-member board of directors, each elected to four-year terms, who represent more than 500,000 people residing within the District’s 750 square miles in San Diego’s East County. For more information, visit www.grossmonthealthcare.org.

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Sharp Grossmont Hospital Receives the 2017 Women’s Choice Award® as One of America’s Best Hospitals for Heart Care

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La Mesa, Calif., Feb. 1, 2017 – Sharp Grossmont Hospital has been named one of America’s Best Hospitals for Heart Care by the Women’s Choice Award®, a nationwide referral source that identifies the country’s best health care institutions based on clinical criteria and surveys. The award signifies that Sharp Grossmont Hospital is in the top 9 percent of 4,789 U.S. hospitals offering heart care services.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), despite increased awareness over the past decade, only 54 percent of women recognize that heart disease is a leading killer of females. What’s often thought of as a “man’s disease” causes approximately 1 in every 4 female deaths in the U.S. every year and it takes more lives than all forms of cancer combined.

“With such strong prevalence of heart disease, every woman should know where to find the very best heart care before she ever has an incident,” says Delia Passi, founder and CEO of The Women’s Choice Award. “We help women by conducting evidence-based research and recognizing the hospitals that could one day save their lives.”

The methodology used to select Sharp Grossmont Hospital as one of America’s Best Hospitals for Heart Care is unique in that it evaluates:

  • The number of cardiac/vascular services offered. Recognized hospitals must offer at least six of the following services: Cardiac Catheter Lab, Cardiac Rehabilitation, Cardiac Surgery, Carotid Stenting, Coronary Interventions, Electrophysiology, Vascular Interventions, Vascular Surgery and Coronary Intensive Care (CCU).
  • 30-day mortality and readmission rates for heart attack and failure
  • Patient recommendation ratings on the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) Survey
  • Primary research about women’s health care preferences

“With February designated as American Heart Month and National Wear Red Day supporting women’s heart health, this is timely to be recognized by women in our community and across the nation for the cardiovascular care we provide,” says Joyce Mcginty, director of Sharp Grossmont Hospital Heart & Vascular Services. “Each day our experienced team strives to provide compassionate care, while also utilizing some of the latest treatments to help our patients. We are honored to receive this national award.”

For more information about the 2017 America’s Best Hospitals for Heart Care, please visit https://www.womenschoiceaward.com/awarded/healthcare/.

About Sharp Grossmont Hospital:

Sharp Grossmont Hospital has been serving the East County community for 60 years. It is the largest not-for-profit, full-service, acute-care hospital in San Diego’s East County and is part of Sharp HealthCare. The hospital is known for its clinical excellence in emergency and critical care, cardiac and cancer care, surgery, stroke care, orthopedics, rehabilitation, behavioral health, women’s and children’s health and hospice care. The hospital offers extensive outpatient services and prevention programs such as home infusion, sleep disorder care, wound care and hyperbaric medicine to support Sharp HealthCare’s emphasis on community health and wellness. Sharp Grossmont is a Magnet-designated hospital and committed to providing the highest quality care. To learn more about Sharp Grossmont Hospital, visit www.sharp.com/grossmont or call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277).

About the Women’s Choice Award®:
The Women’s Choice Award® is a trusted referral source, empowering women to make smart health care choices by identifying the country’s best health care institutions based on robust criteria that consider female patient satisfaction and clinical excellence. The Women’s Choice Award was recently honored by the INC 5000 List of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies in 2016 for a second consecutive year. Visit http://www.womenschoiceaward.com/ to learn more.

The information contained in this release is not permitted to be used in a non-press related context without the express prior written consent of the Women’s Choice Award.

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Cuyamaca College awarded $2.6 million grant to raise achievement among Hispanic students

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            Comm Arts buildingHispanic students at Cuyamaca College will soon see a significant boost in efforts aimed at guiding them toward obtaining certificates and degrees and transferring to four-year colleges and universities, thanks to a nearly $2.6-million, five-year federal grant.

            The grant is funded through the U.S. Department of Education’s Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program, a program assisting Hispanic Serving Institutions such as Cuyamaca College to expand educational opportunities and improve academic achievement.

Hispanic Serving Institutions are colleges or universities where Hispanics make up at least 25 percent of the school’s students and that have adopted strategies to help first-generation, low-income Latino students. Nearly one in three of the about 9,000 students at Cuyamaca College are Latino.

            “It is exciting for the college to implement this kind of grant and these kind of programs that will greatly benefit our students,” said Scott Thayer, Cuyamaca College’s vice president of student services. “Cuyamaca College is committed to doing everything possible to make sure our students succeed.”

            The grant will fund a new program dubbed The Pathway Academy, a student success effort containing the following strategies:

·         Minimizing the time students spend in remedial classes that are known among academics as basic skills or developmental courses. Studies have shown that every added basic skills class a student is required to take reduces his or her chances of graduating.

·         Expanding student support services for Hispanic students, including creating clear roadmaps detailing what a student must do to complete his or her educational goals.

·         Professional development for all faculty and staff, including workshops and training that provide instructors with the latest research on best practices in student success strategies.

The Pathway Academy is intended to help close the achievement gap between Hispanic students and other groups. The rate at which Hispanic students complete their courses at Cuyamaca College is 38.7 percent, 10 percent lower than the completion rate of other students.

            The effectiveness of the program will be measured through increased persistence, course completion, remedial progress rates and the numbers of students earning degrees and certificates and transferring to four-year colleges and universities.

            Thayer noted that the Pathway Academy builds upon a number of related efforts at Cuyamaca College that have been implemented in recent years, including the First Year Experience, a comprehensive program designed to assist and guide students through their first year in college.

            In September 2015, Grossmont College received a similar five-year federal grant for $2.62 million to fund a program aimed at helping Hispanic students succeed. The grant funds are being used to develop a program called Via Rápida, which assists with outreach, assessment and accelerated programs for Hispanic students.

Cuyamaca College’s grant is the second major award provided to the college this year to boost student success. Cuyamaca secured a $1.5 million state grant in May that expands on the college’s innovative programs to dramatically reduce the remedial pipeline and better prepare students for college level coursework. The Basic Skills and Student Outcomes Transformation Program grant will enable Cuyamaca College to significantly reduce the number of students forced into remedial education courses.

Cuyamaca College had already developed programs that are significantly reducing remedial education requirements in English, math, and ESL for certain groups of underprepared students and English-language learners, and those students are successfully completing college-level English and math courses at significantly higher rates and in much less time.

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College district board approves $348 million measure to support affordable college, job training, campus repair and veteran support

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Anne Krueger

Communications and Public Information Director

Grossmont-Cuyamaca College District

A $348 million bond measure was approved Tuesday by the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District Governing Board, responding to community demands for a workforce center that will train East County’s future employees for critically-needed jobs.

Funds from the proposed bond, which will appear on the November 8 ballot for more than 230,000 registered East County voters, will also be used to address needs for veterans’ centers to assist former and active-duty military and to improve facilities and update classrooms at the Grossmont and Cuyamaca college campuses, serving more than 28,000 students.

“Our board members saw a crucial need for an East County center that will provide students and existing workers skills they need for the rapidly-changing economy,” said Bill Garrett, president of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District Governing Board. “This bond measure will provide for an innovative economic development hub in East County to provide customized training for local businesses, workforce readiness, and career-technical education leading to skilled employment and industry certifications.”

The bond measure, which is being sought under the provisions of Proposition 39, requires approval by at least 55 percent of the votes cast. The district will not use bond funds for any operations, administrator salaries, or employee pensions, and will continue an independent citizens’ oversight panel to assure accountability for the use of all funds and annual audits to ensure funds are spent only as authorized.

Chancellor Cindy L. Miles said more students and their families are relying on local community colleges such as Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges now that the cost of attending a California public university is at least six times as much as a community college. “In today’s competitive job environment, community colleges must continue to provide training and education for East County residents and veterans reentering the workforce,” Miles said.

The two community colleges serve more than 1,300 veterans, with counselors and staff specifically assigned to work with them and provide support, financial aid resources, and referrals to outside agencies. The bond will allow the colleges to attract more veterans by expanding facilities and access to job training and support services to help them reenter the civilian workforce.

In addition to the need for a workforce training center, both community colleges have buildings that are decaying after decades of use with classrooms and labs falling behind current and future student learning demands. Both colleges have targeted high-need facilities that would be constructed or repaired with money from the bond measure.

These include an instructional complex at Grossmont College to replace outdated classroom buildings that have been used for more than 50 years, and a multidisciplinary classroom building at Cuyamaca College that would replace aged-out learning facilities and add much-needed math and science labs. Other critical projects support safety and security (alarms and fire systems), sustainability (alternative energy and water use reduction), as well as emergency communication systems and community/disabled student access.

The college district has served East County since 1961, when Grossmont College first began accepting students before moving to a 135-acre site in El Cajon three years later. Cuyamaca College opened in 1978 at a 165-acre site in Rancho San Diego.

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$1.9 Million Grant Awarded to the City of La Mesa

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La Mesa – The City of La Mesa was recently approved for a $1,919,000 grant through the California Transportation Commission (CTC) Active Transportation Program (ATP) to fund pedestrian and bicyclist safety enhancements in west La Mesa. The grant will provide improved connectivity to parks, local schools and access to the future Boys and Girls Club (Brady Family Clubhouse).

Improvements will include opening and extending Junior High Drive to Lowell Street and a midblock crossing with pedestrian rapid flashing beacons and in-pavement flashers connecting La Mesa Arts Academy to Helix Charter High School. Improved access will be provided to Windsor Hills Community Church located next to the future Boys and Girls Club site. Additionally, new sidewalks, bulb outs, ADA ramps, high visibility crosswalks, bike racks, pedestrian lighting, 1.3 miles of new bicycle lanes on University Avenue, and 3.5 miles of improved bicycle routes with sharrow markings will be installed. “Sharrows” (shared roadway bicycle markings) help remind motorists to share the road with bicyclists. The project is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2016 and complete in 2019.

This $1.9 million grant coincides with fundraising campaign by the Boys & Girls Club of East County Foundation to fund the construction of a new 25,000 square facility on the campus of La Mesa Arts Academy in the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District. The future Brady Family Clubhouse will feature a learning center, computer lab, crafts room, outdoor playground, kitchen, multipurpose room and the Bill Walton Gymnasium, named after NBA Hall of Famer. The Clubhouse will provide
a safe haven for children 5-18 every day after school and during the summer months.

This effort is part of an ongoing emphasis by the City of La Mesa to provide upgrades in West La

Mesa. Most recently SDG&E undergrounded the utility poles on Normal Avenue.

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From the El Cajon Police Department: Check Before You Step

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Throughout San Diego County, motor vehicle collisions involving pedestrians are on the rise. Statistics have shown that in many of these collisions, the pedestrian was determined to be at-fault.

The El Cajon Police Department has again implemented their “Check Before You Step” program.  This program is designed to educate the public about pedestrian safety. The El Cajon Police department would like to remind everyone to take pedestrian safety seriously.  It is everyone’s responsibility.

The age old myth that pedestrians always have the right of way could not be further from the truth. Pedestrians must follow the same rules of the road as the motorists.   We all share the roadway and must do so responsibly.

Here are some helpful pedestrian safety tips:

1. Avoid wearing dark colored clothing at night. If you know you will be walking around at night, try to wear light colored clothing to make yourself more visible to motorists.


2. Do not cross the street between two controlled intersections. This is referred to as “Jaywalking”, and puts you in areas where motorists are not expecting pedestrians.


3. Always use designated crosswalks and wait for the appropriate symbol which allows you to cross. Crossing against a red hand is unsafe and against the law.


4. Look both ways before crossing the street.


5. Don’t cross the street unless you can do so safely. When crossing the street outside of a crosswalk, pedestrians MUST yield to oncoming vehicles.


6. Be aware of headlights from oncoming vehicles.


7. Walk with a purpose when crossing. Spend as little time as necessary in the actual roadway.


8. Do not assume the motorist sees you. Motorists are focused on many potential hazards along the roadway and may not see you until it is too late.


Let’s work together to make our roadways safer!

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Downtown El Cajon Business Partners Holiday Lights on Main

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Santee Making Spirits Bright draws thousands to activities and Christmas tree lighting

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Photo by Albert H. Fulcher A personal visit with Santa was a main attraction at Santee Making Spirits Bright at Santee Trolley Square on Nov. 20.

Photo by Albert H. Fulcher
A personal visit with Santa was a main attraction at Santee Making Spirits Bright at Santee Trolley Square on Nov. 20.
















Photo by Albert H. Fulcher Ambassadors Miss Santee 2015 Rebecca Hudson and Miss Teen Santee Heather Cantin interacting with the local community.

Photo by Albert H. Fulcher
Ambassadors Miss Santee 2015 Rebecca Hudson and Miss Teen Santee Heather Cantin interacting with the local community.














Photo by Albert H. Fulcher Santee Fire & Rescue was on hand at Santee Making Spirits bright and a popular destination for children to see the fire truck and meet a firefighter.

Photo by Albert H. Fulcher
Santee Fire & Rescue was on hand at Santee Making Spirits bright and a popular destination for children to see the fire truck and meet a firefighter.















Photo by Albert H. Fulcher

Photo by Albert H. Fulcher













Photo by Albert H. Fulcher Friends gather to get their photos taken with the characters of “Frozen,” one of the many “celebrity star-shots” available for the evening’s events.

Photo by Albert H. Fulcher
Friends gather to get their photos taken with the characters of “Frozen,” one of the many “celebrity star-shots” available for the evening’s events.












Photo by Albert H. Fulcher With many activities for children, the Frosty the Snowman jump house was center stage and a popular attraction at Santee Making Spirits Bright on Nov. 20.

Photo by Albert H. Fulcher
With many activities for children, the Frosty the Snowman jump house was center stage and a popular attraction at Santee Making Spirits Bright on Nov. 20.











Photo by Albert H. Fulcher Thousands crowded the Santee Trolley Square amphitheater for the turning on of the 20-foot Christmas tree. The celebration was officiated by Mayor Randy Voepel and council members.

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Save El Monte Valley

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Save El Monte Valle

Illustration by Ariel J. Fulcher

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