Navajo Planners to hold board elections
The Navajo Community Planners, Inc. (NCPI), the local planning group authorized to review and provide recommendations on land use issues to the City Council, will hold its annual elections for board members on March 13.
All residents, business owners and property owners in the communities of Allied Gardens, Grantville, Del Cerro and San Carlos are eligible to vote in the elections. Proof of residency or business or property ownership is required.
Currently there are two candidates for the two seats per community, but nominations can be made from the floor on election night for write-in candidates. Candidates are eligible if they have attended one NCPI meeting in the past year.
New candidates include Shain Haug and Spencer Tuck of Allied Gardens and Jay Wilson is running to return to the NCPI board representing Del Cerro. Incumbent board members include John LaRaia and David Smith of Grantville; Justine Neilson of Del Cerro; and Terry Cords and Matt Adams of San Carlos.
The election will be held on March 13, 6:30 to 7 p.m. at Tifereth Israel Synagogue, 6660 Cowles Mountain Blvd. For more information, visit navajoplanners.org.
Ridership climbs on MTS for first seven months of FY19
Ridership on the Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) bus and trolley network has climbed by more than 200,000 trips in the first seven months of fiscal year 2019, which began on July 1, 2018. The gains have been led by the trolley, which has posted six straight months of year-over-year gains.
“This is great news for the goals of the region’s various climate action plans and for riders. This shows there is a real mandate to invest in improving transit,” said Georgette Gómez, MTS chair and Council President of the city of San Diego in a press release.
Public transit ridership has dropped in most systems in the United States over the past several years. MTS was one of the last systems to experience a drop and it may, if trends continue, be one of the first to reverse the trend.
For the first seven months of FY19, Trolley ridership is up 1 percent from 21,810,915 trips to 22,037,351 trips. Bus ridership is virtually unchanged, dropping just 23,247 trips to 27,941,344 trips for the fiscal year to date.
“These numbers are highly encouraging,” said Paul Jablonski, MTS chief executive officer. “In January of last year, MTS began implementing many route changes that increased frequency on our high-demand routes. We completed making changes in January of this year and we’ve already begun to see the results.”
While Trolley ridership has led the resurgence, bus ridership has held steady and two major developments may put its ridership into the plus column soon.
In late January, the South Bay Rapid opened and average weekday ridership on that line is about 1,500 and climbing. The addition of this service from Otay Mesa to Downtown, as well as the opening of a modern transit center just north of the Otay Mesa border crossing, has caused other routes serving the area to increase as well.
Additionally, MTS replaced shuttles operated by UC San Diego by adding service to Rapid Superloop routes at the end of January. These routes, serving the University City area, are showing weekday ridership gains of more than 3,000 trips per day.
February will be the first complete month in which these substantial gains will be recorded to bus ridership.
For more information, visit sdmts.com.
Chelsea Clinton visits Grantville
Just in Time for Foster Youth (JIT), in partnership with the Clinton Foundation and The San Diego Foundation, hosted Chelsea Clinton on Thursday, Feb. 7, at their Grantville location during one of JIT’s mentoring program sessions called Coach Approach, where she spoke with JIT and transitioning foster youth. Clinton met with transition-age foster youth at JIT to hear about their goals, learn about their experience in the foster care system, continue the discussion about issues in child welfare and help spread awareness.
In spring of 2017, JIT joined the initial phase of a three-year project, called Strong Families, Thriving Communities, in partnership with the Clinton Foundation, HHSA and The San Diego Foundation, to advance the quality of life and change outcomes for all children and families in San Diego County. JIT continues to provide unique programs and services and engage a caring community to help transition-age foster youth achieve self-sufficiency and well-being.
Coach Approach is a groundbreaking program provided by JIT that uses an approach based on the belief that every individual is creative, resourceful and whole, and that it is the role of the coach to start by setting aside his/her own opinions, seek understanding with active listening, and then ask powerful questions that can lead to transformational change among transition-age foster youth.
For more information about Just in Time for Foster Youth programs, visit jitfosteryouth.org.
Burn Institute offers free smoke detectors
National safety statistics show that adults age 65 and older are two times more likely to die in a home fire than any other segment of the population; for those over age 75, that risk nearly quadruples. Despite these alarming statistics, thousands of seniors throughout San Diego and Imperial counties are currently living in homes without a working smoke alarm.
One of the best ways seniors can improve their chances of escaping a residential fire is by making sure their home is equipped with an operating smoke alarm. The Burn Institute is working towards ensuring that every senior’s home has just that. Their Senior Smoke Alarm Program provides seniors with free smoke alarms and instillations. Screened and trained community partners and volunteers assist the Burn Institute year-round in installing the free alarms.
To qualify for this lifesaving program, you must be 62 years or older and own your own home. To sign up for this program or see if you are eligible, call the Burn Institute at 858-541-2277 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Smoke alarms save lives. Having a working smoke alarm in your home reduces your chances of perishing in a house fire by 50 percent. Smoke alarms should be installed in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every floor of your home. “In a fire, seconds count,” said Susan Day, Burn Institute executive director in a press release. “Roughly half of home fire deaths result from fires reported at night between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. when most people are asleep. Home smoke alarms can alert people to a fire before it spreads, giving seniors enough time to get out.”
Another invaluable fire safety tool each household should have is a fire escape plan. It can take less than two minutes for toxic fumes to overcome a child or an adult and knowing the most direct route out of your home can help save your life. To create your escape plan, identify two ways out of every room in your home and know the most direct route to outside. Set a designated meeting place that is a safe distance from your residence and is stationary, such as the light-pole or mailbox. Once you get out of the house, stay out! After you have created your escape plan, it should be practiced with all members of your family at least once a year. The Burn Institute offers free fire escape planning guidelines and grids at burninstitute.org.