News Briefs — Feb. 9, 2018

Posted: February 9th, 2018 | Briefs, Calendar, Opinion & News Briefs, News | No Comments

STEMM Foundation plans events

Can you program a robot to compete in an obstacle course? Many of our neighborhood students can — and they are excited to show off their skills!

On Saturday, Feb. 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., David Ege, the Manager of the San Carlos Branch Library is hosting the Robotics Showcase Extravaganza, which the Henry Cluster STEMM Foundation is helping to promote. It will feature local FIRST/LEGO League (FLL) and FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) teams. Check out their website at The teams will be demonstrating their robots, missions, and projects from the 2017-2018 FIRST competition season. Local schools, plus a team from Santee will be participating. The Extravaganza will also include a hands-on robotics craft in the library, and a presentation about how to start your own community or school FLL or FTC teams. As examples, teams can be part of a Boy Scout or Girl Scout Troop, religious entity, community or neighborhood group.

The robotics showcase isn’t the only event planned for the HC STEMM Foundation. Jeff Bennett, an active parent at Gage Elementary, approached Scott Bailey, the president of the HC STEMM Foundation, and offered to host a reception and fundraiser for the foundation on April 28. Bennett and the foundation are beginning to lay the groundwork for this event. Bennett has a strong desire to equip schools and educational organizations in our community through active community engagement.

“The Henry Cluster STEMM foundation is the work of dedicated parents and community members who want to ensure our children have STEMM enrichment opportunities that will prepare them for the world of tomorrow,” he said. “It is a perfect example of active community engagement enriching the schools in our community. The Henry Cluster STEMM Foundation isn’t about helping your kids’ school, it is about creating a culture in our community that values STEMM and equips the next generation.”

If you and/or your business is interested in helping out, supporting, and/or sponsoring the event, contact the HC STEMM Foundation at


San Diego Police K-9 recognized for service

A San Diego Police Department K-9 unit police dog will be one of the first to receive a 2018 Paw of Courage award from the American Kennel Club (AKC). The brand new award program is meant to honor working canines that put their lives on the line to keep communities safe. The award specifically recognizes police dogs that have served their departments honorably and have demonstrated heroism in the line of duty.

Max and officer Luis Carbajal (Courtesy SDPD)

“The inspiring stories of working canines touch our hearts every day,” said AKC Executive Secretary Gina DiNardo in a press release. “Each of these dogs serves as a testimony to the loyalty and courage that dogs bring our communities. The sacrifices they make to serve and protect do not go unnoticed and we are honored to award these three brave canines with the 2018 AKC Paw of Courage as a symbol of our gratitude.”

K-9 Max, a 5-year-old Belgian Malinois, showed his bravery when in June of 2017, police officers responded to a radio call of a man acting bizarrely. Upon arrival, the suspect threatened the officers with a knife and fled. K-9 Max was deployed to apprehend the suspect, but as he approached, Max was stabbed several times. After a bit of a struggle, the man was taken into custody. Max was treated at a local veterinary hospital and has since made a full recovery.

Max is back to work full-time with his handler, Officer Luis Carbajal and has not had any medical issues since the incident. In the two short years that Max has been with the San Diego Police Department, he has proven to be an exceptional K-9 officer with several apprehensions under his belt.

AKC is the largest purebred dog registry in the world, but the Paw of Courage award is not specific to purebreds. Any working dog is eligible to receive an AKC Paw of Courage. To nominate a dog for the next set of Paw of Courage awards, visit For more information on AKC, visit


Sycuan looking to hire 700

On Jan. 24, Sycuan Casino announced that it is looking to hire a new director of sales. The position is the first to be announced of over 700 new jobs Sycuan plans to add for its hotel and resort expansion project. The new positions will be in the hotel, food and beverage, and casino divisions. Sycuan will begin hiring for departmental leadership positions during the first half of the year and will host a series of job fairs mid- to late-2018.

Artist rendering of the new hotel and resort expansion (Courtesy Sycuan)

Last March, Sycuan broke ground on a $226 million hotel and resort expansion. The project includes a 12-story, 300-room hotel, restaurants, meeting and conference spaces, pool and gardens and a lazy river. The new hotel and resort is on schedule to open in early 2019.

“We are pleased to bring more than 700 new jobs to the San Diego community,” said John Dinius, general manager at Sycuan Casino in a press release. “We are committed to cultivating a thriving and positive work environment and are eager to bring on new talent that will contribute to the organization’s continued success.”

Details about job openings will be released as they become available on Sycuan’s social media and website,


 SDSU ranks in Princeton Review list for quality and value

According to a new national ranking, San Diego State University is among the best in the country providing a great value for education.

SDSU was named to the 2018 Princeton Review list “Colleges That Pay You Back: The 200 Schools That Give You the Best Bang for Your Tuition Buck.”

“This recognition speaks to the quality of the educational programs offered at SDSU,” said SDSU President Sally Roush in a press release. “The dedicated efforts of our faculty and staff create the foundation that students need to achieve academic, personal and professional success.”

(Courtesy Princeton Review)

The Princeton Review, which rates colleges and universities on a host of factors, cited SDSU’s academic offerings, aid packages for students with financial need and merit, career services and alumni connections.

The Princeton Review surveyed administrators and students at more than 650 colleges during the 2016-17 academic year. The education services company considered more than 40 data points before selecting the top 200 schools for the book.

“San Diego State University stands out for its outstanding academics and comparatively low sticker price,” said Robert Franek, Princeton Review’s editor-in-chief and lead author of the book. “Students have access to extraordinary career services from their freshman year on, plus a lifetime of valuable alumni support.”

At SDSU, students can take advantage of a variety of programs that help with career development, including the Aztec Mentor Program, Aztecs Hiring Aztecs, as well as internship and career placement opportunities facilitated through SDSU Career Services.

This is the first time that SDSU has been ranked in this listing, which is in its fourth edition this year. Other universities on the list include Stanford University, Yale University, MIT, University of California, Los Angeles and Texas A&M. Only 7 percent of the nation’s four-year colleges made it into the book, and less than one-third are public universities.


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