Lake Murray Fireworks begins fundraising
Promoters behind Lake Murray Fireworks and MusicFest have started their fundraising campaign for the 2018 event.
The group has already secured a $15,000 title sponsor for the Fourth of July party — Stormberg Orthodontics, which sponsored the event last year.
New to this year, donations will now be processed through a new 501(c)(3) nonprofit called Lake Murray Fireworks and Events. Donations are accepted online through GoFundMe at gofundme.com/lakemurrayfireworks; by credit card through email at firstname.lastname@example.org; and by checks sent to:
Lake Murray Fireworks and Events
5173 Waring Road #346
San Diego, CA 92120
For more information about sponsoring the event, visit lakemurrayfireworks.org.
In addition to looking for donations, Lake Murray Fireworks and Events are looking for volunteers to help with a door-to-door flyer campaign that will take place in April; volunteers for the event itself; and bands to audition to perform at the festival. Interested parties for any of those should contact email@example.com.
Viejas to open adults-only tower
Viejas Casino & Resort will open a new luxury tower in February as the third phase of its latest development plans. The Willows Hotel & Spa will have 159 suites and include amenities like spa, fitness center and three new restaurants.
“We’re redefining our guest experience, making every choice about accommodating our guests and fostering an unparalleled sense of well-being and tranquility,” Viejas Tribal Chairman Robert J. Welch Jr. stated in a press release. “The level of personalization and detail we are putting into this new build will expand the demographics of our current visitor and have a strong positive impact on the local economy.”
Viejas is also updating its check-in procedures, allowing guests to arrive at their leisure and check out later.
“You will be able to tell us what time is best for you to arrive, and your room will be waiting for you,” Welch said. “And, even better, guests who arrive in the evening can check out in the evening, allowing for them to have access to their room for their entire stay.”
Each suite will feature contemporary design and come equipped with Amazon’s Alexa personal assistant, which can find information, act as an alarm, play music and more. A pillow preference program will allow guests to choose from a selection of bedding options. Some rooms will feature a “wellness experience” and include items such as Vitamin C-infused showers and organic beauty products. There will also be a saltwater pool.
“We are thrilled to add the adults-only pool and spa to this facility,” Welch said. “Our spa will be world-class and will likely attract a distinguished clientele from all parts of the Western U.S. to experience this modern, luxurious yet inviting concept.”
Reservations for the new tower are now being accepted and can be made by calling Viejas at 800-847-6537.
San Carlos man ordered to surrender his gun
It should go without saying, but firing a weapon in a neighborhood can come with consequences. A San Carlos man recently learned that lesson the hard way.
Shawn Michael Erler was recently ordered to surrender all his firearms and ammunition for one year following an incident where he was arrested for firing shots into trees and at neighborhood animals while under the influence.
Erler told police he had been shooting at rats and raccoons when he was arrested in his yard on Dec. 11, 2017. He had a blood alcohol content of 0.255, nearly three times the legal limit, and was on prescription medications.
Two days later, he was served with a temporary order, and on Jan. 3 he became the subject of the first long-term Gun Violence Restraining Order obtained under California Penal Code section 18100-18205 by the City Attorney’s Office on behalf of the San Diego Police Department.
The order granted by Superior Court Judge Tamila E. Ipema lasts one year. In that time, Erler is prohibited from having a firearm or ammunition in his custody or control, and from owning, possessing, purchasing or receiving, or attempting to purchase or receive a firearm or ammunition.
Erler was brandishing a High Point .380 hand gun the afternoon police officers responded to a 911 call from a neighbor who reported hearing three gunshots.
Erler fired another three shots in the direction of his neighbor’s backyard as officers arrived on the scene. He eventually relinquished his gun, and told police he should not be in possession of weapons. He was arrested for willfully discharging a firearm in a grossly negligent manner that could result in injury or death. His gun remains in police custody.
“A gun violence restraining order is a relatively new and powerful tool law enforcement can use to prevent future gun-related tragedies. This tool protects the public from individuals who are clearly a danger to themselves and to others,” City Attorney Mara W. Elliott said in a press statement. “It was grossly negligent for this individual to fire a gun in a densely-populated neighborhood. This kind of conduct all too often leads to the loss of innocent lives.”
Under the law, family members, roommates and law enforcement officers may petition a court to deny a person’s access to firearms and ammunition if they pose an imminent danger to self or others. These orders may help prevent future firearm-related tragedies resulting from mental illness, reckless use of a firearm, and gun violence in general.
After working with the San Diego Superior Court to develop procedures for obtaining such orders, the City Attorney’s Office will utilize this law whenever a person’s access to firearms threatens public safety. The City Attorney’s Office continues to prevent domestic violence offenders from owning or possessing firearms.
Crusaders Soccer sets spring schedule
Tryouts for the Crusader Soccer Club (CSC) competitive teams are underway and will continue through March 29. The next tryouts will be held on Jan. 20–21 at Pershing Middle School. For players born in 2006, 2007 and 2008, tryouts are from 11 a.m.–1 p.m.; and for players born in 2009, 2010 and 2011 from 1–2:30 p.m. Players should participate on both Saturday and Sunday. Go to the Crusader Soccer Club (CSC) homepage at sandiegocrusaders.com for a complete schedule of the dates and times, depending upon the age of the players, and to register for the free tryouts.
Rene Miramontes, director of coaching for CSC, has announced the addition of three professional women’s soccer coaches to his staff for the competitive division: Amy Valdivia, Melissa Warner and Melissa David. Contact Rene Miramontes, if you need additional information, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Registration for CSC recreational spring soccer players is open now through the end of February. The games begin on Sunday, March 4, and run through April 29 (no games on Easter Sunday). Over 250 players have already registered. Games begin at 11 a.m. and are played on the artificial turf fields at Pershing Middle School in San Carlos.
CSC is also looking for volunteer coaches and referees for the recreational spring season. Go to the CSC homepage (sandiegocrusaders.com) for more information or email Jay Wilson, CSC recreation soccer coordinator, at email@example.com. Referee and coaching clinics will be held in February.
Like most youth sports, soccer is played year-round. The local season ended in November 2017; and the state cup for our competitive teams begins later.
Grantville-based group aids flood victims
On Jan. 14, a group of 12 volunteers from Grantville-based International Relief Teams (IRT) returned from New Orleans, Louisiana where they were working on rebuilding damaged homes that were affected by the disastrous Louisiana floods in August 2016.
Those floods — considered a once-in-1,000-year event — destroyed more than 140,000 homes, businesses and schools, leaving tens of thousands of people without livable houses. In partnership with the Louisiana United Methodist Conference, IRT volunteers from San Diego helped rebuild and repair four damaged homes for families that were affected by this disaster.
“It’s been almost two years since the floods and many families are still homeless, living in damaged houses, or FEMA trailers. Our volunteers are committed to give their time and skills to restore the homes of the families that were affected by this natural disaster,” IRT Program Coordinator Brett Schwemmer stated in a press release.
Cyndi Feldman, a first-time volunteer, said she wasn’t aware of the level of desperation that some people are still experiencing.
“I didn’t know the extent of the damage that occurred. I needed to see it firsthand,” she said. “It has been a lot of work, and long days, but it’s all been worth it. The families are extremely grateful and I am so happy to be able to help them have a home again.”
People like Juan and Rina Aguirre will finally be able to go back to their house after almost a year and a half of living in a FEMA trailer.
“We are very, very, very happy to finally have a home again,” said Rina. “We are so grateful for all the volunteers. I don’t have the words to express my gratitude. We had lost all hope, and they have restored it.”
IRT has experience in assisting victims of disasters, both nationally and internationally. IRT provided aid following Superstorm Sandy in New Jersey from 2012-16, Hurricane Katrina in Mississippi from 2005-11, and will soon be deploying groups of volunteers to Texas to help restore homes that were destroyed during last year’s catastrophic Hurricane Harvey.
For more information about IRT, visit irteams.org