News Briefs – Oct. 20, 2017

Posted: October 20th, 2017 | Briefs, Calendar, Opinion & News Briefs, News | No Comments

Helping hurricane victims

The Kiwanis Builders Club of Lewis Middle School, along with the school’s Associated Student Body (ASB) and the Grantville-Allied Gardens Kiwanis Club, held a drive on campus to collect hurricane relief supplies in the wake of a historically devastating hurricane season.

Following hurricanes Harvey in Texas, Irma in Florida, and Maria in Puerto Rico, the Builders Club and ASB students in grades six through eight gathered personal hygiene products for shipping to areas affected by the storms.

Among the donated items were hundreds of travel-sized soaps, shampoos, hand sanitizers, toothpaste, mouthwash, toothbrushes, sunscreen, razors, and feminine products. Through social media, donations were collected from as far away as Seattle.

Lewis Middle School student Cristopher Trapp with a box of donations for hurricane victims (Photo by Yuki Ochi)

The Builders Club met in the classroom of English teacher Jacinda Dietz for their after-school meeting on Thursday, Oct. 5, where they packed the donated materials into plastic baggies. Each of the care packages were sealed with an encouraging note inside, written in both English and Spanish, addressed to the hurricane victims. In all, more than 300 care packages were constructed.

About one-third of the care packages were shipped to Florida the following weekend, with the rest earmarked for a later shipment to Puerto Rico.

Farmers market moves

On Oct. 8, the Allied Gardens Farmers Market held its first market at its new location at Lewis Middle School. Although the location has changed, the market still offers the same vendors and is still held on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The former location of Patrick Henry High School was confusing to some because it was in San Carlos. The new address at Lewis — 5170 Greenbriar Ave. — brings the market back into Allied Gardens.

Taking home the gold

Brewer Matt Palmer celebrating his gold medal from the Great American Beer Festival (Courtesy Matt Palmer)

Patrick Henry alumnus Matt Palmer took home a gold medal at this year’s Great American Beer Festival (GABF) held Oct. 5–7 in Denver, Colorado.

Palmer is the head brewer at Pizza Port in Ocean Beach, where he has worked for one and a half years. He previously worked as assistant brewer at Pizza Port’s Solana Beach and Bressi Ranch locations.

Palmer won the gold in the Session Beer category for his Belgian blonde ale, named “Guilluame.”

This year’s GABF had over 800 breweries compete for medals and over 55,000 people attended the event.

Shabbat San Diego

Oct. 26-28, Shabbat San Diego will be celebrating its fourth year of inclusive and spiritually inspirational activities.

While the San Diego Jewish community will participate together, they will be connected to more than 2 million others globally from 90 countries also celebrating International Unity Shabbat.

“We anticipate 20,000 members of the San Diego Jewish community uniting and engaging in this collectively meaningful religious and spiritual experience,” Michelle Lyons, this year’s co-chair of Shabbat San Diego, said in a press release.

“Last year, my son Danny invited 50 young adults for a Shabbat dinner at my house and I was more than happy to open my home,” said Shoshi Recht of Del Cerro. “It was quite rewarding to see all the young people together enjoying the evening and having a great time.”

On Thursday, Oct. 26, men, women and children from all walks of Jewish life are invited to join a Challah Bake of their choice scheduled throughout the county. Challah is the traditional braided bread that is a part of every meal on Shabbat and holidays. Participants will be provided with the necessary ingredients and personalized instruction on how to braid the dough to take it home to bake, serve and savor with family and friends.

Shabbat begins at sundown on Oct. 27 and ends at sundown Oct. 28.

“Following prayer services at local synagogues throughout San Diego on Friday evening, Shabbat San Diego will match guests with many congregations and private host homes to enjoy a richly prepared Shabbat dinner,” said this year’s co-chair Tamara Klein.

A highlight this year is a communal Shabbat dinner at the San Diego History Center, which will include a tour of the exhibition “Celebrate San Diego! The History and Heritage of San Diego’s Jewish Community.”

Also, on Oct. 28, there will be a Havdalah concert, free of charge, featuring the internationally celebrated Moshav Band, followed by an open dessert reception for all attendees.

“Havdalah is a personally meaningful ceremony that marks the end of Shabbat and welcomes the coming of a new week,” Lyons said.

To participate in these activities, register by going to

MTS increases security

Last month, the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System upgraded its Security Staffing Plan to make the system safer by restructuring the composition of its security personnel and making changes to their deployment schedule.

Code Compliance Inspector Ricardo Favela, checks a passenger’s transit fare during a routine inspection onboard an MTS Trolley. (Courtesy MTS)

“Passenger safety is a top priority for MTS,” Paul Jablonski, MTS chief executive officer, said in a press release. “The new security staffing plan will add a greater uniform presence on our system. This is another strategic step MTS has taken to boost system-wide security.”

The new plan increases the number of MTS Code Compliance Inspectors (CCI) from 34 to 64 employees. The additional CCIs will enable MTS to implement a beat system, where each beat will consist of three to five trolley stations patrolled by a “train team” made up of a security officer paired with a CCI. This new deployment strategy nearly triples the presence of CCIs at any given time.

In a related move, the number of contracted security officers will be reduced to make room for the additional CCIs. MTS has approximately 200 CCIs and contracted security officers patrolling the system.

The train teams will allow MTS to increase uniform presence during the day, maintain the same uniform presence during the night and give the system more access to greater enforcement capabilities. The beat system will allow security teams to patrol the same beat longer to improve familiarity at a limited number of stations.

This new security strategy builds upon the formation of the Joint Agency Task Force in 2015. This four-person team of police officers from different law enforcement agencies assists in patrolling the MTS system and provides support during special events, while helping bolster officer experience and powers of arrest.

Other efforts to boost system security MTS has made include:

  • Enhanced video systems on all trolleys and most transit stations.
  • Body cameras for code enforcement officers.
  • A canine unit to patrol trains and respond to reports of suspicious packages and bomb threats.
  • “Eagle Team” – a special unit to patrol late night trains on the Orange Line and UC San Diego Blue Line.
  • Joint security training exercises with partner transit and law enforcement agencies.
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