Monday, December 24, 2012

Monday, December 17, 2012

McKinley Elementary joint-use field

Posted: December 7th, 2012

North Park Recreation Department holds meeting to solicit input

By Dave Schwab | SDUN Reporter

It will be up to neighbors to help decide how best to redevelop the park at McKinley Elementary School in a joint-use agreement between San Diego Unified School District and the city.

That is what city Park and Recreation Department officials and landscape architects told local residents at the North Park Recreation Council’s (NPRC) Nov. 26 meeting. The council, which is an advisory group that makes recommendations to the Park Department and Park and Recreation Board, held the meeting to seek public input on the planned joint-use field. The school is located at 3045 Felton St.

“This is really a neighborhood park for you,” said Lynn Elliott, one of four NPRC board members.

“There’s a lot of energy around this and it’s really a great opportunity for us to come together and work with the school district and the city.”

Elliott said District Three Councilmember Todd Gloria’s office has allocated approximately $250,000 for design work for the improvements.

Debbie Van Martin of the city’s Public Works, Engineering and Capital Projects Department gave an overview of the joint-use field improvements. She said it was an outgrowth of several years’ effort by residents to better utilize the school park by opening it up for public use.

Van Martin introduced Vicki Estrada and Joe Esposito of Estrada Planning, Inc., the landscape architects chosen to do project-design work.

“Today we’re going to dream,” Estrada said, who lives near McKinley Elementary School. The meeting was the first public workshop held to gather input from residents on how they would like to see the park redeveloped.

The corner lot is being renovated as a joint-use park 
 (Photo by Anulak Singphiphat)

“You know every nook and cranny, where every kid plays,” Estrada said to attendees. “We can’t do a good design until we glean every bit of information we can from each of you.”

Calling McKinley “a small neighborhood park,” Estrada said it is important the area be reconfigured to “blend with what the neighborhood is” for residents.

Distinguishing features of the four-acre park include several large trees, a stone fence, a blacktop area and a section of grassy open space.

Estrada said there are numerous options for redeveloping the park, such as working around existing trees or replacing them, as well as placing a sports field, exercise equipment or structures to provide shade. She said other options included replacing the stone wall with other fencing, replacing grass with synthetic turf, utilizing public art or adding a picnic area with tables and benches.

Those in attendance reacted to Estrada’s comments, including a couple who expressed strong opposition to removing the existing trees, which they said were local landmarks and part of the community fabric.

When asked for a show of support as to how many would like to see a playing field created, hardly anyone raised their hand.

Most reacted favorably, though, to suggestions of more passive uses of the park, calling it a community hub and a popular place for people to walk their dogs or play with their children.

The majority of residents cited the community character of the park and its “naturalness” as qualities they would like to see preserved in any effort to improve it, and some advocated for an enclosed, leash-free dog area.

One attendee suggested adding restroom facilities, to which Van Martin responded was not possible based on the extra cost and problems presented by potential vandalism.

Anthony Bernal from Gloria’s office said future McKinley Park improvements will now move forward, after funding had been secured.

“We have $250,000 for the initial [design] phase,” he said at the meeting, adding that the next step would be to get a general development permit from the Park Board.

“After that it would go out to bid, and a contract would be rewarded,” Bernal said. He estimated the entire process from beginning to end would likely take several years.

During the NPRC meeting, a survey questionnaire was passed out to attendees soliciting their comments on prospective park improvements. Respondents were requested to return the surveys to Van Martin by Friday, Dec. 7.

“We’ll come back in a couple of months, probably in January, with some actual real plans based on what we heard today,” Estrada said, adding that the survey results would be taken into consideration as well.

For more information, contact Van Martin at 619-533-5414 or

Friday, December 14, 2012


The history behind evergreens, ornaments, and holiday gift giving.

The evergreen tree was an ancient symbol of life in the midst of winter. Romans decorated their houses with evergreen branches during the New Year, and ancient inhabitants of northern Europe cut evergreen trees and planted them in boxes inside their houses in wintertime. Many early Christians were hostile to such practices. The second-century theologian Tertullian condemned those Christians who celebrated the winter festivals, or decorated their houses with laurel boughs in honor of the emperor.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012


The Mid City Division serves the neighborhoods of Azalea/Hollywood Park, Burlingame, Castle, Cherokee Point, Chollas Creek, Colina del Sol, Corridor, Darnall, El Cerrito, Fairmont Village, Fox Canyon, Gateway, Islenair, Kensington, Normal Heights, North Park, Rolando, Swan Canyon, Talmadge, Teralta East, and Teralta West.

Mid City Division serves a population of 173,012 people and encompasses 12.8 square miles.

The 810’s Weekly Update

This past week, we have three significant incidents to report:

On 11-30-12, at about 1740 hours, a transient got into a physical altercation with another known male transient in the Denny’s parking lot at 2500 El Cajon Blvd.  The suspect stabbed the victim with a 5” pocketknife on his left side and right shoulder.  The suspect fled the scene in an unknown direction.  The victim was very uncooperative.  The injuries were not life threatening and he is expected to make a full recovery.  Officers located and arrested the suspect the next day.

On 12-1-12 at 0328 hours, two unidentified male suspects forced entry into an apartment located at 4700 33rd Street.  One suspect confronted the resident and punched him in the face several times, then took a safe from the closet.  The second suspect pointed a semi-automatic handgun at the victim and said, “Don’t act stupid.”  The safe contained $6,000 to $8,000 dollars in cash and about $500 dollars in jewelry.  The Robbery Unit is investigating.

On 12-03-2012, at 0043 hours, an unknown black male punched a pedestrian victim several times in the face while demanding he give him his phone.  The victim refused and the suspect fled to a waiting newer model gray four-door sedan.  There is no loss and there are no suspects in custody at this time.  The victim described the suspect as a light skinned black male 25-30 years old, 5’9” 165lbs with gold/red hair and wearing a white shirt and dark tan “Dickie” style shorts.  The driver of the sedan was described as a heavy set black male.

The following is a list of residential burglary cases that occurred within the last week:

Beat 811- NONE

Beat 812-  NONE

Beat 813 - On December 1, 2012, a residential burglary occurred at 2600 Montclair Street.  This residence is vacant and the loss is a cooking range. Prints were lifted at the scene.
On December 2, 2012, a commercial burglary occurred at 3800 Bancroft Street, the North Park Baptist Church. The loss includes cash, a computer battery backup, and a paycheck stub.  DNA evidence (blood) was found at the scene.
On December 3, 2012, a residential burglary occurred at 4100 Arizona Street.  The loss includes video equipment, jewelry, I-pods and laptop computer.
On December 5, 2012, a residential burglary occurred at 4400 Kansas Street.  The loss includes watches, computers, jewelry, cameras, I-pod and backpack.  The value of the loss was estimated to be $10,000.00.  There were fingerprints found at the scene.

Beat 814 - On November 30, 2012, a residential burglary occurred at 4700 32nd Street.  The loss includes a television, computer, video gaming equipment, jewelry and money. 
This past week, we have seen a significant spike in property crime.  Many of our thefts are shoplift cases, with a suspect in custody (typical during the holidays).   Detectives and Patrol units continue to been very proactive in the neighborhoods, watching and contacting potential thieves and gang members.  Most of our burglaries and thefts have been unlocked doors, open windows, and unsecured items in the victim’s yards (bikes, furniture, and tools).  Most of the burglars we have caught are transient/drug addict types…or juveniles ditching school.  If you see this type of suspicious behavior, please report it immediately.  Thanks to you all for being so vigilant.  Have a safe and happy holiday season.

Thank you, Mark Bennett, A/Lieutenant, Mid City Division

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


December 16
Preview Worship Gathering
10:30am @ McKinley Elementary School