DPR Dispatchk e L i f e B e t t e r !
A CHIP OFF THE OLD LOG
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT!
COUNTY EMPLOYEE LED
Table of Contents
Table of Contents In-the-Paint with Brian Albright
In-the-Paint with Brian Albright ............... 02 As I write this we are mid-week in a blitz of staff
workshops and public meetings with GreenPlay. The
Flume Trail Acquisition ............................ 02 “roadshow” has given me an opportunity to catch up
with many of you that work in field locations (which,
Events for December .............................. 03 as you know, is where I would like to be most of the
time!). Many of you have had some interesting ex-
One. Awesome. Basket. .......................... 04 periences recently -- so interesting that I have de-
cided to dedicate my monthly column to you.
Featured Facility: Spring Valley Community
In the spirit of the holiday season, I have to chosen
Center ................................................... 05 to share those experiences in the form of a popular
holiday song. I know you’ll be able to relate be-
A chip off the old log .............................. 06 cause, after all, parks and recreation is the occupa-
tional true love for all of us. If you have a tough
Volunteer Corner .................................... 06 time keeping the melody as you read this, don’t
worry. I’ve arranged for Yogi and the Picnic Baskets to sing it at the awards
In Case You Missed It! ............................ 07
Park Society News .................................. 08
On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
Energy Tips ............................................ 08 Twelve rangers ranging,
Eleven pigs pillaging,
Health and Wellness ............................... 09 Ten trails eroding,
Nine folkloricos dancing,
Meet Bill Lopowcan ................................. 09 Eight campers bilking,
Seven teens a-swimming,
News-to-Use .......................................... 10 Six geese a-dying,
Five golden eagles,
County Employee LED Holiday Light Four falling hikers,
Three French tourists,
Exchange ............................................... 10 Two turtle candies,
And a flycatcher in a Tamarisk tree!
Kudos! ................................................... 11
As always, thank you to all of you for making our County a great place to live,
Tips for Savings ...................................... 11 work and play. Happy Holidays!
December Birthdays................................ 11 Brian
Kudos! Nomination Form ......................... 11
Flume Trail Acquisition
2.5 miles of historic Flume Trail acquired
The San Diego Flume was built by the San Diego Flume Company in the late 1800’s to supply water to Lakeside
and further west until the 1920’s. During the last 40 years, Blossom Valley and El Monte Valley residents have
been utilizing and maintaining the San Diego Flume as an informal riding and hiking trail. On Wednesday Novem-
ber 17th, the County Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) purchased 2.5 miles (19 acres) of the historic
Flume Trail for $19,000. This property will now be designated as a formal trail alignment and incorporated into
the County’s Trail Program.
Staff from DPR, General Service’s Real Estate Services Division (RES),
County Counsel and the County Assessor’s Office, worked together
diligently during the last two years to make this acquisition happen.
Special thanks to Maryanne Vancio (DPR), Bill Ring and Tom Harring-
ton (RES), Karen Landers of County Counsel and Alejandro Llamas
and King Ackermann of the County Assessor’s Office. Their coordi-
nated efforts – including title research and land surveys – resulted in
the creation of a prized recreational amenity for County residents.
SATURDAY PROGRAMS AT DOS PICOS
Saturday, December 11th, 2010 9:30am – 10:30am
Do you like snakes? Would you like to see them close up? Join park
staff and learn all there is to know about our local species of snakes
found right here in San Diego. Space is limited to 50 so please
call (858) 513-4737 for reservations.
Jr. Ranger for a Day.
Saturday, December 18th, 2010 9:00am – 11:00am
Are you a child who dreams of being a Park Ranger when you grow
up? Do you want to see what a ranger does while at work? Just want
the chance to spend a day with a real Park Ranger? Here is your
chance. Space is limited to 30 so please call (858)513-4737
One. Awesome. Basket.
Please describe your park/facility in one sentence or less.
The Spring Valley Community Center is an extremely diverse facility where we help
create community through people, parks and programs.
Spring Valley Community Center Anything new going on?
By: Charles “Renell” Nailon, Recreation Supervisor A good first impression makes a difference, and the first annual “Open House” at
the community center gave instructors a chance to showcase and promote the wide
variety of programs and activities offered at the center. It also allowed instructors
an opportunity to make a personal connection with our customers and establish
ways for continued communication and support throughout the many sessions to
What can the public expect this time of the year?
The public can expect to feel the holiday spirit at the Spring Valley Community
Center because Santa Claus is coming to town… on December 18th children and
their families can enjoy a special morning with Santa Claus. Activities include an ‘all
you can eat’ pancake breakfast prepared by the Spring Valley Kiwanis Club, caroling
and a visit with Santa.
In addition, parents who are concerned that their children will spend their winter
break sitting on the couch playing video games can have them enjoy two weeks of
fun during the holiday break. Staring December 20th our annual Winter Camp for
children ages 5 to 14 consists of games, holiday crafts and much, much more.
Any new features?
We officially opened a new preschool and childcare center. This new 2500 square
foot facility complete with play equipment will serve up to 40 children. As part of
the project, the community center was remodeled and will include a learning center
with eight computers for public use. The project also included a new marquee and
flag pole as well as a new solar electrical system to reduce energy cost.
What projects are you currently working on?
We are currently working on providing a warm Spring Valley Community Center
welcome to the new licensed preschool and child care providers.
We are also collaborating with the Spring Valley Kiwanis, Mount Miguel Avid Club,
and Spring Valley Chamber of Commerce for our upcoming special event Breakfast
Are there any new programs for the public?
The new Spring Valley Children’s Universal Language Orchestra is a collaborative
program focusing on creative expression through music and the related arts.
Graduate students from UCSD are sharing their passion for music and working with
groups of elementary school age children.
The 29 participants are building instruments out of everyday objects and learning
how to make music as a group. And they are collectively creating a unique musical
performance on December 10th for the public.
Any unusual fact or tidbits about your park/facility.
After many years of not having a flagpole, when requested, we can finally put our
flag at half staff. Also, the new marquee has been a real asset in promoting
programs and activities at the center.
This is your chance to brag about your park/facility…please do!
As we move forward …the Spring Valley Community Center can be described has an
Intergenerational Cultural Arts Community Center.
The community center staff is committed and dedicated to creating a safe and
friendly environment for all of our visitors as well as incorporating county initiatives;
kids, environment, safe and livable communities.
The center offers a wide variety of activities and programs in support of the above
mentioned county initiatives. Look for our upcoming winter/spring activity and
program guide for details. Lastly, on behalf of the Spring Valley Community Center
staff, we send our Best Wishes for a Happy Holiday Season to you all!
A CHIP OFF THE OLD LOG
By Ardyth Shaw, Marketing Services Specialist
“I WANT US IN THAT Chuck Tucker was telling me
2011 CALENDAR!!!”… in the break room one When I saw that photo of We couldn’t vote for our own
morning about a photo of his Wyatt, it had the perfect entries so I was prohibited
WAS THE EMAIL
grandson and son-in-law backdrop of the woods, from stacking the deck with a
BRIAN SENT TO ME sawing logs together in their Wyatt’s dad diligently focused get-out-the-vote request. I
SEPTEMBER 21, 2010. backyard which connects to on sawing logs and little just had to wait patiently a
William Heise park. Chuck Wyatt…in serious sawing few days after the deadline,
He was talking about winning said his grandson, Wyatt, was stance, camouflage pants and November 1, for the winning
a spot in the 2011 National phone call. It came on
Parks and Recreation November 8, 2010, that “A
Association national photo Chip Off The Old Log,” would
contest calendar page. When be the featured photo for
you’re new on the job (10 October in the National Parks
days) and you don’t know and Recreation Association
chicken pie from chicken 2011 Calendar.
feathers, and your first
request from El Jefe has three America’s Backyard is a
exclamation points at the program of the National
end, you’re going to need to Recreation and Park
know people. So I started Association which is a non-
hanging out in the break profit organization. All
room. proceeds of the calendar will
go to help support and create
Since the rules said photos awareness of parks and
could be submitted by anyone recreation around the nation.
showing people enjoying
America’s Backyard, I sent a 3 years old and his parents work-shirt-ready—with that
To order your calendar please
staff email, asking for photo had bought him a toy power proud grin on his little face,
submissions of their favorite saw…a replica of his dad’s big no one could tell this kid that
outdoor activity photos. saw and that Wyatt’s mom, his saw wasn’t doing any less
You can view all of the
Specifically they wanted Shawna, had taken that photo damage to his log than his
photos that represent how and a few others in Heise that dad’s. It was a winner in my
“America’s backyard” he’d like to submit for eyes the moment I saw it!
connects you to your consideration. I told him to This photograph embraced
community. send them and I’d take a everything the contest
SUBMITTED BY: CHERYL WEGNER, VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR
MEET THIS MONTH’S FEATURED VOLUNTEERS—
TOM AND KIM AVERY.
Tom and Kim Avery became park hosts at Sweetwater Lane Sports
Park in July of 2009. Although they both hold jobs outside the park,
they quickly got a handle on the daily chores necessary to keep
this Spring Valley park looking its best, from trash collection to
graffiti removal. After doing a great job for about a year, an
opportunity came up to transfer to Eucalyptus Park, also in
Spring Valley. As with Sweetwater Lane, they have cheerfully
taken on the daily tasks , assisting staff in keeping this popular
day-use park a great place for families and other park patrons to
In Case You Missed It!
Recaps and Updates
Discovery Kit Training at Recreation hosted a can-food (with trampoline), dance with County Parks information
Stelzer Park drive at the First competition, and the main event as well as information on
Annual Thanksgiving Day Run/ a Dodgeball Tournament. Great SDG&E’s energy efficiency
Ranger Sean Flynn (Stelzer fun was had by all. programs and services. This
Park) provided Discovery Kit event is a direct result of the
Training last Saturday to Clean-Up at El Monte Park Local Government Partnership
elementary school teachers with SDG&E whose focus is to
and park rangers. The 3- San Diego River Park promote and educate the public
hour training included a Foundation Program on energy efficiency.
hike, interpretive training, Coordinator, Shannon Quigley-
and specific information Raymond extends his thanks to RANCHO GUAJOME ADOBE
relating to San Diego all the terrific crowd of HOSTS 14TH ANNUAL
County schools getting Walk. Over 500 participants sponsorship volunteers who RANCHO CHRISTMAS
reimbursed for field-trips to raced a course featured the 4S used El Monte Park as a staging
Stelzer Park. Ranch Sports Park and HOA area to clean along El Monte The Department of Parks and
trails. This event was a Road and the riverbed on Recreation and the San Diego
For more information please collaboration Saturday, November 13, County Parks Society sponsored
contact Sean Flynn 619-787- between the 2010. He the 14th annual Rancho
2810 County of San estimates Christmas on November 28 and
Diego and two non 63 29, at Rancho Guajome Adobe
Spring Valley and Lakeside -profits, the 4S volunteers County Park in Vista. The two-
teens hit the trail for a Ranch-Del Sur collected day event featured children’s
wilderness experience Community more than holiday activities such as making
Foundation & 2,000 lbs of candles, cornhusk dolls and
On the third weekend of Helen’s Closet trash and caramel apples. Families took
October, teens from the Spring (which is affiliated with the ALS debris and tractor draw wagon rides
Valley REC Club took the Palm Association of Greater San more than 350 lbs of recyclable around the rancho and also
Springs Aerial Tram entering the Diego Chapter). All proceeds glass, aluminum and plastic enjoyed Native American
San Jacinto from the event bottles from the river habitat.
Wilderness where went to
their journey benefit Helen's Participants in the cigarette butt
began. The teens Closet via the ALS contest removed over 2,000
hiked along a small Association with the winner removing 226
mountain creek Greater San by himself. The Most Unusual
ultimately camping Diego Chapter as Item was a Happy Baptism
over 9,000 feet. well as the 4S Mylar balloon, and the most
During the second Ranch-Del Sur beverage containers contest
week in November, Community winner collected 91 bottles and storytelling in the Victorian
Lakeside teens took advantage Foundation. All can-food cans. Garden. Entertainment included
of having time off from school collected went towards the traditional Mexican dance
to explore the high desert of Lakeside and Spring Valley Rec LED Holiday Light Exchange performances by Tierra Caliente
Joshua Tree National Park. Club’s annual Ring and Run at the Oceanside Farmers Ballet Folklorico and roaming
These outdoor adventures service project. Market minstrels. An all ladies
kicked off a new program equestrian drill team,
initiative focusing on For more information on the On November 18, 2010, the “Escaramuza Las Golandrinas,”
environmental ethics and First Annual Thanksgiving Department of Parks and wowed the crowds with their
ecosystems. This was the first Day Run/Walk, please click Recreation sponsored one of the side saddle riding
backpacking trip for all of the here. seven LED Holiday Light demonstrations. On Saturday,
teens, and for some, it was their exchanges at the Oceanside the festivities culminated with
first time camping at all. These Dodgeball Tournament at Farmers Market. 460 customers caroling in the adobe’s inner-
experiences give our youth a the Spring Valley exchanged 1,365 holiday light courtyard.
new perspective on what is Gymnasium strands for Throughout both
possible and how wilderness can energy efficient days over 1,500
impact our lives. The Spring Valley Gymnasium LED ones at the people attended
and the San Diego State County the event which
1st Annual Thanksgiving University Recreation 107 sponsored event. was also
Day Run/Walk at 4S Ranch students teamed up to put on a The Department featured in local
class act event. Over 100 youth of Parks and print and
The County of San Diego participated in several events Recreation television media.
Department of Parks and from a basketball dunk contest hosted a booth
Park Society News
As an introduction to members of the San Diego County Parks Society, a logical place to start is with the DPR’s
own Cheryl Wegner, who, in addition to her duties as Volunteer Coordinator, serves as the liaison between the
DPR and the Parks Society. Cheryl strives to ensure that relations between the DPR and the Parks Society remain
cordial and mutually helpful. The board has great confidence in her advice.
Grace Aspiras has been working with the Parks Society since 2008. Immensely talented, she is superbly
organized and highly meticulous, providing the kind of assistance that a disparate group of private citizens need
most. A graduate of UC Davis, Grace has had a rich and varied work history, including eighteen years with an
educational software company and time as a personal trainer. She currently is part of the Basic Writing Program
at UCSD, where she is much beloved by students and instructors alike.
Ralph Strahm, board vice president, once worked with the DPR for many years as volunteer coordinator, and as
a District Park Manager, holding the liaison position with the Parks Society that Cheryl Wegner now occupies. His
son, Ron, is currently a ranger at Flinn Springs County Park. Ralph’s background includes service with the Peace
Corps in Malaysia, time as a faculty member at the University of Michigan, and many years as a fundraiser, mostly
in the service of library construction and medical research. Ralph supplies the Parks Society with much of its
institutional memory, with a keen ability to provide valuable insight during discussions.
Remaining Park Society members will be introduced in next month’s newsletter.
On behalf of the San Diego County Parks Society, Happy Holidays!
BY: Johanna Salomon, Special Events and Community Outreach Coordinator
Did you know that and average of 75 percent of your electric bill during the holiday season can be
attributed to your holiday lighting and heating costs?
So save some energy (and money) this holiday season by doing the
1. Use LED holiday lights. They cost more upfront but in the long run they
save up to 90 percent of energy costs.
2. Lower your thermostat and wear socks and a sweater indoors. Lowering
your thermostat by one degree Fahrenheit can reduce energy use by 3
3. Weatherstrip and caulk windows. Check window frames for cracks and fill
them with caulk that contains silicon. This can help save up to 5 percent on
your energy bill.
Health and Wellness
Submitted By: Daniel Trautner, Recreation Program Manager
Live like a Champion tour stops at Lindo Lake in Lakeside CA.
The Anthem Blue Cross “Live like a Champion” tour sponsored by the California Governor’s Council on physical
fitness and sports brings interactive games and challenging sports-themed activities to underserved communities
to help children bring out their “inner champion.” The Lakeside REC Club in partnership with the Lakeside
Community Center hosted this energetic event on Wednesday November 24th, 2010 in the Lindo Lake North
parking lot. The tour brought with it sports themed inflatable activities that included the Jerry Rice “Pass like a
Champion”, Lisa Leslie’s “Dunk like a Champion” and pro surfer Bobby Martinez “Surf like a Champion”. Over 75
youth and adults from the Lakeside community enjoyed the fun filled afternoon that included friendly competition
for prizes that ranged from a free poster or jump rope to T-shirts and gift cards.
Thank you to Randy Ford and Maryjane Ortiz for their support of this last minute event!
Meet Bill Lipowcan
Senior Park Ranger
like a grass covered water bed. It turned out I grew up in the suburbs of Pittsburgh Pa. the beaten path, do some trekking and hang
a water line broke below the turf had where it’s cold in the winter and hot in the out with the locals. Some of my best travel
created a layer of water between the sod summer. I still have family and friends in memories are sharing food and drink with
and hard sub soil. the Burg and try to visit twice a year. In the people who are difficult to communicate
summer I enjoy playing golf with my high with or impossible to communicate with. It
What's your favorite thing to do on school buddy and eating the local produce, I doesn’t matter that we don’t share the same
your days off? especially like the tomatoes and corn. Over language, we get by, we get along, and
the Christmas holiday it’s great to be with sometimes we become friends. That is what
I have a fun group I play golf with every my mom, brother, sisters, nieces and makes travel so rewarding for me.
week. We’re competitive enough to make it nephews. I do make time to visit my favorite
challenging, but not enough to really p… restaurants and taverns. How have parks made your life better?
each other off. I also enjoy throwing my
bike in the back of my pickup truck and Favorite restaurant? I have enjoyed parks since I was a kid.
heading for the beach for a leisurely ride Growing up, I was fortunate to live next to a
along the boardwalk. A place called Dorrito’s near where I grew park. The neighborhood kids would get
up in Pittsburgh. It’s nothing fancy, a together and play baseball or football for
How long have you been with the What's your favorite sport to play or breaded fish sandwich, fries and a cold Iron hours. We’d go hiking in the woods, build
county? watch? City beer. It is more the memories than the tree houses, collect walnuts and pick black
food. For lunch it’s hard to beat Jalisco’s, I raspberries. No wonder I enjoy the early
I started my career 29 years ago at Agua I enjoy my weekly golf game and have prefer the one on Palm Ave. over the Bonita Andy Griffith shows so much.
Caliente. From Agua I transferred to San recently tried to revive my tennis game. location.
Dieguito and then on to supervising a Football is my favorite sport to watch, I’m a County Parks have given me the opportunity
Barrett Honor Camp work crew. After a Charger’s and Steeler’s fan. Favorite music? to live in the desert, hike where no one has
couple of years with the inmates, I was hiked before, see incredible sites and work
reassigned to the Open Space crew building What's your favorite TV show? I’m stuck in the 1960s- great music. I enjoy with some really good people. Working
staging areas and trails. I did a stint at Lake the Beatles, Doors and am a big Neil Young outdoors in our beautiful parks has been a
Jennings and then on to my current I enjoy the Discovery, Travel and National fan. Listening to Reggae or Jimmy Buffet tremendous experience. I would be remiss if
assignment at Otay Lakes/Otay Valley Geographic Channels and keep an eye on makes for good travel music. I didn’t mention what a blessing living in the
Regional Park. CNBC. Most recently I’ve been watching a County Park has been. In addition to a great
show called Deadliest Journey’s on Current Favorite vacation spot? place to live, it has afforded me the
What is the funniest thing that has TV. For my old time favorites, it’s hard to opportunity to travel and save for
happened to you on the job? beat Andy Griffith and Get Smart. I’m hooked on Asia. My last four trips have retirement.
been to that part of the world. I have visited
I have a few that can’t be printed, so I’ll go Did you ever have a nickname? Malaysia, Borneo, Singapore, Vietnam, Anything else you would like to add?
with the sod story. When I got to work one Thailand, Cambodia, India, Nepal, Laos and
day I noticed a 10 foot diameter bubble Not one that I care to divulge. Sometimes China. The people are very kind, the It’s hard for me to imagine a better or more
under the turf. Very odd looking, the turf these things are better left in the past. scenery is beautiful and the food is exotic. rewarding job than the one I have. So far, it
was raised about two feet. I stepped on the After the initial cost of getting there, one has been a great ride. I wish the same for
grass and it created a small wave, it was a Where did you grow up? can travel very reasonably. I try to get off all of you.
BY DAWN JIMENEZ, HUMAN RESOURCES
Keeping up the Momentum possible, away from “the office” (whether it is
in a cubicle, under an oak tree or beside a
In November’s Dispatch we discussed how lake).
changing our perspective supports our ability
to stay motivated. As we now enter How are you staying motivated at work? Have
December, and the holiday season comes you had a situation where making a work/life
shift made a difference? Let us know by
in full swing, it’s a great time to consider
sending an email to Dawn.
the role balance between work and life
plays in our motivation. Do we live to work HR Announcements you work a full day on a holiday 8 hours is
or do we work to live? The answer to this added to this balance and you may carry no
question depends on our individual priorities, more than 40 hours at any time. With so many
but for each of us there should be a holidays in November, December and January
comfortable balance between how we spend please be sure to work with your supervisor to
Have you moved this year? If so, be sure to
our time on the clock and off. We commit schedule time off to offset the hours that you
double check your address on file in Employee
much of our time in pursuit of our careers; the will accrue. It’s a use them or lose them
Self Service. W-2 Tax documents will be
hours we spend physically at work, the time situation!
prepared soon, and it is imperative your
we spend preparing for the day and
address is on file in December is correct to
commuting are all contributors. For some, this Important Reminder to Supervisors
receive these documents promptly in the new
can add up to more than 12 hours in a day.
year. This is also an excellent time to update
After factoring in sleep, this can leave little Santa brings many things in his bag, but
any withholding changes you may have for
time to tend to personal responsibilities and deferment on performance evaluations is not
2011. If you will be claiming exempt status,
enjoyment; which can cause us to be one of them! As we approach the holidays and
you will need to complete a new tax card
distracted or unmotivated with regards to supervisors, managers and employees
dated on or after 1/1/2011, contact Mary
work. Making time for these other pursuits schedule time off, remember to plan the
Taylor to obtain a card.
contributes to our overall sense of fulfillment completion of performance evaluations
and happiness. This is why it is so important to accordingly. This means ensuring you draft
plan time off, away from our work. Time off Non-FLSA Comp Time
them, your reviewer is available to review
provides us the opportunity to recover from them and your staff is present to sign. Any
illness, tend to our families and personal Working on the holidays? If you are a
performance evaluations due during scheduled
business or to recreate and relax. When we permanent employee working on the many
time off is still due and must be completed
find these needs met, we are better positioned holidays this season be sure to keep an eye on
before you leave.
to focus on our work when we are there. So as your Non- FLSA comp time balance in Kronos.
we enter this festive season, take a little time This can be found by clicking on the “accruals”
to enjoy time with friends, family and, if tab at the bottom of your timecard. Each time
Kudos from Chuck Tucker & Bill Saumier to Ms. Melanie Casey
Kudos to Melanie Casey who has been coming over to temporarily help DPR with GIS Analyst
needs. Melanie has stepped up and is fulfilling on a temporary basis the ongoing needs for
GIS Services for grant applications, project mapping etc. that DPR staff incurs on a regular
basis - Melanie is doing great work in an attempt to keep things flowing in the absence of a
GIS analyst at DPR Headquarters.
Kudos from Ardyth Shaw to Johanna Salomon
Mucho kudos to Johanna Salomon for her support in helping me learn my way around my new 2 Renell Nailon
job here at DPR. She is “da bomb!” …always with a willing smile – efficient, competent and
4 Joseph Cobarrubias
congenial. She’s all that AND a bag of chips! Thanks, Johanna.
4 Mario Nava
6 Stephanie Horning
7 Brendan Prevel
8 Oliver Cameron
9 Amanda Ingraham
10 Aaron Coronado
14 Ramon Bilbao
15 Kevin Benson
15 Rosario Molina
18 Heidi Cross
Tips for Savings
19 Christine Lafontant
By Roger Covalt
22 Barbara Nunez
Ask other units who they use for a vendor. Example, I was looking for a vendor to service 26 Sabrina Powell
Heise’s Fire Extinguishers. I was given the contact information for an approved vendor, but
decided to give Marla at Dos Picos a call. Her source happened to be a BPA vendor thru 29 Amber Sunde
General Services which saved DPR $250 on this servicing. 30 Stanley Miller
Don’t forget to send me your tips for saving money for the Department!
Name of Nominee: _____________________________________________________________
Name of Nominator: ___________________________________________________________
Reason for nomination (in 50 words or less): ____________________________________
*Please return to Johanna Salomon*
Or to send via email click here.