September 20, 2002

Community Notes:

City Council to Consider Adopting 20-Year Growth Strategy

September 23 marks the culmination of a public outreach program to engage citizens in a dialogue about the future. On that day the San Diego City Council will hold a public hearing to consider adopting the proposed Strategic Framework Element and City of Villages strategy. The hearing will take place in the Balboa Park Club Ballroom, beginning at 5 p.m.

The process began more than three years ago when City officials asked communities: What is the best way to address issues and enhance quality of life for San Diegans as our city grows? That question set the stage for a collaborative effort including residents, large and small agencies, organizations, businesses, developers, unions, the arts community, environmental groups, the financial community and more. These community “stakeholders” have participated in over 200 public meetings and workshops. Partnerships with key agencies such as the County, the Metropolitan Transit Development Board (MTDB) and SANDAG have helped ensure a broad perspective.

The Strategic Framework Element is more than a proposed amendment to the City’s 1979 General Plan. It contains a comprehensive strategy developed by citizens —the City of Villages— as a preferred alternative for addressing growth. The City of Villages would create a network of village centers served by an improved transit system. Villages would help preserve single-family neighborhoods and revitalize existing neighborhoods by combining housing, jobs, schools, public services and civic uses in areas where a high level of activity already exists. Connecting villages with an improved transit system, such as MTDB’s proposed Transit First initiative would help villages reach their full potential.

If the Strategic Framework Element is adopted by the City Council, the next steps would include implementation of a Five-Year Action Plan, selection of pilot village demonstration projects intended to create working examples of the strategy, implementation of a public facilities financing strategy, and a community plan amendment process to define preferred future village locations.

Information about Strategic Framework Element and City of Villages strategy can be found online at www.sandiego.gov. Click “Services” and choose “City of Villages Planning Strategy.” Citizens can also call the General Plan Hotline at (619) 235-5226.

LAN Specialist Training Begins Oct. 14 at Grossmont College

In the professional world, the days of the standalone computer are gone. Today, computers must be networked together so that every member of an organization can share files, data, printers, and other devices. LAN (Local Area Network) Specialists design, install, operate, and maintain these internal networks so organizations can operate at maximum efficiency. LAN Specialists are creative, technically-oriented, computer-savvy, independent-minded team players.

The next LAN Specialist class at Grossmont College begins Monday, October 14, 2002 and continues until May 2003. Classes meet Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Class sizes are small, learning teams are encouraged, and tutoring is provided. No previous knowledge or experience is required, but it helps to have an aptitude for and desire to learn computing skills.

During six months of course-work, students earn approximately 30 units of college credit. The coursework is followed by a 150-hour internship, and job search training and assistance. Once graduates are working, they often use the units they have earned as a springboard to a college degree.

Courses include Principles of Information Systems, Operating Systems, Local Area Networks, TCP/IP, Small Computer Systems, Systems Integration, Wide Area Net- works, LAN Management, and Network Design. Students train on networked IBM-compatible PCs using Novell Netware and Windows XP.

The cost of the program is $5000 for California residents, $9600 for non-residents. Fees are subsidized for eligible clients of the Dept. of Rehabilitation, Veterans Administration, Private Rehab, One-Stop Career Centers, and military Career Advancement Centers. Others may enroll on a private-pay basis.

Since 1985, Grossmont College’s Leadership & Economic Development Institute (LEDI) has been training motivated individuals for professional careers that offer interesting work, competitive pay, good benefits, and a chance to get ahead. LAN graduates are typically in great demand, enjoying job security and earning high rates of pay.

For program details, visit www.grossmont.net/ledi/lanspec.htm. For more information or to enroll contact Malissa Kemp, 619-644-7608; Malissa.kemp@gcccd.net.

A Town Hall Meeting on Education

‘Making College Affordable’ to highlight programs and services to help finance a higher education

Assemblymember Christine Kehoe will host a town hall on education to help you learn about the many public and private services available to make college possible and affordable Wednesday, September 25th from 5:30pm to 7:00pm at Taft Middle School, 9191 Gramer-cy Drive.

Don’t let the growing cost of a college get in the way of planning for your children’s education. This education town hall will offer information on the numerous programs available to provide financial guidance, tax-free investment plans, scholarships, grants, tutoring services and other beneficial programs that help make college accessible.

On hand will be representatives from the San Diego City School District, San Diego Community College District, local colleges and universities, the California Student Opportunity and Access Program (CalSOAP), and others to talk about their programs and answer your questions on how you can help your child get into college.

In addition, advisors from the California Golden State Scholarshare College Trust Fund Program (529 Plan) will be available to provide information on how you can invest in California’s now federal and state tax-free college investment program.

‘Hope’ Festival on September 28 to Aid Homebuyers/Renters

The fourth outdoor festival aimed at encouraging and educating first-time homebuyers about home ownership and refinancing opportunities is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 28, at the Educational Cultural Complex Park, 4343 Ocean View Blvd., in San Diego.

The 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Homebuyer’s/Renter’s & Homeowner’s Festival 2002, the largest of its kind in San Diego, is expected to attract several thousand people. It is organized as a public service by non-profit HOPE (Helping Our People Economically) Community Development Corporation. There is no charge for admission.

Theme of this year’s festival is “Dreams Do Come True With HOPE.” In addition to free workshops, the event will include clowns, giveaways, cash grants, a representative of the San Diego Chargers, display booths, and a loan pre-qualification booth.

“The festival provides the public with valuable information on how to become a homeowner as well as assisting renters in the transition to home ownership, and to educate prospective buyers,” said Linda Goodwill, CEO of HOPE.

Previous festivals took place in 1996, 1998, and 2000. This year, the focus will be on three separate educational workshops on the main stage, each lasting 30 to 45 minutes, designed to help people buy their first home or refinance their current residence.

Two workshops will address questions about home ownership, including “Where do I begin?” and “What about the money?” Among the topics are budgeting tips, credit and debt help, financing options, Realtor advice, and title and escrow education.

The third workshop will be a panel of experts who will answer questions raised by festival attendees.

One drawing will take place at the end of each workshop to give away a VCR, a DVD player, and a TV set. In addition, those who complete pre-qualifying applications will be eligible to win a drawing for a cash grant to be used toward a home purchase. Winners must be age 18 or over and must be present to win.

Lorenzo Green II, president of the HOPE CDC board of directors, said the festival “is our chance to once again bring the resources for home ownership to our community.”

Positions Open on Bond Oversight Committee

The Sweetwater Union High School District announces the opening of two Bond Oversight Committee positions. The Bond Oversight Committee was created in March 2001 to monitor the implementation of Proposition BB—the Sweetwater District’s $187 million bond measure to modernize 19 district campuses.

The committee is comprised of nine members, who represent all areas of the Sweetwater District. In addition to being Sweetwater residents, community members also represent the San Diego County Taxpayers Association, local development industry and postse-condary education.

The committee is seeking a member from the Imperial beach area and a member at large, who may represent any area of the district. Each of these members will serve three year terms.

Members of the Bond Oversight Committee are responsible for attending quarterly meetings to oversee how the bond funds are used. They advise the district in prioritizing the needs, making sure that the plans are in line with the budget and review progress at all Proposition BB sites.

Interested community members should submit their resumes, along with a letter of intent detailing their interest, expertise and the ways in which they can contribute to the committee. After applying for the available positions, applicants may be interviewed by a two-person board subcommittee, who will then forward recommendations to the full Board of Trustees. Letters are due Monday, October 7 and should be mailed to the Sweetwater Operations office, 1130 Fifth Ave., Chula Vista, CA, 91911. For more information, please contact Sweetwater Chief Operating Officer Bruce Husson at (619) 585-6060.

National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations to Host 2002 Convention in San Diego

The National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations (NALFO) will host its National Convention at the Westin Horton Plaza in downtown San Diego on October 3-6, 2002.

NALFO is an association of 22 Latino Greek-letter organizations (LGLOs, or Latino Greeks). Undergraduate chapters of Latino focused fraternities and sororities have flourished on university campuses throughout the United States, (424 NALFO member chapters). The organizations share common principles and ideals of academic excellence and support commitment to community service, a sense of family or brotherhood/sisterhood, cultural awareness and celebration of Latino cultures in particular.

“A diverse segment of tomorrow’s Latino societal leaders and current community leaders are expected to converge in San Diego for the NALFO Convention,” says Aimee Thorne-Thomsen, NALFO Chair. As these organizations have grown and expanded their scope and organizational development, they have begun to transition from an undergraduate focus to include a vast network of young professionals and alumni that spans the country.

Events associated with the NALFO Convention include Step Up! San Diego, a Latino Greek step show competition; a full day of conference educational workshops including issues affecting Latino fraternities and sororities as well as Latino society in general; The 2nd Annual National Latino Greek Awards Gala; San Diego 101, a dance in celebration of NALFO’s growth; and NALFO’s Día de Familia, a family oriented festival at Chicano Park including ch¡ildren’s games, vendors, community agencies, entertainment, and a collegiate volleyball tournament.

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