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Local News December 13th, 2007

Palomar Pomerado Health Receives National Patient Satisfaction Award

Press Ganey Associates, Inc. has named Palomar Pomerado Health (PPH) a 2007 Compass Award Winner. Press Ganey currently partners with more than 7,000 health care facilities - including nearly 40% of U.S. hospitals - to measure and improve the quality of care. The company's databases are the largest in the industry, and allow facilities nationwide to benchmark their results against peer organizations.

The Compass Award recognizes facilities that show the most improvement over two years in overall patient satisfaction. The Press Ganey Compass Award is a coveted symbol of achievement in the health care satisfaction industry that is presented annually, and PPH is just one of 34 facilities in the nation to receive this honor.

"Our staff, physicians and nurses have done a tremendous job, and we're proud of the high level of quality care being delivered to the communities we serve," says Michael H. Covert, president and CEO of PPH. "This award is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the PPH team."

Escondido Christmas Parade Hopes to Reschedule for This Weekend

At press time, organizers hoped to stage the Escondido Christmas Parade this weekend. Officials of the Escondido Junior Chamber of Commerce 57th annual Christmas Parade, which was canceled last Saturday morning due to rainy weather, said they hope to reschedule the parade for this weekend or next if they can get permission from the Police Department.

Police Sgt. Dana Ray, who made the controversial decision to cancel the parade based on traffic safety concerns, said Monday that department officials are willing to consider proposals to revive this year's parade. But Ray said there would be many hurdles to overcome, such as recruiting enough police officers to staff the 74 road closures required for the parade and getting permission from Caltrans to close Highway 78 where it crosses the parade route, which runs along Broadway from Escondido High School to Grape Day Park. Ray, a traffic sergeant, also said a smaller parade that steered clear of 78 would be easier to handle. But he said any decisions about route changes would be left to organizers.

Additional hurdles would include possible scheduling conflicts for the 110 marching bands, Scout troops and other participants that were slated to participate, organizers said. The parade, which has never before been canceled in its 57-year history, is organized each year by the Escondido Jaycees. Leaders of the volunteer group said they are confident that they can stage the parade this weekend, but they said it will be an uphill battle. "It is feasible, but it would depend on a lot of things," said Leone O'Neal, president of the Jaycees. "We'd have to contact all our bands and other parade participants, so it's really up in the air right now." So far, the weather forecast for Saturday and Sunday features clear skies and temperatures in the lower 70s.

Annual VWD Board reorganization taps Shell for 2008 Board President

Vallecitos Water District (VWD) Board Directors have elected Tim Shell to serve as president and Trish Hannan vice president for 2008.

President Shell, Division 1, was first elected to the Board in December 2004, with his current term expiring in 2008. Shell is a Registered Professional Engineer, earning experience in the water industry during his seven years of employment at the San Diego County Water Authority.

Vice President Hannan, Division 2, initially had a seat on the VWD Board from February 1997 to November 1998. She was later appointed in 1999 and first elected in 2002. Her current term expires in 2010. Director Hannan is a retired local business owner, and lives in the west central part of the District with her husband Al.

Shell and Hannan are joined by Directors Betty Ferguson, Division 4, Darrell Gentry, Division 5, and Jim Poltl, Division 3, to form VWD’s five-member board.

RecruitMilitary Career Fair for Military Veterans and Military Spouses Coming to Escondido Today

The military-to-civilian recruiting firm RecruitMilitary will present a free hiring event for job seekers who have military backgrounds in the North San Diego area today, Thursday, December 13.

This event, the RecruitMilitary Career Fair, will take place from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. at California Center for the Arts, Escondido. The career fair will be open to veterans who already have civilian work experience, men and women who are transitioning from active duty to civilian life, members of the National Guard and reserves, and military spouses. More than 35 veteran-friendly organizations will conduct one-on-one interviews with the job seekers-organizations that will include corporate employers, law-enforcement agencies and other government employers, educational institutions, veterans service agencies, and veterans associations.
December 13 event are the Arizona Department of Public Safety, ATK Mission Systems Group, Bally Total Fitness, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Coverall Cleaning Concepts, DeVry University, EC III, El Centro Regional Medical Center, Hanson Building Materials America, Health Net Federal Services, Interfaith Community Services, Lockheed Martin Corporation, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Los Angeles Port Police, Makino Inc., Military Sealift Command, the Military Spouse Corporate Career Network, Nouveau Riche University, Optima Network Services, PDS Technical Service, Pestmaster Franchise Network, Phelps Dodge Corporation, Riverside Transit Agency, the San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner Department, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department, the San Francisco Police Department, Schneider National, the Transportation Security Administration, the United States Border Patrol, the Veterans Benefits Administration, Wackenhut Corporation, Walgreens, and the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services.

No More Gathering of Day Laborers in Escondido?

Escondido Councilman Ed Gallo plans on introducing a new ordinance that will target day laborers who gather on city streets. They are disturbing area residents and hurting local businesses, he says.

Gallo is one of three Escondido councilmembers who see great problems with large numbers of illegal immigrants. Gatherings of day laborers often have a blend of legal residents as well as illegal immigrants, he says. “You look out on Quince Street between Third and Sixeth Avenues,” he says, “and you’ll see anywhere from 20 to 60 men clustered together, looking for work.”

Another area Gallo is concerned about is Quince St., from Mission to Washington Avenue. That area seems to have attracted a large and consistent number of men on a daily basis as well, he said. Gallo does not think the ordinance will be controversial as it is a public safety issue.

New Bakery Comes to San Marcos

A new bakery with a tradition that goes back to 1849 opens its doors officially on Tuesday, December 18th. Boudin SF San Marcos will hold opening day festivities at their all new location, 113 S. Las Posas, Suite 12, San Marcos.

The opening day festivities include a Boudin bread line – the first 100 people in line on opening day will receive free Boudin bread for a year. Doors open at 9:00 a.m., but it is anticipated the bread line will begin forming much earlier!

There’s a fascinating background to this bakery. In 1849, the Boudin family struck culinary gold. Wild yeasts in the San Francisco air had imparted a unique tang to their traditional French bread, giving rise to “San Francisco sourdough French bread.” Today, the Boudin family's initial recipe lives on in the hands and hearts of their expert bakers, with a portion of the original mother dough still starting each and every sourdough loaf.

Carjacking in San Elijo Hills

A woman checking her vehicle for a flat tire near the fountain in San Elijo Town Square was carjacked and kidnapped last Saturday evening.

The woman had pulled over on San Elijo and Elfin Forest roads about 8:50 p.m. when a man appeared and offered to help, sheriff’s deputies said. Without any warning, however, the man forced the woman into her car and drove the vehicle toward Rancho Santa Fe Road. As he drove, the woman attacked the man in an attempt to get away. Deputies said the two struggled inside the vehicle as they drove a short distance into Carlsbad. During the fight, the vehicle crashed into a road sign, deputies said.

The carjacker pulled over on Rancho Santa Fe Road and Melrose Drive and ran away.

Deputies said they searched for the carjacker but could not find him. He is described as a 35- to 40-year-old Latino, 5 feet 10 inches, unshaven with short straight black hair. He was wearing a dark-colored, long sleeved shirt and dirty, dark-colored pants. He did not show a weapon, but threated to kill the woman several times during the kidnapping, deputies said.

Feds Report for Duty: Analysis of What is Needed to Fight Fires

In an attempt ot debrief the actions taken to fight the October wildfires that hit North San Diego Federal lawmakers came to the area to meet and confer with local experts.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Cleveland) who broke away from his presidential campaign, chaired a three-member committee with Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) and Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-Solana Beach). The congressmen took testimony from three panels sworn in at the Fallbrook Public Utilities District board room.

San Diego Fire Chief Tracy Jarman, former fire chief Jeff Bowman and County Supervisor Ron Roberts represented the city and the county. Cal Fire Director Ruben Grijalva represented the state fire agency.

The questions and comments that surfaced Monday dealt mostly with two issues: San Diego County is the only county in the state without a regional fire department; Cal Fire needs to find a way to get helicopters, including San Diego's Copter 1, in the air at night.

Cal Fire helicopters don't make water drops after dark because their pilots don't have the technology or the training to operate at night. Copter 1 flies at night, but only inside the city.

If a fire broke out at night in the eastern area of the county – which is where most firestorms start – Cal Fire's ban on night flying would prevent Copter 1 and military helicopters from making water drops until daybreak. By then, the fire would likely be out of control.

“We need to be working toward” an exception to the rule, Bilbray told Grijalva. “We've got to make sure we've got our act together.”






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