Our April meeting was a packed agenda. Fire Capt. McKinney and his crew from the Del Cerro Fire Station gave an update on their priorities and what the residents can do to help.
When asked about the rolling brown outs, Capt. McKinney gave a response scenario with the closing of Fire Station 10 in the College Area. If we have a major structure fire, 3-4 units will respond. After the San Carlos unit arrives, we count on support from Mission Valley and/or North Park. He concluded by emphasizing the brush season is just around the corner and encouraged everyone to cut back their brush to create the recommended safety zone; particularly everyone adjacent to canyons.
Ed Zwibel, our new Community Relations Officer for the Police Department briefed us on a “hot prowl” in the Del Cerro area. An elderly woman left a window open and an individual reached in through the window and took her purse. Through some expert detective work, and cooperation with the Sheriff’s Department, a suspect is in custody after items belonging to the victim were recovered in the east county.
Laura Gilbert, Marketing Director for Alvarado Hospital, gave a well received update on all the enhancements at the hospital since it was purchased from Tenet Healthcare just over three years ago, and is now a physician-owned hospital. She outlined the success the hospital has had over the last few years toward its goal to be among the top 10% of hospitals in the United States, which is a commitment of its owners Drs. Pejman and Pedram Salimpour. She also discussed that Alvarado is the first hospital in the western U.S. to achieve two gold certifications in stroke care, including as a Primary Stroke Center and a stroke rehabilitation program.
The Emergency Room has decreased the wait time to see a physician to one of the lowest wait times in the county. The ER also recently received recognition for its patient satisfaction scores. This, combined with its stroke and heart attack designations, means the Alvarado Hospital ER is a great benefit to the community–especially for those who live in the immediate vicinity.
State Assemblymember, and Del Cerro resident, Marti Block returned to San Diego from Sacramento just in time to speak to us on a host of issues. The perilous State budget deficit of $20,000,000,000, is a concern to all of us. Assemblymenber Block stated “you ask constituents what they want and it is more services, but do not raise taxes…..it is more than just cutting the fat….” Regarding education he emphasized budget cuts have impacted our k-12 schools. Now they are penalized for increasing class size. “I introduced a bill to eliminate the penalty imposed on school districts for increased class sizes. This will result in a savings of $14,000,000 to the San Diego Unified School District over the next three years”.
He also discussed legislation he is sponsoring requiring all CSU campuses to again give acceptance preference to qualified students living in CSU campus areas. Paraphrasing Assemblymember Block “last year two weeks before incoming freshmen could apply for the 2009 fall semester, and without discussing it with anyone, SDSU unexpectedly dropped the residency benefit for qualified students. This created monumental problems for a number of students; particularly those who could not afford to live away from home.”
Assemblymember Block reiterated his commitment to helping constituents. He has hired additional staff in San Diego for this. “For example, it takes an average of 51 calls to resolve an issue with the State unemployment insurance agency. Please call my office at 619.462.7878 if there is anything we can help you with.”
DCAC is working on a candidates forum for mid May with an emphasis on the school board in conjunction with the Allied Gardens Community Council and the San Carlos Area Council.
Our new website has been activated at www.delcerroactioncouncil.wordpress.com thanks to the great work by George Janczyn. Please let us hear from you regarding your questions, concerns and suggestions. Information from the Fire Department and the Police Department are on our website as well. You may reach me by email anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I encourage you to join DCAC. It is just $10 per person per year. Our next meeting will be Thursday, July 22 at Temple Emanu-El at 7 pm. Don’t forget to attend the Allied Gardens SpringFest on May 7 & 8. For more information on SpringFest go to www.navajoevents.com.