The Star-News from Chula Vista, California on June 2, 2000 · Page 1
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The Star-News from Chula Vista, California · Page 1

Chula Vista, California
Issue Date:
Friday, June 2, 2000
Page 1
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V - i PREP SPORTS CHAMPIONSHIPS Montgomery, Marian take baseball crown; Eastlake boys, girls capture track titles See page 14 ' Main A cct-iotto S I WlCfc' 1 1 CM ri oe o h- ixb: h- uii:oz cvi oo r - r oo i CD rr- r zr oaco Serving Chula Vista, National City, Bonita and EastLake June 2, 2000 1 H CMIJL k to be re-mamec ie nonor on ate mayor Laura Mallgren Reporter A small park perched above a freeway that boasts a view of the Downtown San Diego skyline on clear days has been renamed for a woman whose vision for Chula Vista is still remembered several years after her death. Halecrest Park has been renamed the Gayle L. McCandliss Park. Adjacent to Halecrest Elementary School on East J Street, the 2-acre neighborhood park overlooks Interstate 805 to the west and open space to the north. The suggestion to rename the park was made by Mayor Shirley Horton at last week's City Council meeting. McCandliss, who grew up in Chula Vista after moving here as a child, died of cancer at age 36 on Jan. 17, 1991, shortly after taking office as mayor. Long before becoming the first female mayor of Chula Vista, McCandliss served on several commissions and the City Council. Horton asked that the park be renamed in honor of McCandliss for f V - i - her years of service P to the community and for the city to complete plans for a memorial grove at the park. The council unanimously supported the name change and spend- McCandliss ing $25,000 on a new park entry monument sign, two benches and landscaping. City staff is determining what kind of trees will be planted for the memorial grove, which was dedicated with a plaque to McCandliss on July 24, 1997, on the anniversary of her birthday. . Whatever is planted will complement a variety of trees, including one star pine and several sycamore, eucalyptus, pepper and pine. The trees provide shade for a grassy slope that encompasses a sandy playground, benches, picnic tables and barbecues. Earlier this week, 2-year-old Lisa Gomez explored a slide in the tot lot with the assistance of her mother, Katya Gomez. Katya Gomez said she's beefy bringing her daughter to the park since Lisa was a baby. Even though they live closer to Hilltop park, Gomez said she prefers the smaller park because of the scenery and the fact that it's not very crowded. That day mother pushed daughter in one of those three-wheeled jogger strollers. The two-mile distance from her house is ideal for Gomez, who recently started training for the upcoming walkrun over the San Diego BayCoronado Bridge. Just then a white dog trotted from over a hill toward her daughter. Gomez excused herself to separate Lisa from the dog, interrupting a face-to-face encounter. In a minute, the owner appeared and ushered his dog into a car before driving away. Also enjoying the playground were two brothers, watched over by their mother who sat in a van to be near her 16-month old daughter asleep in the back seat. Six-year-old Krishna Munukutla, a first-grader at Tiffany Elementary School, thoughtfully sucking a soft drink through a straw, named playing on a swing set at the top of the Continued on page 4 MRU - L y Shm-.i ti mm Si 1 Jose Ramos gives his daughter, Rebecca, a hand getting over the climbing bars at Halecrest Park. PhotoDalia De La O 'Every 15 mtoetes 9 Lisa B. Deaderick A frantic, pre-recorded 911 emergency call about a fatal car accident was recently heard by juniors and seniors at Eastlake High School as part of the Chula Vista Police Department's involvement in the Every 15 Minutes program. The program, aptly titled to represent the statistic that someone is killed in the United States every 15 minutes from a drunk driving accident, was a joint effort among the CVPD, Eastlake High School, students and their parents. Last week's two-day program involved the witnessing of a mock car accident and the emotional aftermath experienced by the families of the "victims." Pre-selected students were also removed from class by the Grim Reaper, then returned dressed in black and prohibited from speaking as their individual obituaries were read by a police officer. "Kids try to pretend they're tough and everything (is) funny, but it gets to them," said Officer William Cline, a juvenile investigator with the department. "You're reading an obituary and you're talking about a kid that died in a car accident." Every 15 Minutes was developed by the Chico Police Department in 1995 through an Alcohol Beverage Control Grant. In May 1996, the department conducted the program in two area high schools. Since then, the program has been headed by the El Segundo, San Diego, La Mesa and Chula Vista police departments. The program works backward, with the students witnessing what goes on in a real-life emergency situation after the crash takes place on day it could b f wmucwi i e one o dn TBI t them The Grim Reaper stands over the 'victim of an accident during 'Every 15 Minutes." PhotoDalia De La O one of the program. Upon first arriving at the bleachers on the football field where the initial part of the program was to take place, some students seemed unconcerned as they laughed and joked w ith their friends about what was going on. Twisted metal, broken glass, and mangled cars composed the opening scene prepared for them earlier that day. Police officers, the fire department, an ambulance, and Mercy Air Life Flight arrived to try and save the acting victims and question the perpetrators at the scene. Those few unconcerned students quickly joined the rest of their peers in all seriousness as they listened to conversations between officers and emergency medical technicians. One student was pronounced dead on arrival as the Grim Reaper (unseen by the officers and EMTs on the scene) stood over his body. The fire department used the Jaws of Life to pull the other two victims from the car that experienced the fatality, the car in which there had been no drinking. They were both unconscious and rushed to the hospital (one by ambulance, the other by Life Flight) while the DOA was placed Continued on page 4 .1 mamsm TERRI DILLON & ME AMY EXECUTIVES Providing You Full Service Real Estate! Sales Loans Refinancing Property Management For complete 7 day-a-week service to accomodate all of your real estate needs call: TERRI DILLON 300-9700 3 Offices to Serve You: ( REALTY ( I EXECUTIVES 300-9700

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