2019 Pumpkin Smash

› To all participants of the 4th Annual South Bay Pumpkin Smash – Game of Throws. Teams from all over South Bay descended on Eastlake Middle School on Saturday, November 2 to compete in a live pumpkin throwing contest. Teams from middle and high schools showcased their design and manufacturing skills and laid siege on the field using a medieval device commonly known as a trebuchet. As per tradition, the Chula Vista Fire Department conducted the opening ceremony by dropping a 120-pound pumpkin from over 100 feet up.

Congratulations to the winners:

  • Division 1 First Place – San Ysidro High School
  • Division 2 First Place – Bonita Vista Middle
  • Division 2 Second Place – Eastlake Middle

New this year was the Open Division. This division was for non-educational teams like church youth groups, scouting clubs and City officials. Our very own City Councilmember Mike Diaz took the time to build and design a device, and his effort paid off. Open Division Team Fetchez La Vache with the Diaz brothers and friends took First Place, barely holding off Second Place father, son and grandparent Team Hernandez the Destroyer.

Special thanks go to all the generous sponsors: Supervisor Greg Cox, Baldwin & Sons – Otay Ranch, Republic Waste, Rotary Club of Chula Vista–Eastlake, the family of Stephen Ablahad, Neisha’s Dance & Music Academy, and Dixieline Lumber. New this year was a children’s art area graciously sponsored by Children’s Primary Dental.

South Bay Pumpkin Smash 2020 is scheduled for Saturday, November 7 at Eastlake Middle School.

› To the City of Chula Vista for ranking #2 in the nation for supporting immigrants. The New American Economy (NAE), a bipartisan research group, released its second annual Cities Index which assesses how well the top 100 largest cities support immigrants. Chicago was ranked number one with Chula Vista coming in at number two.

Last year, Chula Vista ranked number three in the NAE City Index. Chula Vista City leaders are pleased with the increased score, which includes perfect scores in three subgroups – Economic Empowerment, Inclusivity, and Community. Mayor Mary Casillas Salas said, “Chula Vista is proud to be a diverse and welcoming city. We are thrilled with the increased rating from the NAE.”

NAE was formed in 2010 by corporate executives including Michael Bloomberg and Rupert Murdoch to reframe immigration reform. Their goal is to secure the borders and prevent illegal immigration, create more opportunities for immigrants to join the United States workforce, and help in the effort of legal status for all undocumented immigrants.

Fifty-one factors were used in the annual City Index to determine how well a city is helping immigrants succeed. To view the complete list from the New American Economy, visit New American Economy.

› To Otay Water District for receiving the Service Provider of the Year Award from the Otay Mesa Chamber of Commerce. This award is presented to an organization for its corporate identity and first impressions, and overall service to customers including creativity in assisting customers, responsiveness and timely attention to its customers, problem solving, customer awareness and staff availability.

“Despite the many challenges to the water industry across the state in the last decade, Otay Water District has exercised fiscal responsibility and invested strategically in technology and its employees to provide safe and reliable water, wastewater, and recycled water service to the Otay Mesa community while keeping its costs down,” said Otay Mesa Chamber Executive Director Alejandra Mier y Teran. “We are pleased to recognize the Otay Water District with the Service Provider of the Year Award.”

“We are especially honored to receive this award from our customers in Otay Mesa,” said Otay Water District General Manager Mark Watton. “The employees of our water district share a culture of innovation and customer service that will continue to provide value to all of our customers, including our Otay Mesa residents and businesses.”

The Otay Mesa Chamber of Commerce presented the District with the award at its 32nd Annual Dinner and Awards Ceremony on Oct. 30 at the San Diego Country Club in Chula Vista. For more information on the Otay Water District, visit otaywater.gov.

› To everyone who donated, walked, participated and volunteered in the 2019 Veterans Walk that provided a Christmas dinner party for over 300 residents at the Veterans Home of California – Chula Vista. Your generosity toward the 18th Annual Veterans Walk, held on November 2, brought in the most donations to date.

The great majority of our veterans served in WWII, Korea and Vietnam, ranging in age from about 60 to some over 100 years old. We will never forget what these veterans have done for us, and now during the holidays, we are honoring their service to country.

A special thanks to veteran Ron Oeding, who printed 360 Walk T-shirts with sponsor acknowledgements, and to Rick and Carolyn Click, who both volunteered by taking pictures at the Walk.

The Walk is always the first Saturday in November. For information about participating next year, please contact Hank Schanstra at (916) 221-2709 or hendrik.schanstra@calvet.ca.gov.