Yearly Archives: 2003

Miss Bonita Pageant 2004 calls for contestants

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By John Roe, Edited by Michael Burgess
Page 3, 3/21/03

The winner of the 2004 Miss Bonita Pageant will have the opportunity to earn as much as $2,000 in scholarships while being the community’s official goodwill ambassador.

During her reign, both Miss Bonita and pageant director Lorraine Johnson will work closely with the Bonita Business and Professional Association, attending the BBPA’s new member ribbon cuttings, monthly luncheons and all Bonitafest functions.

To qualify for the BBPA scholarship, the winner must attend all its yearly calendar functions and meet all requirements of the Miss Bonita Pageant. The First Princess and Essay Winner will also receive $250 and $100 respectively.

Applicants for the 16th annual pageant, to be held June 21, must be female, at least 17, a senior in high school, and under 25 in June of 2004. The entry deadline is June 1. There is no entry fee.

The next Miss Bonita will qualify to enter the Miss County of San Diego USA Pageant, the Miss Greater San Diego USA Pageant and Miss California (at large) Pageant.

Potential applicants are asked to call Johnson at [number withheld].

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Light aircraft makes emergency landing

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By John Roe, Edited by Michael Burgess
Page 3, 3/14/03

Ultralight aircraft pilot John Wood and his passenger Amber Merz were forced to make an emergency landing on the South Bay Salt Flats March 8. Neither Wood, from Spring Valley, nor Merz, a home-schooled 12-year-old from Fallbrook, were injured.

Merz said they made a rough landing about 20 seconds after they knew there was a problem and Wood’s radio Mayday attempts failed.

“He tried before we crashed. He told them that we were going down and, after that, his radio got disconnected and he couldn’t reconnect it,” she said.

Wood’s ultralight, named “Kolb Firestar,” is a powered flying machine used for training. It weighs less than 496 pounds, has a top speed of 63 mph, stalls at 28 mph or less and carries no more than 10 gallons of fuel. It is based at Brown Field in Otay Mesa.

David Smith, flight coordinator for the Young Eagles program which organized the flight, said a flight safety check was done on the craft the previous day and everything was OK. According to flying enthusiast Manny Ramirez, who was at Brown Field that day, a propeller problem made the emergency landing necessary. Wood was unavailable for comment.

Merz is one of about 20 participants so far to take part in the Young Eagles program at Brown Field every second Saturday of the month, where volunteers from the Experimental Aircraft Association take 8- to 17-year-olds up in the air to encourage interest in flying.

Undaunted by the experience, Merz said she has no fear of flying.

“Riding my dirt bike is more dangerous than flying in an Ultralight,” she said on her return to the hangar. “I might get to go again next month.”

A call to South Bay Salt Works on March 11 was met with bewilderment. Office staff said the company was unaware of a plane landing on its property over the weekend.

The distinguished former X-1 pilot General Chuck Yeager is the honorary chairman of the Young Eagles program. The EAA is hoping to have one million participants by Dec. 17, the 100th anniversary of the first powered flight by the Wright Brothers. More than 884,000 have taken part so far.

The EAA is an international aviation membership association founded in 1953. It has more than 165,000 members, with chapters located in all 50 states and many countries. The membership is composed of airline and commercial pilots, engineers, business people and astronauts. The Young Eagles program is sponsored by the EAA Aviation Foundation, a charitable non-profit organization “dedicated to the discovery and fulfillment of individual potential through personal flight.”

The Young Eagles Web site is To enroll, call (877) 806-8902.

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EastLake Farmer’s Market moves to Fridays

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By John Roe, Edited by Michael Burgess
#2 brief in “Around Town”, Page 3, 3/7/03

Free pony rides, a petting zoo, an inflatable jump and other family-oriented entertainment will be at the Certified Farmer’s Market and Open Air Bazaar when it moves to a new time and day of the week.

The Market will now be every Friday from 3 to 6 p.m., and will continue to take place at EastLake Elementary School, 1955 Hillside Drive, Chula Vista.

The Farmer’s Market is unique in EastLake, with fresh fruits and vegetables from more than 20 local farmers, arts and crafts from local artisans, entertainment, specialty items and food vendors all in one location.

Proceeds from the Market go to the EastLake Educational Foundation. The EEF is a non-profit organization dedicated to giving kids the best educational opportunities possible. The Foundation was created to help meet Olympic View Elementary School’s ongoing needs such as curriculum, instructional materials and technology needs not covered by the Mello Roos taxes.

For more information, call 421-5755.

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Performing arts champion takes final bow

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By John Roe, Edited by Michael Burgess
Page 5, 2/28/03

Ruth French Chapman, a former school board member, teacher, and volunteer for which the Eastlake High School performing arts center is named, died at Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center Feb. 21, one day after she turned 96.

Chapman was a passenger in a car that was involved in a traffic collision in early January. She was released from the hospital the next day. But she had to go back to the hospital almost a week later and she remained there until she died.

A public memorial service will be held at Eastlake High School, 1120 Eastlake Parkway, Chula Vista tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. Jennifer Noriega, a SCPA student, will sing “Wind Beneath My Wings” at the service.

A fund has been set up to support Sweetwater Union High School District performing arts programs. The family requests that donations be sent to: Ruth French Chapman Performing Arts Fund, c.o. The Chapman Family, 324 Hilltop Drive, Chula Vista, CA, 91910.

William Virchis, Sweetwater Union High School District’s visual and performing arts department director, was working on an opera production over the weekend and said he couldn’t believe it.

“I’ve known Ruth and her family since I was in junior high. It was a tremendous loss,” Virchis said. “She was a real champion, man. She was a real champion. She was so truthful. What Ruth did, she said. It came from the heart. The district owes her a lot, especially for the creative and performing arts.”

Ida Ruth French was born Feb. 20, 1907, on a Nebraskan farm. At age 22, she started teaching in Wilsonville, Neb., earning $900 a year and living with her students’ families, a custom at the time. The surname Chapman came from her second marriage.

Around 1942, she moved West to teach at schools in the Los Angeles area. In 1954, she moved to Chula Vista and started teaching at Hazel Goes Cook Elementary School in 1955. There, she established the first library in the school district and was honored by Cook Elementary’s PTA in 1957. In 1972, she retired from teaching at Cook Elementary but continued to volunteer there until last year.

In 1973, she was elected to the Sweetwater Union High School District board of trustees and routinely won reelection until 1998. While Chapman was on the Board, she frequented school functions such as concerts, plays, sporting events and other events through late last year. She was present to read a poem at the Chula Vista High School Spartan homecoming assembly on Oct. 25, 2002. Her moniker was “Spartan Mom,” for her support of the school.

Ed Reed, formerly a Sweetwater district music teacher and now director of the National City Community Concert Band, remembered she was full of love.

“She loved kids. She loved students. She loved teachers as well,” Reed said. “She was a tremendous supporter of the arts because what she saw it did for students. For individual students, for groups of students. The vitality and focus it brought into their lives. With fine arts, it reaches into a different part of a person, it reaches into the soul and the heart.”

About a week after Chapman’s defeat in 1998, the Chula Vista Elementary School District Board of Trustees recognized her 25 years of dedication and service to students and the community. Chapman was the recipient of the San Diego County “We Honor Our Own” Award, the Chula Vista Elementary School District’s “Golden Apple” and the Hazel Goes Cook Community Service Award.

“I think her passion and dedication to education were inspiring. Her spirit and her energy were awesome as well, especially at such an advanced age,” said Bryan Felber, who has been leading the drive to have an elementary school named after her.

Chula Vista School for the Creative and Performing Arts facilitator Ron Bolles recalled an amazing story he had heard about Chapman’s hospital stay.

“They found that she had internal bleeding. And the doctor wanted to put some sort of scope down her throat to determine the cause. Ruth said she didn’t want that procedure done. The doctor said, ‘Then you’ll just have to stop bleeding.’ The next day they ran more tests and discovered she had stopped bleeding.”

Chapman is survived by sons Kent Wages, an English teacher at Eastlake High School who lives in Chula Vista and Brian Wages in Solana Beach, grandson Jason Wages in Dallas, Texas, granddaughter Emily Wages in San Francisco and niece Nancy Stiles in Angel Fire, N.M.

I received this e-mail on 3/2/03:

Hi John!

I didn’t see you at the memorial service, but I may have simply missed you.

I wanted to let you know in case you had not been able to attend that one of the sons made specific reference to your article (and you by name!), and indicated how pleased the family was with it. He said that “Ruthie” would have been so happy that somebody finally got it right!

It made me proud to know the impact that SCPA students*, past and present, had on remembering her life.

– Ron Bolles

* Ron Bolles is the Chula Vista SCPA Facilitator. For my last year of high school, I was an independent study student attached to SCPA as a music student and departmental teacher’s aide, though primarily to Dr. Luzak (head of music). Loved it.

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Aircraft mechanics to be honored

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By John Roe, Edited by Michael Burgess
Top brief in “Around Town”, Page 3, 2/28/03

The Wright brothers’ mechanic, Charles Taylor, who built the first airplane engines by hand, will be honored along with all Aircraft Maintainance Technicians by the Aircraft Maintainance Technicians Association.

A proclamation was made by the State of California to make May 24 AMT day in honor of Taylor. On AMT Day, AMTA will dedicate a plaque at the San Diego Aerospace museum in honor of Taylor and all AMTs. The City of Chula Vista will present the AMTA with the AMT Day Proclamation at a city council meeting March 4 at 4 p.m.

“If not for Charlie’s contributions, the Wrights would not have been the first in controlled powered flight,” said Ken MacTiernan, Director of the AMTA and an American Airlines Aircraft Technician Crew Chief at Lindbergh Field. “No one knows who Charles Taylor was and no one knows who today’s Aircraft Technicians are. It is AMTA’s goal to change this and educate to the public as to who the AMTs’ unsung heroes are.”

MacTiernan said he plans to accomplish this by dedicating plaques in honor of Taylor and all AMTs at aerospace museums and airports and to assist the drive to have the remaining 49 states pass resolutions similar to the one California passed.

“Chula Vista has a history in aviation because years past, Flying Boats would fly into Chula Vista Harbor and be repaired by Rohr. Rorh is now B.F. Goodrich,” MacTiernan said.

AMTA is a non-profit organization and currently has 52 members.

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Veterans benefit from golf tourney

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By John Roe, Edited by Michael Burgess
Top brief in “Around Town”, Page 3, 2/21/03

A golf tournament raised more than $2,000 for the Chula Vista Veterans Home on Feb. 17 even though rain caused the event to be postponed from Valentine’s Day when it was originally scheduled to take place.

Astronaut Wally Shirra and many of the local San Diego Navy & USMC flag officers were among the 54 donors who played in the Classic. San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chairman Greg Cox, who is also on the Foundation’s board of directors, was the honorary starter.

According to Steve Arends, one of the original founders of the Chula Vista Veterans Home Support Foundation, the Foundation’s 2nd Annual Charity Golf Classic held at Auld Course on President’s day was a success. He estimated that more than $2,000 was raised by the charity auction.

“All of the proceeds from our Foundation’s golf tournament, and all donations we receive, go directly to the Chula Vista Veterans Home residents to pay for the quality of living our military veterans richly deserve,” Arends said.

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Gallery to be named after history man

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By John Roe, Edited by Michael Burgess
Page 2, 2/21/03

The display of photos and commentary known as the “Walk of History” which is permanently mounted on the sidewalks of Third Avenue is just one of the achievements of a retiree whose voluntary management of the Chula Vista Heritage Museum lasted 10 years.

When Frank Roseman, 80, retired for the second time last October, the museum’s trustees voted to name one of its galleries after him. The decision was confirmed in a Chula Vista City Council resolution on Dec. 10. A time and place for the unveiling has not yet been set.

The museum is operated as a division of the Chula Vista Public Library. The estimated cost for putting Frank Roseman Gallery signs in the exhibition area is less than $500, and will be absorbed by the library’s budget.

“Mr. Roseman is Mr. Chula Vista Heritage Museum,” Deputy City Manager David Palmer, who proposed the resolution, told council members. “Naming the exhibition area at the Chula Vista Heritage Museum after Mr. Roseman would be a tribute to his numerous contributions and dedicated service to the Chula Vista Public Library and residents of Chula Vista.”

For someone to qualify for having a room or wing named after them, they would have to fulfill one of two criteria set by the library board of trustees.

Either a gift of at least $20,000 must be given to the Library or the individual must have made a notable contribution to the development and enhancement of the Library and/or the City of Chula Vista. Roseman’s extensive community involvement and work with the Heritage Museum made him an ideal candidate. Since his retirement from Rohr Inc. as chief of its Corrective Action Board, Roseman has dedicated the last 32 years to community service. He has been involved in organizations such as the Friends of the Chula Vista Library executive board, Friends of the Chula Vista Heritage Museum Chapter, the Chula Vista Historical Society, the Chula Vista Nature Center, the Tall Ship Society and the Chula Vista 75th Anniversary Committee.

While at the Heritage Museum, Roseman created many displays honoring the City’s agricultural past. He sorted old photographs including those featured in the “Walk of History.” He also retrieved and organized donations from around San Diego County and conducted research to better relate information to museum vistors.

When he began as manager of the Heritage Museum, Roseman met some resistance from the president of the Chula Vista Historical Society, who feared the City of Chula Vista would assume ownership of its collection of artifacts.

“His concern was that the city would take over and all the photographs and artifacts would be taken by them. Of course, this was not true and it never came in question at any time,” Roseman said.

Another problem was the large quantity of materials and contractors Roseman had to find to make the opening of the museum viable and its operation a continued success.

Reference librarian Kim Laru is Roseman’s successor as museum manager.

Roseman said he plans to continue being a docent at the Chula Vista Nature Center, serving as director of the board for the Friends of the Chula Vista Nature Center and helping at the Civic Center Library book store.

Roseman said he wishes to thank the late John Rojas, collector of many photographs and artifacts that helped fill the newly opened museum, Peter Watry, who helped in the later years with displays, grant writing and general assistance and Nora McMartin, the library’s liaison to the museum who helped to deal with the city’s problems.

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Eagle president flies to National City

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By John Roe, Edited by Michael Burgess
Top brief in “Around Town”, Page 3, 2/14/03

The Fraternal order of Eagles’ slogan is “Eagles are People Helping People.”

The FOE’s Grand Madam President Carleen Corum and Grand Worth President Fred Smith handed a $490,144.53 check to New York Governor George Pataki for the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on Feb. 3. The money was raised by Eagles members.

Corum, a resident of Tama, Iowa, will visit the National City Auxiliary #2712, 1131 Roosevelt Ave., National City Feb. 18. Dinner will be served at 6 p.m. and a meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m.

Carrie Humphrey, National City’s Auxiliary #2712 Secretary and Chairman, explained with the National City Eagles auxiliary does.

“We’ve given out Christmas baskets, helped abused children, and we support the National City library each year. All monies raised go to research such as heart, cancert, other diseases and for helping children,” Humphrey said. “We raise money with dinners. We’ve supported the School for the Blind, and different local places for handicapped.”

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Chula Vista SCPA program marks 25th anniversary

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By John Roe, Edited by Philip Brents
Feature Story in Dining and Arts, Page 11, 1/10/03

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Chula Vista School for Creative and Performing Arts program where professional educators, performers and artists deliver an exciting and challenging college-style curriculum to more than 850 diverse students.

A school within a school for students from grades 7 through 12 at Chula Vista middle and senior high schools, the SCPA offers in-depth professional training in art, dance, drama and music within the context of an otherwise traditional school setting. This program offers unique opportunities for aspiring musicians, thespians, dancers or artists typically available only at private, high-tuition institutions.

The Chula Vista SCPA does not require an audition for entry into the program.

The program gave its annual combined holiday concert to a standing-room only audience in the Chula Vista High School gymnasium on Dec. 20. In concert were: The Main Attraction, Dream Girls, CVHS guitar ensemble, Silhouettes, CVHS mariachi ensemble, New Renaissance, CVHS choir, CVHS concert and jazz bands, Grupo Folklorico, CVHS orchestra and the CVHS drama department.

Upcoming performances, which are subject to change, include a winter dance concert (levels 7 and 8) at the Ruth French Chapman Performing Arts Center at Eastlake High School on Jan. 14 and 15, at 7 p.m.; a presentation by the drama department, CVHS SceneFest, on Jan. 16 and 18, at 7 p.m. at the Chula Vista High campus theater; the Winter Choral Concert by the South Bay Community Chorale at the Ruth French Chapman Performing Arts Center on Jan. 17, at 7 p.m.; and the Chula Vista Children’s Chorus Winter Choral Concert at the CVHS theater on Jan. 26, at 3 p.m.

More than 80 voices can be heard in the South Bay Community Chorale’s third annual winter concert. Five selections to be presented range from Mozart’s “Santus” to the Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby” to a medley of Gershwin interspersed with soloists and small groups.

Tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and children under 10 years old. For more information, call 691-5775.

For an updated calendar of events, visit the SCPA Web site at .

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