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E-Newsletter 11th Edition

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This is Your Town

National City is a city of which we can all be very proud. Year after year the community proves that we care about each other, provide and take care of our citizens young and old, lifelong or new resident, successful or struggling. We're all in this together. Want proof? Just sit down and read the stories in this newsletter and you will know, without a doubt, that National City is all about the community. And if you get a little teary eyed with pride, that's just fine. We won't tell.

Las Palmas Pool Re-Opens Feb 22.

EXOS | MediFit, is managing Las Palmas Pool operations in close partnership with the City of National City. We are proud to invite the public back to this treasured facility! There will be FREE Lap Swim, Recreational Swim, and Group Exercise Aquatic Classes from February 22 through March 31! Take advantage of this great opportunity to get reacquainted with Las Palmas Pool or visit for your first time. The pool is maintained between 78-80 degrees.

Spring Pool Schedule

Pool User Fees

For more information call Las Palmas Pool at (619) 336-6758 or email


The Transformation of National City

It seems like everywhere you turn in National City these days there is an improvement project or upgrade happening. Among the more important projects is the city's Veteran's Memorial which now includes a roundabout with plaques representing the branches of the armed services.

Two memorial plaques were selfishly stolen from the War Memorial in March of 2014. The actions of a good Samaritan led to the recovery of the plaques only days after being taken. Elected officials, City staff, and community members of National City devoted over a year of work towards improving the memorial, culminating in its rededication in December of 2015. Now, the plaques are restored and locked-in with granite slabs. They stand to honor those who served in our country’s war efforts in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. The improvements to the area include safety cameras, new flag poles, benches decorated by the City’s ARTS (A Reason To Survive) program, new lighting, and new sidewalks. The War Memorial was part of a $1.5 million dollar project to enhance the D Avenue corridor. Residents will be able to purchase honorary plaques that will decorate the Veterans Wall of Honor. The Veterans Wall of Honor and War Memorial are accompanied by a new roundabout that features plaques honoring the five military branches of the United States of America.

For descriptions of important projects around the city, click here.


City Building Official:

10 Things Contractors Won't Tell You

With the anticipated El Niño storms I wanted to alert our residents and businesses of possible fraudulent activity from unlicensed contractors. Prior to hiring a contractor please take a few minutes to review the attachment which was published in the Wall Street Journal. These 10 Tips may save you aggravation, work delays, lack of craftsmanship and most importantly your hard earned money.

Always check to make sure your contractor is licensed and also check the status of their license with the State Contractor’s License Board (CSLB).

If you have any questions regarding your projects you can always call the National City Building Department 619-336-4210 or 619-336-4212

Community Service Day

Nothing defines National City quite like its level of community involvement. Few cities enjoy the level participation we do in keeping our neighborhoods beautiful and taking care of people of all ages and all walks of life. One of the events that most typifies this is the annual National City Community Service Day and it's coming up for the third year on April 30th.

National City is teaming up with local communities to accomplish projects that will enhance our neighborhoods. If you would like to be a part of various projects around the City, join us on Saturday, April 30th for our 3rd Annual Community Service Day. Volunteer to help paint, landscape, build, and even with general maintenance and clean up. Lunch will be provided for all volunteers! For more information; or if your organization or business would like to donate lunch items, water, or snacks for this event; please contact the Community Services Department at (619) 336-4290 or email

For information on other Community Service programs, click here.


What to do in an "Active-Shooter" Situation

“The recent incident in San Bernardino and around the country are reminders of how dangerous individuals armed with weapons can be. As you review this video, visualize your work space, office, or locations you frequently visit and ask yourselves which would be my best course of action to safety. Security is paramount for all of us. “ Lt. Alex Hernandez from the National City Police Department.


National City's Matt de la Pena Brings Home a Newbery Medal

Congratulations to National City native Matt de la Peña, the first Latino Author to win the prestigious Newbery Medal for his book “Last Stop on Market Street.” This book was also awarded a 2016 Caldecott Honor and a 2016 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book. The John Newbery Medal is a literary award given by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association (ALA). The award is given to the author of "the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. The Newbery and the Caldecott Medal are considered the two most prestigious awards for children's literature in the United States.

“I am humbled beyond words that Last Stop on Market Street has been awarded the 2016 Newbery Medal, placing it alongside so many seminal works which have long inspired my path as an author," said de la Peña. It’s important to me that Last Stop’s illustrator, Christian Robinson, share in this honor as this is a picture book, and from the very beginning I’ve felt that his wonderful illustrations make this book what it is. I also want to acknowledge what a privilege it is to be the first Latino male author to receive the Newbery Medal. I hope all the brilliant Hispanic writers of the past and present view this as a recognition or our diverse community and that it inspires young Hispanics coming up to read their way through the world and consider a path in the arts.”

“It’s been a mind-blowing few days to say the least. But I’m most excited to share my passion for writing diverse, working-class characters to a broader audience.

Read the Latino USA article here.

Listen to a National Public Radio interview with Matt de la Peña here.


Employee of the Quarter: Firefighter Ronney Wilson

Ronny is a Firefighter who has excelled in his training and education and is a positive image for the City of National City’s Fire Department. Ronny is constantly attempting to improve his skills as a Firefighter by taking multiple outside classes and volunteering for assignments within the department.

Ronny has excelled in his short time here in the National City Fire Department and has proven himself to be an excellent Firefighter as well as an outstanding National City Employee.


International Mariachi Festival and Competition March 13


Burn Institute Offers Free Smoke Detectors to Seniors

Burn Institute Program Offers FREE Lifesaving Smoke Alarms to Seniors

SAN DIEGO— National safety statistics show that adults age 65 and older are two times more likely to die in a home fire than any other segment of the population; for those over age 75, that risk nearly quadruples. Despite these alarming statistics, thousands of seniors throughout San Diego and Imperial Counties are currently living in homes without a working smoke alarm.

One of the best ways seniors can improve their chances of escaping a residential fire is by making sure their home is equipped with an operating smoke alarm. The Burn Institute is working towards ensuring that every senior’s home has just that. Their Senior Smoke Alarm Program provides seniors with free smoke alarms and instillations. Screened and trained community partners and volunteers assist the Burn Institute year-round in installing the free alarms.

To qualify for this lifesaving program, you must be 62 years or older and own your own home. To sign up for this program or see if you are eligible, call the Burn Institute at 858-541-2277, ext. 18.

Having a working smoke alarm in your home reduces your chances of perishing in a house fire by 50%. Smoke alarms should be installed in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every floor of your home. "In a fire, seconds count," said Susan Day, Burn Institute Executive Director. "Roughly half of home fire deaths result from fires reported at night between 11pm and 7am when most people are asleep. Home smoke alarms can alert people to a fire before it spread, giving seniors enough time to get out."


ARTS Creating Vibrant Neighborhoods Initiative

ARTS mission of improving the lives of youth is tied closely to improving the quality of life in communities where youth live.

Toward this goal, ARTS has become the anchor institution leading the three-year Creating Vibrant Neighborhoods Initiative to transform National City and selected South County communities into cultural destinations.

ARTS is partnering with National City, The San Diego Foundation, the Pomegranate Center and a host of other public and private agencies to implement the Initiative, which will result in the creation of 30 signature projects over 3 years involving 60 artists and 100+ ARTS high school youth apprentices.

Through these apprenticeships, ARTS Empower youth will work with professional artists, designers, landscapers, performers and composers to create 10 public works of art each year, including two community gathering places. Projects will vary in size and scope, but all will utilize the Pomegranate Center methodology, which is nationally recognized as a leader in community building to make neighborhoods more livable, sustainable, just and socially engaged.

Creating Vibrant Neighborhoods projects may include 3-dimensional works of art, multi-media, performances and events, functional and aesthetic public art, and gathering places. Projects will transform underutilized and blighted areas into welcoming, inspiring public places to improve livability, health and safety.

Creating Vibrant Neighborhoods Initiative Fellows Training Program

In an 8-session, hands-on training intensive, you will learn the techniques that will empower you to fully engage your community in a productive, creative process, while creating broad ownership of the projects you lead. ARTS invites you, like-minded individuals who value collaboration and have a passion for community building through place-making. By completing the Creating Vibrant Neighborhoods Initiative (CVNI) Fellows Training, you will be qualified to be a paid lead artist for an ARTS CVNI project.


• You believe connected, strong communities are essential to our future

• You think our communities (and our nation) could do a lot better job collaborating

• You’re tired of group efforts failing because they are slow, unwieldy, and bogged-down by process

• You are a professional artist, have experience working with youth, and are a community organizer


Milenko Matanovic, founder and director of Pomegranate Center, along with A Reason to Survive, Landscape Architect Ilisa Goldman and special guests, will take your Project Management skills to the next level with:

• Leadership methods that encourage maximum participation

• Techniques to develop a powerful sense of community ownership

• Practical advice for handling difficult personalities that threaten the collaborative process


The training schedule takes place from 9am-4pm at the ARTS Center, 200 E. 12th Street, National City, CA on the following Fridays from 9-4pm & Saturdays from 9-4pm:

March 4-5

April 1-2

May 6-7

For more information, click here.

Olivewood Gardens News

The Kitchenistas of National City is a documentary film short showing the struggles and triumphs of families in National City living with Diabetes, Obesity, and other health conditions related to Food. Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center created the Cooking for Salud! program in 2012 with the goal of empowering families to take control of their health through the foods that they eat and prepare at home. Graduates of the program are called Kitchenistas and they are passionate about the changes they are making at home, for their families, and for their community.

Their stories will also be shared with the world when The Kitchenistas of National City is shown as a part of the I Imagine Film Festival on October 8th, 2015 in New York City, during the Global Health Film Festival on October 30th and 31st, 2015 in London, England, and as part of the Pasadena International Film Festival on March 2nd through March 10th, 2016.

Upcoming Olvewood Programs

Saturday, Feb 27- Food and Farm Family Fun (Field Trip for the entire family), 10am-12pm

Spend quality time with your family while you learn about gardening and healthy eating in this fun field trip for the entire family.

Saturday, March 19- Creating and Sustaining your School Garden (teacher training), 8:30am-4pm

Interested in how you can create or enhance a school garden program? This workshop covers planning and designing a school garden, basic gardening skills, curricular connections, and outdoor classroom management-everything you need to get growing in the right direction!

Saturday, March 5- Resources for Garden-Enhanced Nutrition Education (teacher training) 8:30am-4pm

How do you get kids to eat fresh fruits and veggies? With new ideas for recipes, age appropriate cooking activities, and food related books, this workshop covers how you can use your existing school garden to enhance nutrition education for youth and promote the consumption of fruits and vegetables.


Camacho Recreation Center Offers Free Youth Arts & Crafts Workshops

The Camacho Recreation Center held its First Annual Holiday Craft Party on December 14th, 2015. Youth participants, and their families, were invited to a fun evening of crafts, food, holiday music, and games. Families brought their favorite holiday entrees and desserts to share with one another while they personalized their own snowman ornaments. This festive event was a memorable one for families and Camacho Recreation staff alike.

We welcome you to join the fun! Camacho Recreation Center offers a FREE youth Arts & Crafts class every Monday, from 6pm-6:50pm. For more information call (619) 336-4290 or email


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