One of the best times of year in National City is upon us already. It's a time of warmth, joy and reflection. Our thoughts are turning to family and our families are returning home. We begin to count our blessings and reflect on the past year while many of us start to dig out the lights and decorations that make National City even more beautiful and warm each year. From everyone at Your National City, we wish you the happiest of holiday seasons.
A Message from the City Manager
As we approach the end of 2014, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on what has truly been a memorable year for the National City community, one we can all look back on with pride.
Among the most notable events was the voter-approved continuation of Proposition D, National City’s district sales tax. The revenue generated by Proposition D will ensure that the City’s most vital services—including our Police and Fire Departments, street maintenance, graffiti removal and youth and library services—maintain the high standard of excellence our community has come to expect.
In our business community, the Mile of Cars, celebrating its 60th anniversary and more vibrant than ever, is undergoing a resurgence, as many dealers complete significant renovations. Our city is also attracting newer businesses like Starbucks and Sonic, which have recently opened new stores.
This month, the city reached a major milestone to convert the former Public Works yard on Hoover Avenue into a beautiful, affordable housing project that will help us meet our housing demands, and serve as a catalyst for future development.
We’ve also completed or begun projects that improve the traffic flow on our streets, and make them safer for pedestrians and cyclists, including adding bike routes and “flashing cross walks”, and the soon to be completed 8th Street beautification and traffic mitigation project.
So here’s to finishing up a great year, and beginning another one that promises to be just as eventful. On behalf of the entire National City Staff, thank you for your confidence in us, and best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season.
Leslie Deese City Manager
Hiring Locals - It's Natural in National City
Jose Lopez’s story isn’t unusual in National City. In fact, it's far from it. Jose moved to National City with his family at the age of 2. He walked the halls of Kimball Elementary and then National City Middle School and finally Sweetwater Union High School. He played Little League baseball in Kimball Park and has called National City his home for his entire life.
After graduating as Valedictorian from Sweetwater, Jose pursued his dream of becoming an engineer by enrolling in UCSD’s Structural Engineering program. With those credentials, Jose might have worked anywhere in the world, but he chose instead to apply his profession in his hometown.
“There just isn’t anything as rewarding as being able to give back to the community that raised me,” says Jose. “Not many people have the opportunity to help develop and improve the infrastructure in the same city they grew up in.”
Between his third and fourth year of college, Jose secured an internship in the City of National City Engineering Department. Then, after graduation, a permanent position opened up in that same department and he jumped at the chance to interview for the job. And won.
“We hired Mr. Lopez because he was the best applicant for the job,” says Director of Public Works and Engineering, Steve Manganiello. “But with that being said, it is very rewarding to be able to hire someone who grew up in National City and has a personal history with and passion for our city.”
Looking to help your community or are you looking for services and resources this holiday season? 2-1-1 San Diego, the community’s one-stop-shop for community, health and disaster services, has a comprehensive list of holiday assistance programs in your area. Just dial 2-1-1 to speak with a live customer service representative, or go to www.211sandiego.org/holiday_assistance, to learn more about holiday programs and community services.
Olivewood Gardens Hosts Family Dinner Night
Join Olivewood Gardens for an evening of gardening, cooking and fun for the whole family!
Take a tour of the property, harvest vegetables from the garden, work together to prepare a healthy, seasonal meal, and eat together and share conversation as a family in the historic Noyes House.
Date: Thursday, December 4th Time: 3pm-7pm Cost: $25/person RSVP: (619) 434-4281 (space is limited) Ages 5 & up
Location: Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center2525 N Ave, National City, CA 91950
We invite you to the Quarterly ARTS Center Open House on Saturday, December 6 from 11AM– 3PM! This quarter’s Open House will feature a special musical presentation in collaboration with the Art of Élan, an Outdoor Marketplace of gifts, and an interactive mosaic mural installation. www.areasontosurvive.org
City Hall Closed Over Extended Period to Achieve Savings
City Hall will be closed for two weeks beginning December 22, 2014 thru January 4, 2015 as a cost savings measure. Estimated salary savings will be $143,100 in addition the City will realize approximately $12,000 in energy savings.
During this time essential emergency personnel from the Police and Fire Department will remain in operation to include animal control, graffiti abatement, and parking enforcement. The City will have standby and on-call personnel from Public Works, Fire Investigations, and executives and managers from each department.
During the two week closure the Senior Nutrition Center dining room and home-delivered meals will not be affected. Park maintenance will continue. The City Hall Finance Department drop box will be available to make payments. Library materials will not be due during this time and fines will not accrue.
This will be the fifth year of the closure. “The two week closure represents the partnership between the City and its employees. The program results in cost savings to the city while allowing employee’s to have quality family time during the holidays”, said City Manager Leslie Deese. The two week period crossing December and January was selected because it is historically a slow business period. Representatives from all departments will be available to address emergencies.
This year, iIn addition to the City Hall two week closure the Library will close a week early in order to upgrade and complete a conversion project that entails retagging of all our library materials and installation of a new security system. The library will be closed December 15, 2014 through January 4, 2015.
For non-emergencies, call Police Dispatch 24-hours a day (619) 336-4411 ext. 0.
Thanksgiving Safety Message
Thanksgiving Safety from the National City Fire Department
The kitchen is the heart of the home, especially at Thanksgiving. Kids love to be involved in holiday preparations. Safety in the kitchen is important, especially on Thanksgiving Day when there is a lot of activity and people.
• Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.
• Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
• Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay 3 feet away.
• Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
• Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
• Keep knives out of the reach of children.
• Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
• Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
• Never leave children alone in room with a lit candle.
• Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.
• Have activities that keep kids out of the kitchen during this busy time. Games, puzzles or books can keep them busy. Kids can get involved in Thanksgiving preparations with recipes that can be done outside the kitchen.
Holiday Fire Safety
When most people think about the holidays, family festivities and good cheer likely come to mind. What few of us consider is that the holidays also present an increased risk of home fires. Home fires during the holiday season often involve cooking, Christmas trees, candles and holiday decorations.
By taking some preventative steps and following simple rules of thumb, most home fires can be prevented during the holidays and beyond.
Unattended cooking is the leading cause of U.S. home fires and home fire injuries, with most cooking fires involving the stovetop.
Stay in the kitchen while you’re frying, grilling or broiling food. Keep anything that can catch fire away from the stovetop, and turn it off when you leave the kitchen, even if it’s for a short period of time.
If you’re simmering, boiling, baking or roasting food, check it regularly and use a timer to remind you that you’re cooking.
Create a “kid-free zone” of at least three feet around the stove and areas where hot food and drinks are prepared or carried.
If you have a cooking fire, just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire. Call 911 or the local emergency number immediately after you leave.
If you do try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and that you have access to an exit.
Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Slide the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled. For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
U.S. fire departments annually respond to an average of 230 structure fires caused by Christmas trees. One of every three are caused by electrical problems, and one in five resulted from a heat source that’s too close to the tree.
If you have an artificial tree, be sure it’s labeled, certified or identified by the manufacturer as fire-retardant. If you choose a fresh tree, make sure the green needles don’t fall off when touched; before placing it in the stand, cut 1-2” from the base of the trunk. Add water to the tree stand, and be sure to water it daily.
Make sure your tree is not blocking an exit, and is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, space heaters, radiators, candles and heat vents or lights.
Use lights that have the label of a recognized testing laboratory, and make sure you know whether they are designed for indoor or outdoor use. Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords, or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than three strands of mini-string sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs.
Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving the home or going to bed.
After Christmas, get rid of the tree. Dried-out trees are a fire hazard and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside the home.
Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.
Candles are widely used in homes throughout the holidays; December is the peak month for home candle fires.
More than half of all candle fires start because the candles had been too close to things that could catch fire.
When burning candles, keep them at least 12” away from anything that can burn, and remember to blow them out when you leave the room or go to bed.
Use candle holders that are sturdy, won’t tip over and are placed on uncluttered surfaces. Avoid using candles in the bedroom, where more than one third of home candle fires begin, or other areas where people may fall asleep.
Never leave a child alone in a room with a burning candle.
Consider using flameless candles, which look and smell like real candles.