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E-Newsletter 7th Edition

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Big Things for the Big City

There are lots of going ons in National City as we ramp up for the summer months. This editions of Your National City News is full of upcoming events as well as reports on events that have already happened. From job fairs to workshops to community fundraisers, National City celebrates community like no other city in California. So get out your calendar, sit back, and enjoy all the news that is Your National City News.

Governor's Mandated Water Restrictions:
What National City is Doing.

Governor Jerry Brown issued an executive order on April 1, 2015 that includes a mandatory 25 % potable water usage reduction. The City will be implementing the Governor’s executive order and has begun to evaluate ways water use can be reduced to meet this requirement. This includes the study of the water usage at City facilities, local businesses, and residential areas. Additionally, the City will continue to work closely with the City’s water supplier, Sweetwater Authority, and the Chamber of Commerce to adopt and enforce new restrictions that reduce water use. These new measures will be implemented shortly.

Information regarding the newly adopted water restrictions will be provided at the next City Council Meeting, April 21, 2015 and in future edition(s) of the City’s E-newsletter.


National City Chamber Hosts Job Fair Tuesday April 14

National City Ramping Up to Support Special Olympic World Games

Reach Up and Celebrate with us on Thursday, April 16, 2015 and throughout the week. With your help, we can create the awareness that leads to acceptance and inclusion of all people with intellectual disabilities. With 7,000 athletes from more than 170 countries arriving from around the globe to Los Angeles, The World is Coming!

National City, Chula Vista, and Coronado will be helping athletes reach for the gold in the 2015 Special Olympics World Games. These three cities will serve as "South County Host Towns" prior to the competition which takes place in Los Angeles. Host towns are responsible for transportation, accommodations, meals, training facilities and cultural events for 100 Special Olympics World Games delegates from July 21-24, 2015.

Host Town cities will welcome and celebrate their delegations while showcasing what makes their city special. In addition to experiencing a day at one of National City’s beautiful parks, the athletes will have a chance to visit and train in Chula Vista’s Olympic Training Center, South County delegates will participate in beach activities and other fun local attractions during their stay in South County.

Delegates from around the world will compete in 25 sporting events during the L.A. 2015 Special Olympics with opening ceremonies set for July 25 and competitions held through August 2. This is the single biggest humanitarian and athletic event in Southern California since the 1984 Olympic Games.

The Mission of these World Games is to create the awareness that leads to acceptance and inclusion of all people with intellectual disabilities, which is Embodied in our logo: • At the center of our logo is the Celebratory Figure representing the courage, determination and joy of Special Olympics athletes. The Celebratory Pose is a universal expression of praise, enthusiasm and celebration.

If you or your organization would like to become a sponsor or volunteer please contact Lauren Maxilom with the City Manager’s Office for the City of National City or call 619-336-4240.

National City Police and Fire Department Host Public Safety Fair

Second Annual Community Service Day is April 25th

Special thanks to A Reason To Survive (ARTS), PEERS, and community volunteers for the first step in the makeover of Casa de Salud!! ARTS ran workshops with youth from the Casa- Teen Center to develop content for artistic panels that were painted and installed on the exterior of the building.

If you'd like to be a part of the next steps or other projects around the City, such as a 300 ft. educational watershed-themed mosaic mural along ‘A’ Avenue, join us on Saturday, April 25th for our 2nd Annual Community Service Day. Help volunteer to paint, landscape, build, or even with general maintenance and clean up. Lunch will be provided!

City projects: Kimball Park, Casa de Salud, Fire Station #31 and Butterfly Park
Date: Saturday, April 25th 2015
Time: 8:00am-4:00pm

National City Searches for Financial Report Cover Art

Do you have great picture that represents National City? Are you a resident and/or employee of National City?

The City of National City is seeking pictures for the covers of its Fiscal Year 2016 Adopted Budget book and Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (“CAFR”).

For a chance to have your picture featured on the covers of these publications, please forward it to the City by Thursday, May 28, 2015.

Pictures will be reviewed by City staff, and the submission(s) selected will appear on the covers with credit given to the photographer(s) inside the book.

Rules for submitting photos:
  1. Person submitting picture must be a resident or employee of the City of National City.
  2. Picture must clearly reflect a National City landmark, building, site, event, &/or City of National City employee(s).
  3. Picture may be in color or black & white.
  4. Hard copy photographs & electronic files will be accepted; however, images should be of sufficiently high resolution, in order for printing on 8 ½” x 11” paper.
  5. Professional &/or copyrighted photos are NOT permitted.
To enter your photo, complete the entry form, and submit it with your picture to the City of National City, Department of Finance at City Hall, 1243 National City Blvd, National City or by Thursday, May 28, 2015.

Up to five (5) pictures may be submitted per person, but please submit a separate entry form for each submission.

Please note: All photos submitted become property of the City of National City.

Current cover:

National City and Chula Vista Inaugurate Joint Firefigher Academy

In February 2015 the National City Fire Department and the Chula Vista Fire Department began the first joint firefighter academy in the South Bay. Historically both departments have done individual academy and/or orientations for their newly hired firefighters.

This partnership has enabled both departments to provide a high level of training, leadership, and personal growth for the newly hired members of both organizations. There is a total of 11 firefighter recruits currently in the academy, 3 from National City and 8 from Chula Vista. By combining resources this mutual agreement allows cost sharing and a reduction of the duplication of services which would typically occur by running individual academies. The joint program is a fiscally responsible model that can be applied to future training needs between both organizations. Additionally the joint academy allows the firefighter recruits to become familiar with differing organization styles so in the need for mutual aid there is an understanding of the community.

Overall the joint agency fire academy has been a huge success. The fire recruits are over half way through with the process and the benefits of having two neighboring municipalities working together have been clearly demonstrated with the individual success of each of the new employees.

Click for pictures of the academy

Three More CPR Training Sessions Open this Year

Are you interested in taking a CPR or First Aid Class? There are 3 more available sessions this year open to the public! Register today, classes fill up quickly!!! Another way to get involved with your community is to join & follow the National City - CERT. Community Emergency Response Team

Sweetwater High School to Participate in Every 15 Minutes Program

May 14th & 15th students from Sweetwater High school will participate for a 2nd year in the Every 15 Minutes program.  The program is designed to dramatically instill teenagers with the potentially dangerous consequences of drinking alcohol and texting while driving.  This powerful program will challenge students to think about drinking, texting while driving, personal safety, and the responsibility of making mature decision when lives are involved.  The Every 15 Minutes program offers real-life experience without the real-life risks.

During the first day events the “Grim Reaper” calls students who have been selected from a cross-section of the entire student body out of class. One student is removed from class every 15 minutes. A police officer will immediately enter the classroom to read an obituary which has been written by the “dead” student’s parent (s) – explaining the circumstances of their classmate’s demise and the contributions the student has made to the school and the community. A few minutes later, the student will return to class as the “living dead”, complete with white face make-up, a coroner’s tag, and a black Every 15 Minutes T-Shirt. From that point on “victims” will not speak or interact with other students from the remainder of the school day. Simultaneously, uniformed officers will make mock death notifications to the parents of these children at their home, place of employment or business.

After lunch, a simulated traffic collision will be viewable on the school grounds. Rescue workers will treat injured student participants. These students will experience first-hand, the sensations of being involved in tragic, alcohol-related and texting while driving collision. The coroner will handle fatalities on the scene, white the injured student will be extricated by the jaws-of-life manned by Fire-Fighters and Paramedics. Police Officers will investigate, arrest, and book the student “drunk driver”. Student participants will continue their experience by an actual trip to the morgue, the hospital emergency room, and to the police department jail for the purpose of being booked for “drunk driving”.

At the end of the day, those students who participated in the staged accident as well as those who were made-up as the “living dead’ will be transported to a local hotel for an overnight student retreat. The retreat will simulate the separation from friends and family. A support staff of counselors and police officers will facilitate the retreat.

During the most powerful program of the retreat, the students will be taken through an audio- visualization of their own death. Then each student will write a letter to his or her parents starting out with …

"Dear Mom and Dad, every fifteen minutes someone in the United States dies from an alcohol related traffic collision, and today I died. I never had the chance to tell you … "

Parents will also be asked to write similar letters to their children. These letters will be shared the following day when students and parents will be reunited at a school assembly.

The students will engage in challenging and interactive exercises. Impaired simulator goggles will be used to allow students to experience firsthand the potentially fatal consequences of alcohol and drug impairment. The goggles will allow students the opportunity to understand the dangers of impaired driving without taking a drop of alcohol or using drugs of any type. Research shows that those who learn from hands-on experience retain two to four times more than those who learn from just listening, or from listening and seeing.

"Grim Reaper" and the staged crash. The assembly will be hosted by an Officer (Project Coordinator), who will guide the audience through the devastating effects of losing a loved one due to a bad choice. Speakers will include students who will read letters to their parents, police officers, and hospitals personnel who shared their emotional trauma of dealing with kids killed in traffic crashes. Parents will share their personal reflections of their involvement in this program. We will also have a powerful speaker who actually lost a child to a drunk driver, or as the result of driving while under the influence or texting while driving.

This event includes the participation of our National City Police and Fire Departments, Sweetwater High School Staff, Local Hospitals Video Production Crew, Community Officials, District Attorney’s Office, Funeral Homes and a wide cross-section of the community at-large. It is our goal to utilize the strength, talent and resources of business and industry to prevent drunk driving and texting while driving.

For video of the 2014 event (Exercise caution. The video is graphic in nature):


April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

In an effort to make our roads safer, the National City Police Department is deploying extra traffic enforcement officers during the month of April to stop distracted driving. The National City PD is spreading the message that distracted drivers are not only a danger to themselves, but everyone else on the road.

Using an electronic device while driving is a serious safety problem. Most drivers know that texting while driving is a dangerous behavior, but many still use their cell phones and other mobile devices when they are behind the wheel, putting themselves and others at risk. Many drivers see distracted driving as risky when other drivers do it, but do not recognize how their own driving deteriorates.

In 2012, 3,328 people were killed and 421,000 were injured nationwide in crashes involving a distracted driver. That same year, eleven percent of fatal crashes were reported as distraction-affected crashes.

The National City Police Department is focusing on ways to change the behavior of drivers through enforcement, public awareness and education – the same activities that have curbed drunk driving and increased seat belt use.

In a national survey, almost half (48%) of drivers say they answer their cell phones while driving at least some of the time, and more than half of those (58%) continue to drive after answering the call. The National City Police Department recommends the following safety measures:

You can:
  • Turn off electronic devices and put them out of reach before starting to drive
  • Speak up when you are a passenger and your driver uses an electronic device while driving. Offer to make the call for the driver, so his or her full attention stays on the driving task
Parents can:
  • Be good role models for young drivers and set a good example. Talk with your teens about responsible driving
  • If you know your teen is on the road – don’t call or text them until you know they have reached their destination
Employers can:
  • Adopt, publicize, and enforce company policies that prohibit employees from texting or talking on hand-held cell phones while in a company vehicle, or in a personal vehicle while using a company issued cell phone.
The urge to read and answer an incoming message when we hear the text sound can be almost overwhelming. The Office of Traffic Safety is using a message of “Silence the Distraction” in new public service announcements aimed at getting drivers to turn off their phones while driving so they won’t be tempted.

“No text, call, or social media update is worth a crash,” said OTS Director Rhonda Craft. “With an average of less than a second to react to an urgent situation, drivers need to have all their attention on the roadway.”

Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Are You Miss National City 2015?
Applications are Open.

National City 2014 Court. From left to right: Princess Nadia Pineda, Princess Caroline Camacho, and Queen Aida Castaneda
The City of National City is currently seeking applicants between the ages of 17 – 24 years old who consider themselves to be a positive role model that is ready to serve their community by competing in the Miss National City Education Pageant. The pageant is scheduled for Friday, July 3, 2015 in Kimball Park during the week long 4th of July carnival.

“I encourage every young lady to participate in the Miss National City Educational Pageant. A once in a lifetime experience that empowers you to be an active civic leader— that through your grace, poise and tenacity can inspire a generation.” Miss National City Queen Aida Castaneda.

The Miss National City Pageant began in 1955 and has included a long list of confident and successful young woman that have gone on to do great things for our community and region. More than a typical “beauty” pageant, the Miss National City Education Pageant is an empowering opportunity for young woman to gain confidence and mature as an individual while obtaining a scholarship and the completion of their reign to help further their educational goals.

“I am a changed woman and I cannot wait to give back to the community and empower other young ladies to step out of their comfort zone and discover other aspects of themselves just like I have.” Miss National City Princess 2014 Nadia Pineda.

If you would like more information on Miss National City 2015 please contact Pageant Coordinator Leah Munoz (619) 336-4241 or

Employee of the Quarter: Dana Simms

Dana Simms is one of National City’s Permit Technicians within the Building Division and is being recognized as the Employee of the Quarter.

Dana’s daily duties include assisting customers in obtaining building permits along with tracking and monitoring the status of development plan reviews. Dana has gone above and beyond her daily duties to take on the additional tasks of updating several informational pamphlets on permitting and reviewing third party contractor invoices all with the goal of increasing Customer Service.

Additionally Dana is a student at Southwest College, enrolled in courses to obtain her certifications in construction inspection. In her spare time she volunteers with Habitat for Humanity where she is part of an all-women team trained in hands-on construction of single family homes. Dana was awarded a $500 scholarship by the International Code Council’s San Diego Chapter to be used to further her education in the construction industry.

Congratulations to Dana, we are very proud of you and look forward to your future accomplishments.

National City Police Host Use of Force Workshop

Saturday, March 28th the National City Police department conducted a Use of Force workshop where community members were able to experience firsthand the split-second decisions that are made by police officers every day.

Participants of National City’s Use of Force workshop learned how officers work to resolve the problems they’re called to before the situation can worsen. Participants experienced making a traffic stop, evaluating an individual acting aggressively, intervening in a couple’s fighting, and encountering an armed person that may be suicidal.

After suiting up in bulletproof vests and a duty belt, the community members were divided into groups that engaged in role playing regarding the use of force, with the last resort being the use of lethal force in response to a life-threatening situation.

After the role playing simulations, participants used a computer enhanced simulator on loan from the Sheriff’s Department. The simulator uses a large screen displaying a variety of scenes that require a decision on whether to use a gun. The system logged how quickly the participant registered the threat and drew a weapon, and if shots were fired.

The workshop is part of the department’s outreach efforts to involve civilians in law enforcement, and give participants insight to the difficulties of police work and the life-changing decisions officers must make in a split second.

If you’d like to be included in future Use of Force workshops please contact Sgt. Alex Hernandez (619) 336-4423.

City Offices Closed for Memorial Day

All city offices will be closed May 25, 2015 in observance of Memorial Day.

Olivewood Gardens to Host Family Dinner Night

National City Firefighters Participate in Fourth Consecutive Fight for Air Climb

National City Firefighters Matt Lucas, Jeremy Day and Derek Lafreniere participated in their fourth consecutive "Fight for Air Climb" charity for the Lung Association. 64 stories in full turnouts and BA's! NCFFA raised $905.00 for the charity, with $625 coming from Frank Motors in National City. Photo from Matt Lucas.

George H. Waters Nutrition Center
Provides Healthy Food and Programs for Seniors

The George H. Waters Nutrition Program assists senior citizens 60 years and better to remain healthy, independent, and vital members of our community by offering nutritionally healthy meals, physically active, mentally stimulating and socially engaging programs and services. This program provides a friendly setting for seniors to have a nutritionally balanced meal and a place to socialize. The staff and volunteers provide an effective framework to assist in the meal service and social service needs of clients. 

The meals are prepared fresh daily by our Chef and his crew for a suggested contribution of $3.50.  We also have musical entertainment every Friday and buffets once a month.

We sponsor a Feelin'; Fit exercise class held at the Kimball Senior Center on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9:00 am. A nutrition education class called Eat Smart, Live Strong incorporates teaching healthy food choices to seniors, food demonstrations, and the importance of remaining active every Monday at 9:00 am and is taught in English, Spanish and Tagalog.

The George H. Waters Nutrition Center
1415 D Avenue in National City
Monday – Friday 11:00am-12:30pm

 Monthly Menu

Community Raises $9,000+ to Protect Police Canines

The National City Police Department is proud to support the fundraising efforts from our City’s three service clubs (The Rotarians, Lions, and Kiwanis) and the Mile of Cars Association along with private donations in the purchase of protective ballistic vests for our police canines.

The National City Rotary Club, Host Lions Club & Sweetwater Kiwanis presented the Police Department $9,298.50 for Police K9 Ballistic Vests.
This fundraising effort originated when a Rotarian member and self-admitted dog lover, learned National City Police canines did not have ballistic vests. He took it upon himself to solicit the assistance of the local clubs to raise the funding to purchase and donate the vests to the canine program.

On February 22nd the local service clubs hosted their pancake fundraiser and the support from the community exceeded everyone’s expectations. As a result, the fundraiser netted the required amount of funding necessary to move forward with the purchase of canine vests and much more.

The fundraising efforts raised approximately $13,000 which will ensure funding for any future expenses for the canines, who are an invaluable tool to our officers and community. The funds raised will be held in the National City Police K-9 Foundation which is included in the Public Safety Foundation, the nonprofit the department uses.

The National City Police K-9 Foundation will be used to cover expenses and long-term care for canines when they are no longer in service with the Police Department. Hernandez said.

National City Fire Department Paticipates in Wounded Warriors Ride

The National City Fire Department and IAFF local 2744 were honored to participate in the Wounded Warriors Solider Ride. At the end of the 3 day event The National City Firefighters and the FDNY Retirees Group hosted a dinner for the participants at Fire Station #34.